Our city bursts with color and creativity. Often, there are fascinating stories behind the murals. Sometimes there aren’t. Sometimes it’s just art for the pure joy of art.
Good news is, many of Ventura’s murals are within walking distance of each other. And if there is a more pleasant way to wile away a lazy morning/afternoon/both (perusing fine art requires time), well let us know.
Maybe start with the lovely illustrated history of Ventura right in front of the San Buenaventura Mission. Artist Michael O’Kelly’s framed memorial mural depicts 150 years of Ventura history via over 100 ceramic tiles showcasing the people, landmarks, and scenes (both old and new) that have helped make the city what it is today.
Steps away (well, across the street) you’ll find the China Alley Mural. Artists Qi Pang Guo and Song Yun created this mural featuring scenes from the early 1880’s, when a Chinese settlement of merchants, laborers, and families flourished in the area between Main and Santa Clara Streets.
A short walk to the sea, and beneath the Figueroa Street underpass (just short of the Ventura County Fairgrounds and Surfers Point), you’ll find the Tortilla Flats Mural. Artists MB Hanrahan and Moses Mora created this mural commemorating – through an arcade of images of Chumash, Latino, Asian, African-American, Midwest and Dust Bowl families – the historic importance of our city’s first culturally diverse neighborhood.
That’s just a (small) start. Ventura is filled with murals, and more and more bloom every day. From the murals at the Post Office on Santa Clara Street, to the tile murals at Ventura Harbor Village, to the sides of restaurants (Danny’s Deli & Grill); even our bus stops and bike racks explode with color (The City of Ventura Public Art Program commissioned over 50 artworks “in the open air” throughout the community).
There can never be enough life and color.