Beautiful. Inspiring. Informative. Vibrant. These are just a few words that describe outdoor murals and streetscape art which are now seeing resurgence in popularity and importance.
Advertisement murals were the original streetscape murals. Starting in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s they advertised and promoted brands from horse saddles to biscuits and typically painted on brick. Frank Jump, a NYC based photographer, chronicles these ad murals (http://www.frankjump.com).
|Photo credit Sarah Goodyear via citylab.com|
Here at the Commercial District Advisor we are on board with encouraging BIDs, business corridors, and communities to add murals, whether for advertisement or public art, to their streetscapes in order to add soul, personality, and life to their areas. A study of Philadelphia commercial corridors (Econsult, 2006) found the Mural Arts Program (MAP) had demonstrated and positive effects on retail sales along the corridors where they were placed. The murals addressed and rectified visible signs of physical degradation and also decrease the perception of crime, both critical factors in commercial revitalization.
The good news is that we are seeing a growing trend of variable forms of murals and streetscape artwork, including:
- vintage advertisement – whether left the way it is, newly painted to depict a vintage look, or refurbished
- a current advertisement – such as an album release or a new show on television
- store names or signs
- murals noting location or direction to a business
- community art pieces
- graffiti murals
|Image by Commercial District Advisor|
Seeing suggestions turned into action...
|Image from newyorktimes.com, Michael Craig-Martin, Art Production Fund|