Paint Intersections or Building Murals
Beautify the neighborhood, support local artists, and create a safer and more identifiable place, increasing the livability and value of your neighborhood
A building or intersection mural is a public art piece that the community can design and paint to add color, identity, and vibrancy to their neighborhood. Building murals can draw great attention to something unique and exciting about the neighborhood and intersection paintings can slow automobile traffic, make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists, and create a place to gather for special events. Painted buildings and intersections beautify the neighborhood, support local artists, and create a safer and more identifiable place, increasing the livability and value of your neighborhood.
When paired with other tools, this strategy can make an even greater impact on the move toward sustainability in your neighborhood. Think about complete streets, safety and accessibility, preservation, public art, and community identity. Try combining Building and Intersection Murals with:
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- Preserved and beautified buildings that save embodied energy
- Safer intersections for pedestrians and cyclists
- Enhanced community identity and solidarity
- Revitalized spaces with bright colors and beautiful art
- Cleaner and more attractive areas tend to stabilize or boost property values.
- Commissions for local artists
- Choose a Location Choose a building or intersection you are interested in painting. Contact the Cultural Resources Office to find out if there are any historic building or district restrictions that could limit your project.
- Connect If working in an intersection, contact the City of St. Louis Board of Public Service (BPS) and the City of St. Louis Street Department to confirm the intersection/area is eligible for painting, find out the street reconstruction/recoating schedule, etc. If the intersection is eligible, they can give you a street map to use for your design. Read "PtP Public Works Checklist" - a checklist from the 'Paint the Pavement' Project in St. Paul, MN - for details about some things that might be asked of you during the permitting process. If working on a building, coordinate with the building owner. If the building is owned by the St. Louis LRA, contact them about buying or leasing the building or about the possibility of painting an exterior wall.
- Design Hold gatherings with your neighbors and/or a local artist to design and then create your street painting.
- Lead Form a project team that will usher the entire project through completion. The project team should plan a process where as many neighbors as possible have a chance to be involved in some aspect. This may be done in many ways - open workshops with many neighborhoods, asking people to submit their designs, door-to-door tallying, asking individuals to volunteer, etc. The project team will be responsible for organizing neighborhood participation in the project and overseeing future usage and maintenance.
- Fund Reach out to local, regional, and state art organizations such as RAC and Missouri Arts Council that could help provide ideas, resources, or funding.
- Create Draw your intersection design using the BPS base map and following the requirements of BPS. You may be required to use approved traffic marking paint and anti-skid additive. The paint only comes in white, red, yellow, and blue, but can be mixed. Look at this document for more information about paint. Your local PPG Porter Paints is one place to buy paint. Draw a building mural according to the scale of the building. Building paint comes in many more colors and should be sealed with a top coat.
- Submit Complete and submit the required BPS documents including gathering signatures, if required. BPS will return a copy of the agreement if your project is approved or contact you if they have questions about your submission. If working on a building, get approval from the building owner and from the neighborhood organization.
- Paint Plan and prepare for your painting day or days. Organize bought or borrowed supplies. Assign tasks and involve as many of the talents and skills of local residents as possible in construction, installation, and clean up. Make sure to set a rain date.
- Private Site
- Public Building
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