…On its streetscapes’ empty walls.
People have been leaving their creative mark on empty walls for thousands of years. Today, those primitive drawings have blossomed into street art. Corvallis, Oregon, home to Oregon State University, has a reputation for creating makers—including artists. Corvallis becomes more colorful each month as the community has turned its downtown into an outdoors art gallery.
Since 2016 more than 30 murals have been added to Corvallis, with new ones popping up all the time. They probably added a couple more just while you were reading this article. Its compact and very walkable downtown contains the highest concentration of murals, featuring everything from gorgeous green Earth mothers to depictions of the beautiful wildlife that inhabit the Willamette Valley.
One way to find Corvallis’ lovely murals is to stop into the visitors center or participating downtown locations and pick up a Corvallis Murals Scavenger Hunt map, which has clues to help you find undiscovered artwork. Keep yourself well fed and hydrated while you’re hunting down murals by visiting one of its many restaurants—the chefs pride themselves on cooking with locally sourced ingredients. Once you’ve finished the scavenger hunt, pat yourself on the back and claim your prize at the Corvallis Visitors Center (please note the visitors center’s hours of operation at visitcorvallis.com).
Although they may seem random, a lot of hard work goes into managing the murals, which is spearheaded by the Corvallis Mural Project. The project, a collaboration between local businesses, property owners and artists, is designed to feature fresh new art from artists on the biggest canvases in the city.
“I wanted to surprise people,” said Jennifer Moreland, project coordinator. “They’re going to turn the corner and be shocked and then filled with awe. I liked the surprise of turning a street corner and suddenly seeing a beautifully painted mural out in the open and free to the public.” Visit corvallismurals.com to learn more about the individual artists involved in the project and discover Corvallis’ creative side.