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The Placemaking Powers of Murals Skip to content

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The Magic of Murals

When used to create oversized, hard-to-miss art, paint can have placemaking powers

Outdoor murals are a form of public art — but they are also landmarks, storytellers, economic development tools and "placemakers." Spectacular scenes and famous faces (rock legend David Bowie, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ...) are appearing on buildings in big cities and small towns throughout the United States. Following are just a few of the stop-and-look-worthy murals that AARP Livable Communities colleagues and volunteers have admired during their travels or even helped to create. Information about each colorful creation appears below the image.

Melissa Stanton, editor, AARP Livable Communities 

See a Mural in the Making

The last mural shown in the slideshow above is of AARP founder Ethel Percy Andrus riding a skateboard. (No, we don't believe that is something she ever did in real life.) Watch the video below to learn why murals are popping up in St. Petersburg, Florida, and see how "Extreme Ethel" was created.


Learn About Placemaking from Any Place

Find resources about and from the AARP Livable Communities Placemaking Workshop.

AARP Livable Communities Placemaking Workshop

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Each issue of the award-winning AARP Livable Communities e-Newsletter contains a mix of inspiring examples, community resources and information about livability efforts from places near and far. Subscribe today!

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