While the Gulf Coast is a popular hotspot for gorgeous beaches and delicious seafood, you could be forgiven for not realizing that this is also the location of an amazing array of creative street art. Head away from the 30 miles of breathtaking white, sandy beaches in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to visit the city of Mobile to experience the inherent beauty and creativity on display. Whether you are a fan of iconic street artists such as Banksy and Vhils or perhaps you just want to admire a variety of gorgeous murals, a visit to South Alabama to explore the epic street art in Mobile is certainly a worthwhile experience.
From the best murals in Orlando to street art in Oklahoma City, we have been fortunate to experience some of the best collections across the US. While Alabama’s largest city of Huntsville is home to several awesome murals, we want to focus our attention on the southern area of the state and explore the city of Mobile.
Frequently renowned as primarily being a location for visitors to board and depart cruise ships, Mobile is also home to a trendy, historic downtown neighborhood. For those of you that have visited New Orleans, the moment you set foot on the streets of downtown Mobile, you will quickly feel that New Orleans vibe with architecture, culture and of course, street art, all synonymous to what you may see in the Big Easy. Let’s take a look at exactly what you can experience in terms of street art while exploring the city of Mobile.
Street Art in Mobile – Explore Downtown
Street art is frequently associated with a negative stereotype because of many people associating it with vandalism or “graffiti” – however, after exploring downtown Mobile, we can 100% attest that the inherent beauty of street art helps create a colorful and vibrant neighborhood. By adding character to structures around the downtown vicinity, Mobile has unequivocally become a hotspot for trendy artists showcase their talents across the city.
The real beauty of exploring street art around Mobile is that the majority of murals can be found in a relatively small area of the downtown area. Park your vehicle and start walking…it is without doubt the best way to experience all of the plethora of amazing art designs on display around most street corners.
The Heart of Mobile
Our journey around downtown Mobile started at perhaps the most iconic mural throughout the city and what we would certainly consider to be the pièce de résistance of street art because of its symbolism in today’s society – The Heart of Mobile! Located at 9 South Joachim Street in the heart of the downtown neighborhood, this mural is one of the most photographed (and Instagram friendly of course!) spots in Mobile and is a myriad of vibrant colors and iconic subject matter that makes this such a popular spot.
In today’s world, the sense of hatred across the globe is something that we all need to do a much better job of eliminating and what better way to start than by showing love and respect to those around us.
Visit Mobile Mural
At the corner of South Warren and Dauphin Streets, the mural that represents the city of Mobile can be seen. The Mobile Arts Council and Jake Peavy Foundation unveiled this masterpiece in early 2019 and shows the city’s iconic attraction, the USS Alabama in Mobile Bay.
The Souls of Mobile
The eclectic soul of Mobile is depicted on the side of Hayleys Bar with the mural that epitomizes everything there is to love about this city. When Ginger Woechan started the design of this mural, onlookers were able to instantly realize this was going to be a special creation. Woechan was focused on two words…”love and light” and it’s apparent through this mural, both during the day and at night, that she has created a magical representation of Mobile’s vibrant culture.
The Mobile Arts Council spent days trying to find the perfect location, asking local businesses to allow their wall to showcase this magical design, yet it was only when owner Hayley Maulsby agreed to allow her bar to house this mural that the creativity could begin to flow. The mural highlights a colorful street scene, featuring individuals from the local community that were nominated because of the good they do for the city of Mobile.
While Mobile is home to a myriad of amazing murals on building walls, we were fortunate to experience a project that was depicting local horticulture in the form of street art. The Azalea Trail of 1929 can be seen in the following mural and actually represents the trail that meandered its way throughout the city in the early 20th century.
Another iconic mural that is certainly prevalent in today’s society is the “Love Where You Live” masterpiece.
Delta Bike Project
At the corner of N. Warren St. and St. Frances St. is a collaboration of several local artists that created the Delta Bike Project mural. What better way to explore the amazing street art in Mobile than by getting some exercise and hopping on a bike to experience the city.
You can also enjoy other parts of the city that are within close proximity to the downtown area by utilizing the local bike services including the Delta Bike Project.
Sport and Music Murals
Downtown Mobile has recently seen the expansion of its street art scene through the addition of several murals along Dauphin Street.
Murals featuring Muhammad Ali and a plethora if iconic musicians including John Lennon, Michael Jackson, Tupac Shakur, and Bob Marley are popular spots for Instagram worthy shots.
Other Downtown Mobile Murals
Directly across from the “Heart of Mobile” is another colorful mural at Loda Bier Garten. Covering the side of this restaurant, this representation of sealife is an artistic yet rather unique mural that is worth experiencing while wandering along South Joachim Street.
Just a short walk from South Joachim Street is the Alabama Contemporary Art Center and it’s no surprise that street art is on display there at the corner of S. Jackson St. and Conti St. Visiting artist Kenny Scharf left his mark with a cool pop art creation that wraps around the building.
Barton Academy is a historic Greek Revival school building located on Government Street in Mobile. A depiction of this historic structure can be seen on the side of Downtown Mobile Alliance directly opposite the local community garden on Dauphin Street.
Street art is increasingly becoming a popular culture in major cities around the world. While you won’t be surprised to hear that iconic global cities will always be at the forefront of major street artists, it’s the lesser known cities such as Mobile, Alabama that may leave you intrigued to find out more.
After exploring street art in Mobile, we wanted to share our experience highlighting some of these breathtaking murals around the downtown neighborhood. Aficionados of street art will know that murals change on a frequent basis and there are a number of creative designs on display throughout Mobile that we encourage you all to experience before they change. Which other cities around the world do you consider to have an amazing street art scene?