Leaving their Artistic Mark on the St Louis Graffiti Wall

Street art on the St. Louis Graffiti Wall

Finding exciting street art in new cities is a great way to explore new neighborhoods and see a public place in a different light. One such place that does this is the Mural Mile in St. Louis, Missouri. The St Louis Graffiti Wall is over two miles long and is continually changing from the Paint Louis event held annually during Labor Day Weekend.  Come and take a look at the flood wall where artists have left their mark.Aliens, Scientists, and kids street art at The Mural Mile

Street art on the St. Louis Graffiti Wall

History of the Mural MileCreative Art on the St. Louis Graffiti Wall

The history of the St Louis Graffiti Wall is a story of how one person can make a difference. Back in 1995, John Harrington, a local hip-hop artist, gathered a group of friends together to throw a graffiti party. Each year they would invite more and more artists to show off their work on a 15’x50′ canvas that is the flood wall south of the Arch. Now, this Urban Jam is a festival that occurs each Labor Day Weekend. This is the only festival I know that celebrates and champions street art. Street Art on The Mural Mile

Paint LouisStreet art on the Flood Wall at St. Louis Graffiti Wall

Paint Louis is the organizer of the internationally known, four-day festival that brings hundreds of artists together in the celebration of hip-hop. John Harrington has worked with Paint Louis for over 20 years, bringing this art to the citizens of St. Louis. The event lasts four days because the first day is spent buffing the wall. The next two days are spent painting, and the last day is for adding the finishing touches.

In 2019, 212 artists registered, and 250-275 artists showed up to leave their mark. The St Louis Graffiti Wall was recognized in 1998 in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest graffiti mural in the world. And today, it is considered the mecca of graffiti artists, street artists, muralists around the world. Red writing and fire street art on The Mural Mile

St. Louis Culture in Street MuralsBatman symbol over St. Louis skyline street art

One of the things you notice when you are viewing the art murals is how many of them represent a feature of St. Louis culture. You might see the St. Louis Arch, the city skyline, or even references to the St. Louis Cardinals here and there on the walls. This is an excellent way for artists to show their love for the city of St. Louis and show off their creativeness at the same time. St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Player Street ArtCreative figures and shadows on the St. Louis Graffiti Wall

Street Art on The Mural MilePeacock Bird Street Art at the Mural Mile

Some of these murals are amazing. Although part of the allure of the Mural Mile is that all artists can add to the wall any time of year. The Paint Louis event on Labor Day Weekend is when the canvas starts fresh with new designs. During the rest of the year, paint-overs become more common, and slowly the original design disappears. The art takes on a whole new life, becoming unique, colorful, and creative. I understand that paint-overs happen frequently. I just wish that they would leave the original design up for all of us to enjoy all year. They can always sign up for the next year’s event and have a wall for themselves. Man with spray can on the St. Louis Graffiti Wall

How to Get to the St Louis Graffiti WallThe Mural Mile on the St. Louis Flood Wall

You can find the St Louis Graffiti Wall along the riverfront between Victor and Chouteau Avenue. You can also Google the Mural Mile and it will give you directions directly to the artwork. I went on an afternoon before it was going to rain, so not many people were out. Parking is along the street or in the city parking lot by the Arch. You can bike or walk to the Mural Mile from the Arch.

I walked along a portion of the wall taking photos, but I wasn’t entirely comfortable out there alone with my camera. As the wall is 2.5 miles long, I got back into my car and drove down the road to take the rest of the photos from my vehicle. Toward the end, you are driving on a narrow lane by the railroad tracks, but there is a place to turn your car around.Dragon street art on the Mural Mile

Summary Samurai warriors street art on the Mural Mile

Every fall, new murals are being painted, so you can keep coming back all the time to see what has changed and what is new. Or you can do what I plan to do this year, to come out and watch all of the artists in action during Labor Day Weekend. But, if you can’t make it, definitely take a trip to the city and visit the Mural Mile to have the most visual street art experience in St. Louis. Warrior street art set in comic style on the Mural Mile

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Further Reading

If you are looking to visit more places with unbelievable street art, check out these posts for further travel inspiration:

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