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UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. — Local and national artists created vibrant and diverse murals across the Delmar Loop over the weekend at this year's first mural festival.

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The variety of murals represented diversity and St. Louis icons, such as Maya Angelou, Chuck Berry, Miles Davis and more. The pieces were created by 12 groups of artists from St. Louis and around the country.

The event gave artists an opportunity to showcase their colorful work, but also helped promote the area’s local businesses.

The Delmar Loop Mural Festival had been in the works for the past five years, spearheaded by Jessica Bueler, marketing specialist and event coordinator for the Loop Special Business District.

She presented the event to University City where officials approved the plans and granted funding.

All 30 of the Farmers Market doors also were painted as part of the festival, according to Bueler, in addition to paintings on electrical boxes, and bike racks were repainted as well.

“It’s really a refresh and re-vibe of the Loop,” Bueler said.

While the attendance of visitors dropped on Saturday due to the rain, Bueler said she never saw so many people walking around and taking photos on a Sunday in the Loop.

“Usually Sunday is more of a chill, relaxed day, and when we got down there on Sunday, it was really busy early in the day,” she said.

Ian Wilkinson, from North Carolina, was putting the final touches on a mural Monday afternoon outside Vintage Vinyl.

He ghost painted a mural for well-known American contemporary artist Ron English.

The mural features English’s iconic smiley face and a deer in camo.

Miles Davis and SZA also are represented on the same wall, which represents Wilkinson’s style. The entire painting took approximately five days to complete.

“It’s been great,” Wilkinson said. “There’s a lot of super talented artists here. It’s just a really good community, so it’s been really nice to be a part of it.”

While Wilkinson has been a muralist for 30 years and has painted with English for the past seven years, he said this was the first time he ghost painted for English.

“He’s a fantastic guy,” Wilkinson said. “He’s been a hero of mine for a long time and does not disappoint.”

English came to the Delmar Loop for the festival and met with fans.

Wilkinson has created murals in St. Louis before, including his work in Paint Louis years ago.

Well-known local artist, Cbabi Bayoc, painted the Tivoli building from top to bottom. His mural is in honor of Maya Angelou, an American memoirist, poet and civil rights activist from St. Louis.

Alex Jove, another well-known local artist, is working on his city parking garage mural. It will be a lion theme to represent St. Louis City SC.

St. Louis artist Brock Seals paid tribute to NBA player Jayson Tatum with his mural. It is right next to a mural by brklynstl, which features people with “star gazing bursts” coming out of their eyes.

Three women from New York who go by norm4evashiro_one and TOOFLY, painted the PokeDoke building. Their piece represents women from different nationalities and backgrounds.

“I wanted to make sure that we had a really good mixture of men and women, and that we had people from all different races,” Bueler said. “I think we really hit the nail on the head with that.”

Folks walking around “Art Alley” in the Loop will see more murals.

With positive feedback from the community, Bueler said the mural festival will become an annual event.


© 2023 Delmar Loop
Represented by the Loop Special Business District & East Loop CID