On the last weekend of September, 2023, Carson City held its first Murals & Music Festival. A coproduction of the Brewery Arts Center and Visit Carson City, the festival included live music and events at locations around town. But the real focus of the festival, and the reason for it being held, was the creation of over a dozen new murals in downtown Carson City.
Carson City has always had a few murals around town, but it seems like it’s become a bigger thing recently for cities to sponsor the creation of murals as a form of public art. Reno has been sponsoring mural painting for years, and their downtown is full of murals on nearly every blank wall. So Carson City decided to join in the fun and hold this festival. For 3 days, artists painted murals on the walls of private businesses and civic buildings. Here are the results of their efforts.
Above is the new mural at the Brewery Arts Center, which already had quite a few around campus. The BAC was also the epicenter of the event, with live music and art exhibits during the festival.
Below are the other new murals that were created around town.
Here at Marlette Flats apartments, an entire wall was made available. 7 artists divided up this wall, rather than one artist tackling the whole thing. The result is an eclectic mix of styles spread over this one wall. However, since it’s the back wall of the complex, you have to go to the office building next door to see it.
All of the murals above were new and added over the space of that one weekend. But those weren’t the first murals in Carson City. The new ones joined a group of existing murals. Some of these are pretty new, having been put in in the last couple of years. Some of them have been here for decades. So let’s shift our attention now and take a tour of some of these older murals.
The Brewery Arts Center has been a hub for murals lately. There are no murals on their historic brick brewery building, but there are on the other wings of the building and on the Performance Hall (former St. Teresa’s Church) next door.
This mural at Carson City Square (home of the Carson City Visitors Center) was commissioned and created in 2021.
This mural of Mark Twain is one of the city’s newest. It was created in the spring of 2023 on the side wall of the Nevada State Museum, as part of the city’s Mark Twain Days festival.
This mural on the side of Piazza Restaurant & Bar was created within the last couple of years.
This mural makes creative use of a tree and an empty wall. It’s located in a parking lot on West Ann Street, and it’s been there for probably a decade or so.
This mural is on the back wall of the Sierra Podiatry Center. It was created about 6 or 7 years ago. It replaced an older mural that celebrated local resident Glenn Lucky.
This mural on the south wall of the C-A-L Ranch store in north Carson (facing McDonald’s) was created in 2016.
This mural here is one of the oldest in town, certainly the oldest one on this list. On the north wall of Heidi’s Restaurant is this tribute to the Virginia and Truckee enginehouse that used to sit a few blocks away. This mural was painted in 1993, making it 30 years old. There used to be a matching mural on the south wall of Heidi’s, showing locomotives coming out of the enginehouse, but it was painted over several years ago. But this one still stands here, gracing the corner of Carson and William for three decades.
I’m sure these aren’t all the murals around town. There’s probably some I missed. And considering they’re calling this the “inaugural” Murals & Music Festival, there may be more coming in the future.