I can’t pass up a good mural, and yesterday’s assignment in Brenham, Texas, showed me that big cities aren’t the only place to find them.
You’ll find murals tucked in alleyways, on the side of liquor stores and restaurants, and on raw brick walls throughout the city’s quaint downtown.
I timed my trip to coincide with a downpour, which made it tricky to see them all, but I drove around for 30 minutes and quickly discovered more than a dozen. The number is growing.
Each October, the city brings in a featured mural artist during the Texas Arts & Music Festival, and another work of art goes up.
They’re fun to explore. Check out this map to help you find all of them.
My favorite of Brenham’s downtown murals? A retro-styled painting of a blonde woman and a big red bear, dubbed “Lady & the Bear,” painted by Michael C. Rodriguez in 2017. The woman in the painting reminds me of vintage girl detective Nancy Drew. The mural is located at 210 S. Park Street.
Others worth a peek include the portrait of blues musician Blind Willie Johnson by Levi Ponce on Commerce Street, just a few blocks away. Johnson lived from 1897 until 1945, and he was known for his powerful “chest voice” singing.
You can’t miss the “Welcome to Downtown” mural at 216 W. Alamo Street. Anat Ronen created the piece, which features huge butterflies and old street scenes.
Jeff Soto painted “Owl Family,” a pair of blue owls on the side of a two-story building at Baylor and Commerce Streets in just three days.
You’ll find free parking downtown, within easy walking distance of two other murals at 305 S. Park Street.
“Love Yourself,” by Helena Martin, depicts a cardinal swooping past with a yellow rose in its grasp. “Cosmic Armadillos,” by Chad Eaton, shows a pair of Texas-sized black and white armadillos.