Experience the masterful and artistic urban murals in Salt Lake City–some cleverly placed in the middle of busy intersections–others secretly tucked away in unassuming alleyways. These massive pieces of art, painted on iconic and not so iconic walls wait ever so patiently for someone to come and admire them, to photograph them, to feel something from them. The problem is, you don’t actually know where to find these murals. You want to see them in person, taking your very own urban art tour, but where in the world is the rendition of the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Beatles album cover, the wall of literary genius, and the Jazz basketball legends? Keep sipping on that cocktail, relax, and worry no more. We’ve compiled the must-see murals in Salt Lake City, and bonus, we included locations along with some extra information so you can sound like a street art aficionado when you take your friends along for the tour.
Squatter’s Nod to Beer
With a tantalizing choice of three murals side by side, this is the place to go on your last stop before heading to the airport. Not only does the cheerfully painted beer wall give us locals ridiculous bragging rights, but it provides clear photo evidence of the quirky beer culture a “brewing” in a state once known for anti-drinking laws and membership requirements. So you choose: hipster man holding an art-deco inspired beer stein, the breakdown of the beer process, or tipsy pink and purple creatures swimming in a fountain of beer. Which one speaks to you?
162 400 W
When you’re walking past these eight famous rock stars, we won’t blame you if you feel the sudden urge to air guitar in public. Gazing into the eyes of Freddie Mercury, Jim Morrison, Prince, and David Bowie can do things to a person. The bright teals, reds, blues, and oranges are all paint colors Gina intentionally chose to go against the norm. Although these almost identical portrayals of celebrity faces seem quite realistic, the artist favored unorthodox strokes and paints for skin tones, embracing expressionism opposed to realism.
The Book Wall
222 South Main Street
Featuring books such as ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Animal Farm’ and ‘The Grapes of Wrath,’ this meaningful mural is a book lover’s dream. Make sure to pay close attention to the bindings because they’re replicas of rare and unique editions, not just typical covers. You wouldn’t know it but the art piece was actually intended for two rows of books, with A-F on the top and F-Z on the bottom. Tony Weller of Weller Book Works, aka Sam Weller’s Books wasn’t able to finish the piece due to expenses–to this day there isn’t an artist’s signature anywhere on the painting. Note; make sure to visit this one soon since this mural’s future is unknown–the attached bookstore was moved.
Jazz Anniversary Mural
110 South Main Street
Diehard basketball–Utah Jazz specifically–fan or not, you’ll appreciate the intricacy and cartoon-esk basketball caricatures arranged in Trent Call’s new Jazz collage from last year. The cultivated mural, spanned across a bank parking lot was created for the Utah Jazz’s 40th anniversary back in 2018. As an homage to the longtime Jazz fans, Trent put in a few little “Where’s Waldo” type details Jazz buffs will be able to find. To stalk more of Trent Call’s work, you can follow this map.
250 S 400 W
Jann Haworth, one of the original artists of the Beatles album cover ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,’ wasn’t content with the lack of women and influential people on the British rock star’s album cover, so she decided to create SLC Pepper–an updated rendition in mural form. From each intricate face to partially sketched additions, SLC Pepper reads as a continual and collaborative masterpiece. But with all the changes, one thing did remain the same according to Jann, ‘The Old Lady’.
200 South State Street
Somewhat curiously facing a Carl’s Jr. parking lot, this piece of urban art sits five stories high, with a psychedelic owl overlooking the Gallivan Center. He stays perched on an almost magical array of geometric crystals. The world-renowned artist Vexta stayed true to her style, incorporating bright neon tones and contrasting backgrounds while sneaking in a constellation or two. With various pieces in Mexico, New York City, Australia, we can now easily add Salt Lake to the list for world famous street art.
156 E 200 S
Perhaps as idyllic as urban art can get, The Virgin Mary’s clever backdrop consists of Salt Lake City skyscrapers and meeting places. Named ‘Ave Maria’ or unofficially ‘The Madonna Mural’ she gracefully faces the majestic mountains, coincidentally looking over a historic church building. You’ll notice the intricate roses and Catholic charm of this mural gives way to the religious and non-religious passerby while welcoming you to street art row by the warmth of her open heart.
Magic School Bus
800 S 15 E
From a magical school bus to a dragon DJ, yes a dragon DJ, to floating cupcakes, this mural has everything your childhood ever needed. The wide array of outdoorsy mentions and creativity-sparked activities bring the Utah vibe together. When you stroll through this downtown side street, be prepared for a flood of vibrant duo toned orange and blue drawings to fill your senses while remembering what it was like to be a kid again.
741 Kilby Court
Situated just outside Kilby Court (the garage-band style concert venue), this thoughtful piece of urban art provides several hints of our beehive themed roots in Utah, with honeycomb patterns, woven hives, and honey-colored paint dripping from top to bottom. You should arrive a smidge early to your next Kilby Court concert, grab a refreshing beverage from Fisher or TF, and soak in this Utah treasure that showcases where we started and where we’re going.
Eccles Theatre Mural
146 Regent St
With the curves and bends, this garage-plastered artwork almost exudes sound. Each fruitful scene; separate from the next while still interwoven. This piece is creatively painted on the Eccles loading docks, so if you’re searching but it’s not where it should be check if the loading door is upright. In the plaza you’ll have more than enough room to take a lunch break and admire this whimsical city art. Watch out though, the space might relax you so much you’ll have to call in for the rest of the day.