The Rise of Mural Art: A Cultural Phenomenon

The Rise of Mural Art: A Cultural Phenomenon

By Kerry Scott

Nestled within the picturesque landscapes of beautiful DeKalb County, Alabama, is a treasure trove of artistic expression waiting to be discovered. As you wind your way through the county’s scenic roads, you’ll encounter an array of murals that not only adorn walls but also serve as portals to the past, offering a glimpse into the history and heritage of small-town life in the South.

In recent years, murals have surged in popularity, not just as decorative elements but as powerful tools for community engagement and revitalization. Small towns across America, including those in DeKalb County, have embraced mural art as a means of celebrating their unique identities and preserving their rich cultural heritage.

Let’s embark on our mural tour, starting with some of the most iconic artworks in the region.

Welcome to the Fyffe Life Mural: Main Street, Fyffe

Recently, a striking new mural emerged along Highway 75 in Fyffe on Sand Mountain. Its simplistic yet captivating design, featuring bold black lettering against a pristine white backdrop, extends a warm invitation to embrace the essence of ‘Fyffe Life.’ This mural encapsulates the town’s charm and invites visitors to capture memorable moments against its picturesque canvas.

Pete the Cat Mural: Boom Town Makers Market, Fort Payne

Step into the whimsical world of Pete the Cat with this vibrant work by artist James Dean. Dean is the author behind this popular feline. A beloved character brought to life on the side of the Boom Town Makers Market building, Pete welcomes visitors with his cool demeanor and playful charm. While Pete the Cat also has a star on our walk of fame, the mural draws many to town for a photo opportunity. With such a cool cat, is it any wonder?

Hiking DeSoto State Park

State Farm Mural: Grand Avenue SW, Fort Payne

Transport yourself back in time with the State Farm mural, a meticulous depiction of downtown Fort Payne in days gone by. As you admire the attention to detail, you’ll find yourself immersed in the nostalgia of yesteryear.

Main Street Mural: 3rd Avenue W and Gault Avenue, Fort Payne

Brighten your day with the cheery yellow hues of this welcoming sight for all who enter historic downtown Fort Payne. Commissioned by the Fort Payne Main Street organization, the artwork celebrates the town’s identity as “Alabama’s Mountain Town.”

Squirrel Hike

Boom Days Mural: 3rd Street NW and 306 Gault Ave. N, Fort Payne

Relive the excitement of Fort Payne’s heyday with this captivating mural adorning the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce building. A homage to the town’s industrial heritage, it serves as a reminder of a time when Fort Payne was a bustling hub of activity.

Downtown Valley Head Mural: Winston Street, Valley Head

Escape to the picturesque town of Valley Head through the eyes of artist Johnny Edwards. With Lookout Mountain and the night sky as a backdrop and a train chugging through the landscape, this mural captures the essence of small-town charm.

Groovy Goat Mural: AL Hwy. 117, Mentone

Experience the whimsy of Mentone through this playful visual addition. Snap a fun selfie against the backdrop of the farm scene and immerse yourself in the laid-back ambience of the area.

Little River Hardware Mural: AL Hwy 117, Mentone

Reflecting the town’s innate artistic flair and whimsy, the mural adorning Little River Hardware exudes vibrant charm. Bursting with a kaleidoscope of wildflowers, a cheerful sun with undulating rays, and majestic purple mountains, it stands as a testament to creativity and community spirit.

Wings Murals

In addition to traditional murals, DeKalb County boasts a few businesses adorned with wing murals. These masterpieces serve as more than mere decorations; they offer an interactive experience, inviting individuals to immerse themselves in the artwork and unleash their creativity. As visitors pose for photos with these human-sized wings, they seamlessly integrate themselves into the art, becoming a living part of the vibrant tapestry that defines DeKalb County’s cultural landscape. Whether at Lookout Mountain Creamery, Mi Pizza, or Tickled Pink, these wings provide the perfect photo op for creative souls.

Lookout Mountain Creamery
2612-D Gault Ave. N, Fort Payne

Mi Pizza
74 Winston St., Valley Head

Tickled Pink
41608 AL Hwy. 75, Geraldine