When strolling through Downtown West Palm Beach, I’m always on the lookout for new, colorful murals hiding in parking lots, against buildings or along walls. Local, national and international artists have left their mark around the city with murals of all shapes, styles and sizes. Although all are stunning, there are few pieces I can’t help but fall in love with.
A trip down Clematis Street wouldn’t be complete without stopping by Eduardo Kobra’s, “Shakespeare.” A kaleidoscope of color bursts from the side of Palm Beach Dramaworks’ wall in a unique marriage of realism and abstract art. A Brazilian native, this innovative artist’s work is featured from New York City to Moscow, Los Angeles to Rome and West Palm Beach to Athens. His contribution to Downtown West Palm Beach was created during the CANVAS Outdoor Museum Show in 2016.
Painstakingly painted on the back of my favorite building in Downtown is, “The Spirit of Innovation,” by Tristan Eaton. The 8,000 square foot mural adorning the back of the Alexander Lofts building is a redesign of his previous mural, “The Spirit of Communication.” The original piece was repainted after sustaining damage in March of 2016. “The Spirit of Invention” pays homage to Alexander Graham Bell whose company, Southern Bell, originally occupied the Alexander Lofts building. The beautiful interplay of history and modern art puts Eaton’s mural on my list of favorites.
If you’ve spent any time in Downtown West Palm Beach, you may have stumbled across one of WRDSMTH’s murals. Stylistically unique, this mysterious artist conceals his identity behind stenciled images of a typewriter and inspirational messages. For the 2016 CANVAS Outdoor Museum Show, WRDSMTH created, “Stages of Love”; an iconic six-paneled mural and typewriter sculpture at the Kid’s Art Park located on Flagler Drive. Yes, love is in the air 24/7 in Downtown West Palm Beach!
Of all the murals I’ve stumbled across in West Palm Beach, Anthony Hernandez’ “You’re Not in Control,” is the most thought-provoking. Featuring a well-muscled man lounging back while idling manipulating a puppet on strings, Hernandez challenges his audience both visually and mentally. This mural is worth the walk to the intersection of Datura Street and Olive Avenue. Bonus points if you spot a WRDSMTH mural while you’re there!
While strolling along the waterfront, you may find yourself face-to-face with one of HULA’s unique murals. Painted underneath the Royal Park Bridge, the serene face of “Heau” rests with eyes closed against the cool cement wall. This striking piece was modeled after a friend of the artist in New York named Clara. “Heau” was painted with all-natural oil paint which degrades over time. So hurry over before the elements overtake this extraordinary mural.
Proof that more is merrier, my final favorite is a collaboration piece between Eduardo Mendieta, Paul Hughes and Jay Bellucci. A riot of color, shapes and patterns, this enormous mural is painted along three walls on the 500 block of Clematis Street. The painting was originally commissioned to brighten the location chosen for “Musical Swings.” Although the swings are long gone, this exciting mural remains.
Next time you’re wandering through DowntownWPB, be sure to keep your eyes open for one of these beautiful pieces of art!