Carson City Doubles Down on Public Art with 22 New Murals

By Dan Bablinskas | Tuesday, April 23, 2024

It’s hard to believe that only last fall, in September 2023, Carson City was adorned with 22 new murals painted by local, national and international artists during the Murals & Music Festival.

Festival musicians performed live at the Brewery Arts Center and other venues throughout Carson City. Artists painted their murals during the event, which spanned September 28 to 30, in between giving intimate talks and lectures. There were also children’s activities, sculpture and virtual reality presentations, and tastings of beer and wine.

Photo: Murals at Brewery Arts Center in Carson City

The ultimate goal was to add some color to Carson City, a town that has recently become a magnet for newcomers due to its quality of life and abundance of winter and summer recreation – thanks to its proximity to Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevadas.

For a city that was once all in on government and gambling, Carson’s downtown has remade itself into a walkable small town with a diverse economy. An ever-increasing variety of restaurants, coffee shops and brew pubs opens each year, and the infrastructure continues to get more pedestrian friendly.

The murals add something new to this mix, an artistic presence reminiscent of the “weird Nevada” Burning Man culture unique to the region, notable for its blazing colors, vast expanses and free-spirited subject matter. But much like Nevadans themselves, the murals differ greatly in their themes, so there is art for everyone.

Photo: Reno artist Bryce Chisolm painted this mural at 1401 N. Roop Street.

Many murals depict historical figures in 3D perspective overlaid with abstract-impressionistic backdrops. Western favorites, such as wild horses and Nevada scenery, burst out of psychedelic colors. Flat, dull walls and building sides are transformed into the limitless realms of the artists’ imaginations.

The 22 mural locations are dispersed all across downtown Carson, and many of them can be located on the map here. Featured local muralists include Erik Burke, Bryce Chisholm and Edwin Martinez Esco, and some international highlighted artists are Prism, Mari Pavanelli and Leire Urbeltz.

A casual walking tour, with stops for tasters and appetizers, is an excellent way to take in Carson City’s murals and experience all that up-and-coming Carson City has to offer. Look for a map of the murals created during the festival here.

Photo: Edwin Martinez painted this mural at the Chamber of Commerce on Carson Street.

Photos courtesy of Visit Carson City.

About the Author Dan Bablinskas
Dan Bablinskas is a relentlessly curious person with a passion for travel, foreign languages, affordable food and lodgings, well-fashioned cappuccinos and refreshing craft brews. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in creative writing, he traveled through Europe and South America while working as an English teacher and travel blogger. After trying a number of different careers, he settled into technical and content writing for his day job. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring the Reno-Tahoe area by foot, car, bike and ski. He lives in Reno with his wife and two kids.