Increasing number of murals boosts Memphian pride


Lauren Mcferrin

Meredith Garrett, a friend of Lauren Mcferrin, poses in front of a bird mural off of Cooper Street. “Whenever there was a pretty mural that me and my friends wanted to go to, that was a sense of community: let’s bond over this pretty thing that we can take a picture of,” Mcferrin said.

You know you’re in Memphis when you see the shining lights on the “M” shaped bridge, the pointed top of the Bass Pro Shop pyramid and the countless murals around the downtown area. 

Finding herself downtown around once a week, Meredith Cline (11) first notices the architecture of the buildings and the murals.

“[The murals] add pops of color to the city, and it’s cool seeing artists being represented across Memphis,” Cline said.

Many of these pieces, such as the Sterick Murals and the “I Am A Man” mural, are products of artists inspired to show Memphis’ rich history— whether it simply be qualities of Memphis or the Sanitation Strike of 1968.

“Memphis is pretty great, but I think murals can help boost up… areas that are run down,” Lauren Mcferrin, a Graphic Design major at the University of Memphis, said. “A beautiful mural really does inspire people.” 

The presence of these murals, thanks to the UrbanArt Commission and many other artists, shows the activeness of Memphis’ art community.

“Memphis is not a giant art hub… but there are constantly people stepping up who want the change to happen,” Mcferrin said. “There is constant communication between the artists in Memphis of reviving and hyping people up through murals.” 

Memphians can hopefully look forward to the restoration of abandoned buildings in the future but can always appreciate the free art found on their walls now. 

“Seeing art that reflects well and shows people’s love for the city definitely boosts city pride,” Nathaniel Danziger (12) said. “I think it’s good for Memphis, too, when there’s big artwork that makes the city look good.”