Benefits of Public Murals
Writers of art theory mention four basic roles of art in society, which include keeping a historical record,
giving form to intangibles, revealing the hidden, and showing the world in a new way. This structure gives
viewers of art a framework with which to begin understanding the artist's message.
Public murals are painted as Ďart for the people.í Many folks would never walk into a gallery so a work of
art placed for everyone to see can impact a person deeply. Murals also can tell the average personís story
in a way that most everyone can begin to understand. Public art murals also add interest and value to
communities like no other art form can. Dying communities can come alive with hope and pride in their
neighborhood through public murals. There is also an economic advantage that is surprising to see as people
come to see the art and begin investing in their community as a result of beautiful mural art.
Murals are important in that they bring art into the public sphere. Due to the size, cost,
and work involved in creating a mural, muralists must often be commissioned by a sponsor.
Often it is the local government or a business, but many murals have been paid for with
grants of patronage. For artists, their work gets a wide audience who otherwise might
not set foot in an art gallery. A city benefits by the beauty of a work of art.
Murals can be a relatively effective tool of social emancipation or achieving a
political goal. Murals have sometimes been created against the law, or have
been commissioned by local bars and coffeeshops. Often, the visual effects are an
enticement to attract public attention to social issues. State-sponsored public
art expressions, particularly murals, are often used by totalitarian regimes as
a tool of propaganda. However, despite the propagandist character of that works,
some of them still have an artistic value.
Murals can have a dramatic impact whether consciously or
subconsciously on the attitudes of passers by, when they are added to areas where
people live and work. It can also be argued that the presence of large, public
murals can add aesthetic improvement to the daily lives of residents or that of
employees at a corporate venue.
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