Discover stunning murals adorning walls, alleyways, and trails. And, if you keep an eye out, you might even see artists at work on some brand-new ones…
Begin your day with a field trip to the Fort Bragg Library (499 E. Laurel St.). A few doors down, you’ll find The Obanoth, a striking and dynamic wolf painted by Hannah Webb in less than a day as part of the official 2017 Mural Competition. Located at the corner of Laurel and Harrison Streets, it’s the first of the three competitors that you’ll see on this walk.
Next, go west on Laurel Street to downtown Fort Bragg, where you’ll track down two more of our hidden gems. When you reach Franklin Street, turn left and head to Spunky Skunk, 344 N. Franklin St. In the alley next to the toy store, you’ll discover an aquatic scene by Benny Bones, a local artist who has decorated many a Fort Bragg shop window with his fabulous paintings. The long, undulating waves and the sea creatures and divers will make you want to get out onto the open water.
Across the street at 345 N. Franklin St., the headquarters of Visit Mendocino County, another alley offers another mural: Matsya and the Great Deluge, painted by Bojh Parker. Inspired by a story dating from 700 BCE India about how an act of kindness led to the salvation of the world, this 55’ x 15’ mural will mesmerize you with its intense colors.
Continue down the alley and turn left at the adjoining alley. Carry on until you reach Redwood Avenue. Coast Hardware (300 Main St.) will be on your right. On the shed next to the parking lot, The Rhododendron, a mural by local artist Ferric Decay (AKA Jacob Hewko), pays homage to the coast’s spectacular rhododendrons and our world-class Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens.
Next up, cross Redwood Avenue. On the alley-side wall of the Golden West (128 E. Redwood Ave.), you’ll take in the vibrant sunset hues of Welcome to Fort Bragg, a mural by Wilfred Sieg III, a renowned artist from the Art Cartel collective and cousin of Golden West owner Matt Bernard. Welcome to Fort Bragg harkens back to the time of vintage postcards and evokes beach days and coastal adventures.
Head east on Redwood Avenue until you reach Interior (224 E. Redwood Ave.), where you’ll find the second mural from the 2017 competition: an oceanic visual feast by Derek DiOrio. Once you’ve drunk it in, head west to Main Street and turn right.
The northern wall of the Depot Mall & Museum (401 N. Main St.) features a train scene painted by Prete Giacinto. One of the first murals in Fort Bragg, it was painted in 1993 and features portraits of townspeople from Fort Bragg’s history. If the train is in the station, you’ll find an eye-catching mural on one of the train cars!
From the Depot Mall, cross Main Street and walk up Laurel Street. Turn left into the alley by Pippi’s. Behind Roundman’s Smokehouse, a shipping container features a majestic whale, painted by Nicola Beatts. Keep going down the alley to the nearby North Coast Brewing Company Taproom (444 N. Main St.), where you’ll find the third and final mural from the 2017 competition. The Spirit of Fort Bragg, by Suzi Marquess Long, evokes fresh ocean air and coastal sunshine.
Your final stops are right on the water. If you want to make a day of it, go north on Main Street, then turn left on Elm Street and follow it to the end, where you’ll see a parking lot on your left. The walk from downtown is 15 minutes, but you should allow up to 2 hours for seeing the murals of the aptly-named Coastal Trail, so you may want to come back another time for this segment.
At the Coastal Trail, the art starts in the parking lot. Even the restrooms are beautiful here, and the Glass Beach Restroom, Middle Section Restroom, and Noyo Center Restroom feature murals by Jonathan Palmer and Jeromy Orsi, Solange Roberdeau, and Janet Self, respectively. As you bask in nature’s own artwork, watching the waves crash against the rugged coast, search out Ship in a Bottle by Derek DiOrio and Fish Scales and Birds by Shawnee Miller.
Once you’ve located these final hidden treasures, be sure to check out the local art galleries for more of these talented muralists’ artwork!
For more information on the Alleyway Art Project, including upcoming projects and partnership opportunities, please visit https://www.fortbraggalleywayart.org/