San Franciscans love the large-scale murals that cover so many exterior building walls in our fair city. With more than 600 murals within the city limits, these paintings throw color, culture, and tremendous beauty onto buildings that might otherwise look ordinary or dilapidated.
Residents know the center of the mural movement is San Francisco’s culturally vibrant Mission District. A few individual alleys — notably Clarion Alley and Balmy Alley — are completely coated with dynamite Bohemian murals that turn these streets into stunning and unforgettable outdoor art galleries featuring dozens of up-and-coming artists.
Now there’s a new kid on the mural alley block. Lilac Alley is now also coated with the hip and edgy large paintings — so much so that Uptown Almanac reports that the walls are now all covered, and artists are beginning to paint large murals right on the street.
These murals are not street graffiti. Each is a carefully planned and artistically compelling mural by a respected local artist. These murals substantially beautify the surroundings of Mission District homes.
The painting of murals directly on the street is a new concept. Lilac Alley’s concrete street surface is not yet totally covered in murals, thus far there are only four. Neighborhood sentiment will determine whether the practice continues.
Don’t bet on the neighbors complaining in this mural-rich neighborhood. After all, this is the street where even the McDonald’s has a full-blown ethnic Bohemian mural painted on it. Lilac Alley has also been named by the SF Weekly as having the sweetest garage doors in San Francisco.