Lens-Artists Challenge #45 Street Art

“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”

Vincent Willem van Gogh

street art, hummingbirds

“Rebirth” by Nicole Punsler

This week Patti has invited us to share some examples of street art.  I must admit I’ve been hoping for an opportunity to showcase some street murals I photographed while in California visiting friends this spring. My opening images were part of a gloriously colorful mural – one of several located in Indio, California. More well-known for its Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Indio is home to several of these works of art painted on concrete buildings throughout the downtown area. Click on the images for a slightly larger view. 

street art, indio

Old Indio by Bijan Masoumpanah

“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.”

Camille Pissarro

In 1996, this relatively small town just outside of Palm Springs initiated a mural project. Business owners were asked to support artists’ murals depicting the city’s historical, artistic and cultural legacy. Online maps were created and made available for the various murals, which can be explored on foot or by car. It’s a great example of the mutual benefit to businesses and artists when the two work together in support of each other.



“If you don’t want a generation of robots, fund the arts!”
Cath Crowley


When you think about it, 20+ years is a long time for building murals to exist. Exposed to the elements day in and day out, the murals remain beautifully detailed if somewhat faded (much like the times they represent). Despite Southern California’s harsh sun along with desert wind and sudden rainstorms, they do a wonderful job of artistic storytelling for all to see.



“An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.”

Nina Simone

The murals are much, much larger than I’ve been able to include here, covering entire walls of large buildings.  You can see them in their entirety on a video posted here. Although all of the murals were terrific (including my header, which captures “Moving Toward the Future” by David Oceloti Garcia), two of my personal favorites were my opening image and the much quieter one that follows. This mural (of which I’ve included only a small piece) was the most damaged by the elements. The white spots are all areas where the paint had peeled off. Despite its aging, the mural had a lovely nostalgic feel. For me it seemed what a ride through the countryside might have looked like in times gone by – perhaps even here in South Carolina.

mural-History of the Date Industry in the Coachella Valley


“Inspiration surrounds us, the creation is our responsibility as artists.”

Lyn Crain

Special thanks to my good friend Sharon who knew how much I’d enjoy photographing the murals and took the time to explore the area for and with me. For another, very different look at a street art installation combined with performance art , visit my previous post here.

Thanks also to all who participated in our exploration of Harmony last week and to those who continue to support our challenge each week.  For more information on how to join us, click here. As always, remember to TAG your post with our Lens-Artists tag. We look forward to seeing the street art you’ve discovered – whether painted, sculpted, carved or created in ways we’ve not thought about before. 😊












102 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #45 Street Art

  1. This has stayed on the screen since you posted it, and ah, i could look at those two murals at the top for-ever! Can you imagine living where you walked past that scene often?! What a joy – the entire post!

    Sorry it’s taken so long to leave a smoke signal!

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  3. WOW…these are spectacular…i always admire this art….u certainly have captured it perfectly!!

  4. Absolutely gorgeous, Tina! I feel totally overwhelmed by these. Excellent photos and stunning stories. How great you got this opportunity and also let us in!

    • Thanks Michael – Must admit the photography on this one wasn’t easy. All the murals were above my head and I don’t own a tilt lens. So your comment is much appreciated.

  5. Hi, Tina. “Rebirth” is very bright and colourful, and pops out of the screen as an introduction to your post. I like the highway murals, because we saw last autumn similar murals along a section of the old US-66 (as we drove west on I-40).

  6. It is interesting that these have last 20 years – and the trees and dirt road one (which was one of your favs) reminds me to
    Appreciate the paved roads of today. I liked the details – like FDR re-elected on the newspaper and the clearly depicted postcard
    with “Calif” really does grab that history they were going for.
    Thanks for sharing the west coast experience – oh and the right side of
    the “rebirth” has a sinister vibe in a way – the top bird has that linefrom it’s neck and some of the eyes
    Inn that mural have characterization –
    And I can see how the color and details must be wonderful in person – but the non-natural depiction
    Has me curious –

    • Thanks Yvette – I agree with your comments on the details – they were very apparent throughout all of the murals. As for the sinister vibe, when I revisited the photo I see what you mean but I’m thinking it wasn’t meant to be sinister – but I suppose we’ll never know!

      • Thanks for seeing it too – I felt so bad saying it – but it was sorta there – it was also so beautiful and vibrant –
        And thanks again for a splash of California

  7. I love seeing street art photographed well, Tina! Beautiful captures! Not a lot of this where I live and I forget to take photos of it when I do come across it! Hope you had a pleasant Mother’s Day weekend!

  8. Tina , I love the mural art. There’s a similar project in Lynn Massachusetts which I’ve seen. (Lynn,Lynn,city of sin, you never come out the way you went in. I think the murals were an attempt to clean up that reputation😉). Anyway, we head north by Memorial Day. Have a great summer!



  9. Fabulous murals Tina and a wonderful variety in styles – thank you for sharing! 🙂💖 xxx

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  11. Staying in California, another location is the overpass/bridge piers that takes you out to Coronado Island. They were initially covered with gang graffiti, but some street artists asked to paint murals on the piers from CalTrans. The murals have been everything from color block to Aztec scenes. 🙂

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  13. Fantastic examples of street art, Tina. I love how the city commissioned them and how they show the history of that town. They are all wonderfully detailed. I can see why you like the shot of the path through the palm trees. Lovely! Now I want to go there. 🙂

    • Thanks Patti. I was very impressed with the city/artist cooperation. Some of the murals had seen better days but I have no idea how they might repair them. I suppose that’s a major challenge for them as time goes on.

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    • Thanks Allan – no I used an 18-55 f/2.8 for these but did have to correct the angles in post-processing because in most cases I was shooting a mural above my head. It was a challenging shoot so I’m especially glad the response has been positive.

  16. Great selections, Tina! The colorful murals are glorious. These murals tell stories and contains history background. Thank you for the video link.

    • Thanks Laurel – glad you looked them up. Unfortunately the day I visited there were cars parked in front of that one so I couldn’t get an image without them distracting the view. It really was gorgeous!

  17. These are all very atmospheric. We have plenty of old buildings over here, but few (if any) old murals. I love to see them when I visit the USA – they are wonderfully historic, giving you a real sense of an earlier age.

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