Vibrant Murals Add Color Across The Palm Beaches

April 13, 2021

With hundreds of mural projects on display from Jupiter to Boca Raton, The Palm Beaches' public art scene is beginning to rival its beautiful shoreline and fabulous resorts.

The Palm Beaches are renowned worldwide for their miles and miles of idyllic beaches. Over the past 30 years, the area has also been building a separate reputation as one of the nation’s most dynamic hubs for mural art. Here are some must-see murals around the region.

Palm Beach

First, a bit of history: The Palm Beaches’ mural tradition dates to the island of Palm Beach. At The Society of Four Arts, four wall murals depicting personifications of art, literature, music and drama adorn the King Library entrance. These were painted by Albert Herter in 1939 and painstakingly restored by local painter Zenon Toczek in 2018.

Society of The Four Arts mural, Palm Beach
Murals restored by Zenon Toczek; photo courtesy CJ Walker Photography Inc.

Delray Beach

Decades after Herter completed his murals, artist Sharon Koskoff would pioneer the modern movement in the early 1990s in Delray Beach.

“I had to fight for murals,” Koskoff said of city leaders’ initial resistance to the artform. “Murals were associated with graffiti and had a bad reputation.”

Koskoff literally wrote the book on murals in The Palm Beaches. Her “Murals of The Palm Beaches” was published in 2018. She eventually broke through and received eight consecutive years of grants to paint murals all over town.

In recent years, Koskoff has poured her time and energy into Art in the Alley, an annual, single-day art festival/block party. The event has brought artists together to create murals in the Osceola Park neighborhood of southeast Delray Beach, helping to revitalize the neighborhood’s appearance and foster a greater sense of community. To check out the art, start at the corner of Southeast 4th Avenue and Southeast 7th Street.

One of The Palm Beaches’ most iconic murals and the backdrop for countless selfies, Dancing Pineapples by Anita Lovitt can also be found in Delray Beach at the entrance to the Pineapple Grove Arts District at 2 Northeast 2nd Avenue.

Dancing Pineapples mural in Delray Beach
"Dancing Pineapples" mural by Anita Lovitt

West Palm Beach

Downtown West Palm Beach is another major center for murals in The Palm Beaches. Start by seeing two huge murals: Danny Donya’s Eris and the Golden Apple and Tristan Eaton’s Spirit of Communication, located directly across from each other at 326 Fern Street.

Spirit of Communication, painted in 2014, remains one of the largest murals in the country covering 8,000 square feet. The mural took Eaton 12 days, 500 cans of spray paint and a team of four to complete.


Two blocks from 326 Fern Street, check out the Evernia Garage with its stairwells covered in murals painted by local artists. One of those artists, Eduardo Mendieta, curated the project which almost never came to be.

Mendieta was originally organizing a show for street art at a warehouse. After that show fell through, a few months later when the garage stairwells were in need of repainting, civic leaders came up with the idea to have local artists tackle the job.

“At parking garages, people usually don’t take pictures of the stairwells,” Mendieta said of the project. “The color, the design, (murals) bring life to different spots in the county that people would otherwise not pay attention to.”

Mendieta also played a key role in what may be West Palm Beach’s most moving mural project, less than a half mile from the Evernia Garage. 100 feet long and 18 feet high, “Icons of the Civil Rights Movement,” completed in February 2021, showcases the history of the Civil Rights Movement and honors Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Fannie Lou Hamer, Harriet Tubman, John Lewis, Augusta Savage, Kathleen Neal Cleaver and Ella Baker through portraits and quotes.

Icons of the Civil Rights Movement mural in West Palm Beach
Mural byNate Dee, Tracy Guiteau, Eduardo Mendieta and Dahlia Perryman; photo by Alisha L. (@heyalishahey)

Mendieta joined three other local artists – Nate Dee, Dahlia Perryman and Tracy Guiteau – to complete the project, which is located on the wall of Respectable Street at 518 Clematis Street. Clematis is one of the best roads to view murals in West Palm Beach with dozens lining the road.

Lake Worth Beach

Snuggled up against the ocean, charming Lake Worth Beach has a compact downtown that bursts with color thanks to the LULA Lake Worth Arts Mural Project. LULA (Lucerne Avenue and Lake Avenue) features dozens of continually updating murals, the highlight of which presently is at 601 Lake Avenue. Here, you’ll find a powerful, joyful, wall-sized depiction of Martin Luther King, Jr. giving his “I Have a Dream” speech as painted by artist Eduardo Kobra.

Martin Luther King Jr. mural in Lake Worth
Mural by Eduardo Kobra; photo by Alisha L. (@heyalishahey)

Boynton Beach

Spanning 75-feet long and a full 12-feet high, Craig McInnis’ Set Free mural completed in 2018 at 636 East Ocean Avenue in downtown Boynton Beach encourages onlookers to release negative emotions.

“Every modern and successful city in the world displays amazing art to enhance the heart and soul of its residents,” said JJ McDonough, who commissioned the mural and owns Leeward Luxury, where it is painted.

Also in Boynton Beach, Neighborhood Vibe by Pater Agardy, Doug Hoekzema, Jermaine Johnson and John Griffin livens up Sara Sims Park at 209 Northwest 9th Court, which underwent a $1.35 million renovation completed in spring of 2020. In addition to the mural, families will enjoy the park’s slides, playground and open space.

Boynton Beach is also home to the Bay Gates Project at 422 West Industrial Avenue, which features rows of warehouse doors covered in constantly rotating murals.

Tequesta

If you like a little rock ‘n’ roll with your art, few musicians have ever rocked harder than long-time former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member is now a muralist living in Jupiter.

When Newsted learned in early 2019 that the Lighthouse ArtCenter Gallery & School had been given three months to raise funds to purchase the building they had been leasing for 21 years, he sprang into action. Not only did he host two concerts and an art show at the center to raise money, Newsted donated 130 hours of his time to design and paint a mural, known as “Art is the Center of the Earth,” to raise awareness. The mural consists of layer upon layer of glow-in-the-dark phrases and images, representing that art is at the center of the word, “Earth.” Check it out at Lighthouse ArtCenter 3D Studio at 395 Seabrook Road in Tequesta.

Jason Newsted mural at Lighthouse ArtCenter 3D Studio
Mural by Jason Newsted; photo courtesy Sue Snyder

Another Newsted mural can be viewed less than one mile away behind Evo Italian (150 North U.S. Highway 1). This mural recognizes the heritage of the Jupiter’s and Tequesta’s indigenous people.

Boca Raton

If you start your tour of Palm Beaches’ murals with the oldest at The Society of the Four Arts, finish it with one of the area’s newest, completed in January 2021, at Mizner Park Amphitheater in Boca Raton. Mendieta's On Stage now covers the venue’s stage door.

On Stage mural in Boca Raton
Mural by Eduardo Mendieta

Palm Beach County’s long-famous beaches and recently famous murals also join together at Spanish River Park’s Beach Art Tunnels. Tropically colored murals inspired by the area’s natural beauty and dynamic community transport visitors from the shaded woods of Spanish River Park to its wide-open beaches and gleaming Atlantic Ocean beyond.

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Chadd Scott headshot
Chadd Scott
Chadd Scott is a freelance arts writer living in Fernandina Beach, Florida. His favorite cultural destinations in The Palm Beaches are the Norton Museum of Art, Mounts Botanical Garden and the Ann Norton Sculpture Garden. Follow his adventures in art at seegreatart.art.