Silverton, Oregon, has both official and non-official nicknames. Probably the best-known is “Oregon’s Garden City.” However proud we are that the Oregon Gardens chose Silverton for their home (and believe me, we’re very proud!), we are just as excited that we could just as easily be known as “Oregon’s Mural City.” Yep, we’ve got murals: big, beautiful murals that grace buildings and walls throughout our lovely town. There are 14 so far—the first 3 were painted in 1992—with 2 more in the planning stages. If all goes as scheduled, by spring, 2008, Silverton will have 15 murals!
The next time you’re here, stay a while . . . take the time to explore our quaint little town. You definitely won’t be disappointed, I guarantee. You’ll soon discover that Silverton is much more than a speed zone on the roads connecting Portland and Salem and Mt. Angel and Silver Falls State Park. Stop and enjoy the many treasures (artistic, culinary, and mercantile) that abound in our charming community. Come to Silverton because it’s such a great place to visit and explore! We know it; it’s time for you to know it, too. Because Silverton is blessed with a creative and talented artist community, murals are a natural yet intriguing attraction. (Think of us as an art museum that covers many square blocks!) The Silverton Mural Society was created in 1992, and has actively planned, created, overseen, and maintained the murals ever since. (Speaking of maintenance, the murals are inspected 2 to 3 times each day by both volunteers and the police department to prevent any potential vandalism, and the flowers that enhance most of the murals are regularly maintained.)
When you visit Silverton, you have at least two ways to enjoy our murals. If you want your tour of the murals to be more informal, pick up the Mural Society’s brochure, which has a list of the murals and a map of their location, and wander throughout Silverton, visiting the wonderful shops and restaurants as you go, and marveling at the artistry and talent embodied in each mural. As you study the murals, remember that the artist specially prepared each wall with the proper oils and UV protection, and that the artist must clean and, if necessary, retouch each mural every 2 to 3 years. If you would rather learn in greater depth the stories behind the murals, take the wonderfully entertaining two-hour “formal” tour (walking or riding) led by the Mural Society’s president, Vince Till. For more information, contact the Mural Society.
So the next time you’re on your way to the State Park or to the seminary in Mt. Angel, remember this: Silverton is much, much more than a traffic light. We are a living and growing art gallery! Come and enjoy the many pleasures and rich history documented so lovingly in “Oregon’s Mural City.”