Love Your Local Art Scene with the Kalamazoo Mural Crawl + Use our Map and List to Find Colorful Walls

Kids at mural in Kalamazoo

Take in the Local Arts Through a Kalamazoo Mural Crawl

Looking at the side of a building isn’t the most enjoyable experience in the world. Did you know that drab buildings and corners of cities can have negative health benefits on its residents?

Cities and artists are in a growing movement to change the once lackluster landscape into a vibrant, colorful paradise through public art called murals. These ginormous public canvases are free to enjoy, and Kalamazoo is joining the movement to add gorgeous pieces of art for everyone to feast their eyes on.

A Scavenger Hunt Ensued to Find these Colorful Treasures

It has been an entertaining journey, with our kids calling out from the backseat as we turn the corner in our car, or on foot.

From murals depicting history, such as the one entitled “Washington Square,” to murals of fruit and vegetables that seem so lifelike and fresh you want to pluck them from the walls, it’s impossible not to smile when you come across one of these beautiful works of art.

Fair warning to you: these murals can be tricky to spot, despite their size. Don’t be surprised if you are turning this way and that before you realize that the mural was above your head all along.

The sidewalks are calling. Read on to discover the murals that enhance the beauty of Southwest Michigan.

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KALAMAZOO MURAL MAP

Murals are located all throughout the greater Kalamazoo area. Park that car and hit the streets of downtown Kalamazoo and beyond to see these iconic, and new, works of art.

Use our map to plan your route.

We’ve highlighted many of the murals in greater Kalamazoo, but this is not by any means a complete list. Comment and let us know other murals around town.

Find murals near me

DOWNTOWN KALAMAZOO

Crawl Around Downtown Kalamazoo

Finding these murals may require multiple parking spots; but you’ll love looking up, looking down, and noticing the murals tucked in alleys and on the top of buildings. You never know what you’ll spot as you turn down one-way roads and wander down the Kalamazoo Mall:

01. “Fireflies on a Midsummers Night”

Artist: Conrad Kaufman
Where to Find It:  124 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo (north wall)
This mural makes us long for summer – bare feet running through the grass, and fireflies under the stars. With a poem by Michigan poet Jordan Kifer, it’s located on the north wall.

mural crawl kalamazoo


02. “Untitled”

Artist: Colleen Rockey
Where to Find It: 136 S. Kalamazoo Mall, near Comerica Building, Kalamazoo
This abstract mural is full of bright colors and located in the alleyway just behind the Comerica Building by Climb Kalamazoo.

mural crawl with kids


03. “Ballerina/Dancer”

Artist: Conrad Kaufman
Where to Find It: 230 N. Kalamazoo Mall, East of the Kalamazoo Valley Museum on an apartment building

Mural Crawl for families


04. “Coffee”

Artist: Conrad Kaufman
Where to Find It: 222 North Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo in the parking lot of The Atrium Buildings
This small mural looks like a window on the side of a building in the Atrium Buildings parking lot. It makes you want to step inside and join in with a local cup of joe.

Mural Crawl for Families


05. “Measure the Moon”

Artist: Conrad Kaufman
Where to Find It: 130 N. Edwards Street, Kalamazoo
With a mesmerizing poem by Catharine Nagayda, this mural in blues and whites make you want to reach for the stars.

Mural Crawl for Families Kalamazoo


06. “Glass Jars”

Artist: Conrad Kaufman
Where to Find It: 326 W. Kalamazoo Avenue, Kalamazoo, on the north side of the Parks Trade Building off of Church Street
With a poem by Meredith Adams, this mural shows the art of canning and preserving local produce. A perfect accompaniment to a trip to the Farmers Market.

Mural Crawl Kalamazoophoto: Kalamazoo Public Library and Friends of Poetry


07. “Barrister Building”

Artist: Conrad Kaufman
Where to Find It: 137 North Park Street, Kalamazoo
The older men in this mural are so lifelike that they could reach out and touch you. Don’t miss the poem by Mark VanSlambrouck.

Kalamazoo Mural Crawl for families


08. “Bates Alley Street Mural”

Artist: Patrick Hershberger
Where to Find It: 516 E. North Street, Bates Alley, Kalamazoo
Don’t look up for this mural, look down. Kids will love running along the artwork and pretending they are in a river.

Bates Alley Mural


09. “Polar Loneliness”

Artist: Conrad Kaufman
Where to Find It: 440 W. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo, on the old Acme Bedding building
This mural is located on the old Acme Bedding Company building. Poem by Emily Kunz of Allegan.

Mural Crawl for Families - Conrad Kaufman Mural


10. “Smart Shop Mural”

Artist: Conrad Kaufman
Where to Find It: 516 E. North Street, Smart Shop Metal Arts Center, Kalamazoo
Kaufman’s blacksmiths are hard at work are captured in this lifelike mural before you, full of fire, tools, and metal creations.

mural crawl for families

WESTNEDGE AREA MURALS

Wander Down Westnedge

Leaving downtown Kalamazoo, head toward Westnedge. Beautiful flowers, cartoon characters, and rainbows will be a feast for your eyes. Detour through Maple Street and end up at the Maple Magnet School for more murals than your kids will be able to count.

11. “Collaborate” & “Untitled”

Artists: Patrick Hershberger and Trevor Grabill
Where to Find It: 816 S Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo, across from the entrance to Fourth Coast Cafe and Bakery
Park in the parking lot of Fourth Coast Cafe and Bakery and right across from the entrance your eyes will be treated to two murals. Hershberger’s mural looks like a beautiful heart with tendrils reaching towards us.


12. “Ye Ole Central Laundry”

Artist: Unknown
Where to Find It: 827 S. Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo
You can’t miss this mural as you drive down Portage Street. You’ll see lots of people hanging up their clothes and talking, and coming together over something that all parents know well – dirty clothes.


13. “Untitled”

Artist: Ellen Nelson
Where to Find It: Ambati Flowers, 1830 S. Westnedge Avenue, Kalamazoo
Who can resist a mural full of flowers? After you see these beautiful lilies, you might have no choice but to go inside and buy one for yourself.


14. “Untitled”

Artist: Unknown
Where to Find It: 450 West Maple Street, Kalamazoo Indoor Gardening Center, Kalamazoo
A blast from the past and present, this mural is full of cartoon characters, including Pinky and the Brain, and Smurf houses.


15. “Untitled”

Artist: Unknown
Where to Find It: 922 W Maple Street, Maple Street Magnet School, Kalamazoo
Once you park in the parking lot, your eyes won’t know where to go first. One wall is covered with rainbow designs and shapes, one is a beautiful mural of children playing, and one is full of designs and patterns in bright primary colors.

PORTAGE STREET MURALS

Peek Around Portage Street

Several murals are located just off Portage Street near downtown Kalamazoo. Kids will love getting out and pretending to shop for fruit and veggies at the sprawling Farmers Market mural at the Bank Street Bingo Hall.

16. “Untitled”

Artist: Conrad Kaufman
Where to Find It: 541 Portage Street, AAMCO
If you park in the AAMCO parking lot, take a short walk on the bridge and you’ll see the AAMCO murals depicting car repair, which is exactly what’s going on inside the building as well.


17. “The Swimmer”

Artist: Conrad Kaufman, Poem by Kate Samra
Where to Find It: 618 E. Crosstown Parkway, Gated area of Gordon Water Systems Building
You need to peek through the gate with this one, but you’ll see a beautiful underwater scene. You’ll want to dive right in.

Kalamazoo Mural Crawl for Families


18. “Bank Street Bingo Hall”

Artist: Conrad Kaufman
Where to Find It: 1157 Bank Street, Kalamazoo
This mural looks like you can shop right from the wall. Fruits, vegetables, and flowers – all make us long for the Farmers Markets when they aren’t running.


19. “Welcome to Washington Square & Howard’s Party Store”

Artist: Patrick Hershberger
Where to Find It: 1350-1366 Portage Street, Kalamazoo, South Side of Building
Look in front of you for the Howard’s Party Store, and then way up to see the Welcome to Washington Square. These murals stacked on top of each other are both from Patrick Hershberger, and you won’t miss them driving north down Portage Street.

Photo Courtesy Patrick Hershberger 

GREATER KALAMAZOO MURALS

Other Murals to See Off the Beaten Path

20. “Untitled”

Artist: Conrad Kaufman
Where to Find It: 150 Lillian Ct #258, Merrill Park, Comstock
This mural is composed of tiles at Merrill Park. It’s a wonderful example of how when we come together, we can make a beautiful whole.


21. “Untitled” (2)

Artists: Patrick Hershberger in collaboration with Ken Dushane III, aka Phybr
Where to Find It: 3619 Gembrit Circle, Kalamazoo, One Well Brewing Company Production Facility
These murals are at the One Well Brewing Company Production Facility – off the beaten path but worth a visit. Plus two to view for the price of one trip. These quirky murals with trees and fantasy creatures are going to amaze the entire family.

Mural Crawl for Families


22. “Untitled”

Artist: Conrad Kaufman
Where to Find It: 1714 West Main, Kalamazoo, Tiffany’s Wine and Spirits, on the opposite side of building from entrance.
Park in the parking lot and then head on the opposite side of the building from the entrance to see the Tiffany’s name – keep an eye on this mural as it undergoes a facelift.

family mural crawl around Kalamazoo


23. “Life Story”

Artist: Conrad Kaufman
Where to Find It: 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
This mural by Kaufman was commissioned to show how everyone has a story, no matter how big or how small. And it’s in that story that we share that we all come together.

Mural Crawl for Families Kalamazoo

Photo: Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes


24. “Lake Center”

Artist: Ellen Nelson
Where to Find It: 9029 Portage Road, Portage, Lake Center Business Association
The words “Lake Center” make up this mural, but look closely at the detail inside each letter. They’re all unique and kids will love pointing out the differences.

Mural

Take in These Trivia Bits About the Kalamazoo Muralists

There’s a mural of vibrant peacocks and stoic elephants in an old elevator shaft at the Park Trades Center by Ellen Nelson that no longer sees the light of day.

Conrad Kaufman has painted more than 270 murals around Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan and is going strong.

Hershberger also paints under the moniker Bonus Saves. His favorite mural is his piece at One Well Brewing Company; he said that it’s him painting as a fanboy everything he loves in life.

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