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A Look Into Spokane’s Vibrant Mural Scene

The city of Spokane, Washington has a thriving and vibrant arts scene, with the biggest art form throughout the city being murals. You can spot hundreds of murals around the streets of Spokane, each telling their own story. Many of the city’s murals are inspired by the region’s natural elements and their interaction with humanity.

Murals as an art form offer a great sense of community because they are created by city residents for everyone to enjoy. They also truly integrate art into every corner of the city, going on the sides of local businesses and livening up the city streets. Let’s get an inside look at some of the local Spokane mural artists and their inspirations.

Justin Gibbens

Gibbens’ black and white mural is located on 150 S. Post Street and depicts various sea-faring dinosaurs. The artist says he’s always been interested in creatures like dinosaurs and other “freakish fauna”. He has multiple works throughout the Northwest United States and beyond, most of them focusing on the natural world and ancient species.

Gibbens studied traditional Chinese fine-line painting and scientific illustration. He says his work is all about “celebrating the beauty and strangeness of the world that surrounds us, blending hard science with mythical imagination.” While he is primarily a studio artist, he adapts some works for large-scale projects.

Daniel Lopez (Godffiti)

Going by the artist name Godffiti, Lopez is a full-time muralist who has lived in the city of Spokane for over 10 years. His inspiration largely comes from his love for the city and his connection to the wonderful community members of Spokane. You can find one of his murals on 300 S Altamont Street, showing a beautiful realist bird in flight.

Lopez has original works for sale on his website, ranging from modern realism to conceptual painting.

Melissa Cole

Cole has a background in zoology and marine ecology, and as such her artwork is largely inspired by wildlife and the natural world. As she describes it, “I bring environmental themes to urban locations.” Her mural on 150 S. Lincoln Street depicts a vibrant collage of wildlife symbols with various cultural influences.

Cole worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in a village of artisans, and she says that experience showed her the powerful impact art can have on people. “It breaks down cross-cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic barriers. I relish the moments when my artwork makes people stop their hurtle through life to pause, breathe, and enjoy.”

Tom Quinn

After receiving an art history degree at Gonzaga University, Quinn studied illustration in the mid 80’s. He has created multiple murals in Spokane, as well as illustrated books and taught at Corbin Art Center, Spokane Art School, and the Institute for Extended Learning.

Using acrylic to combine intense colors and hard edges, Quinn says his art demonstrates “what’s absurd but not impossible.” His piece at Division & Sprague was commissioned by the Spokane Arts Commission, and he states his inspiration was the Spokane River.

Elly Johnson stands at the forefront of content research and online branding at Utopia Management. As the Content Marketing Manager, she delves deep into understanding local real estate and rental markets, fueled by her passion for travel and keen research skills. Elly is dedicated to empowering individuals with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about where to reside. A proud alumna of the University of South Florida, located in the vibrant heart of Tampa Bay, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Her academic background and extensive travel experiences uniquely position her to provide insights that resonate with diverse audiences.

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