Skip to main content

South Salt Lake Journal

14 new murals added to SSL’s creative zone

Jun 06, 2024 08:55AM ● By Bailey Chism

2024 mural addition being painted by Key Detail on Freeway Plaza in South Salt Lake. (Photo courtesy of Lesly Allen)

Ten artists from Utah and across the country gathered in South Salt Lake to work on murals in the city’s Creative Industries Zone. 

According to the South Salt Lake Art Council, the Creative Industries Zone is one of the United States fastest growing business sectors. The Zone holds several breweries, distilleries, creative businesses and displays of public art. 

The seventh annual Mural Fest began May 4 where residents and visitors could come see the new additions to building walls. Guests were welcome to take a self-guided walk or bike tour of the art. 

Mural Fest started in 2018 as part of an arts district study in downtown South Salt Lake. It was created as a creative placemaking tool to revitalize the neighborhood and bring more color and people into the town. 

The original goal was to create 10 murals every year for 10 years. Now coming up on the seventh year, there are just under 70 murals adorning the business walls. This year will bring an additional 14 murals to the creative zone. 

Mural Fest celebrates urban beautification and artistic talent using the tool of public art. The South Salt Lake Art Council’s mission is to unite the community through art. Mural Fest strives to support local artists, provide opportunities for residents to engage in the arts, and foster creative approaches to innovative growth in South Salt Lake. 

Lesly Allen, the executive director of the Arts Council, said they expect to see between 2,000 and 3,000 people come to Mural Fest each year. 

“The community comes out to watch the artists work and see the process and see the progress every day,” Allen said. “They'll come down one day and then they come down the next day or a few days later and they see the progress that the artist has made. There's a lot of connections that are made between the artists and the public when they're out.”

Artists are chosen from around the world. 

“It's quite a daunting task to choose from all these talented artists all over the world, but we try to select a combination of local, national and international artists so that we have, you know, we look for diversity in the art and the artists,” Allen said. 

Artists do have certain guidelines they have to follow. While they have freedom over most of what they get to create, it cannot be an advertisement for the business the mural is on and it has to be appropriate to the public. 

While the May 4 main event of Mural Fest is over, anyone can see the murals and the artists’ progress anytime. λ