May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord. (NIV) (Psalm 19:14)





Spring is here so let's get outside and go for a ride! Today we are going to do a pilgrimage with a purpose. We are going to seek out some of the great wall art that adds character and personality to buildings and businesses in Des Moines. Here is your homework! Look them over and think about which one contributes the most personality to its environment. Then let me know your favorite!

Above: Wall mural at 6th and College by Chris Williams.

Geri Boesen and Joshua Spain painted this wonderful work of art on a building located at Beaver and Urbandale Avenue. I was there September 04, 2019, as Geri was working high in the sky to put the finishing touches on the "Beaverdale Garden." Look at the finished product! Wouldn't you know--she's from the florist family?

Left: Highland Park-Oak Park is an old established neighborhood in Des Moines. One of my favorite artists, Ben Schuh, tells a story of the area on a building wall just north of Douglas Avenue. Right: Now, walk across the street to Chuck's Restaurant building and join the party on the wall.  Mural artist Chris Vance paints characters that have character!

Creative Visions, located at 1343 13th Street in Des Moines, was founded by community leader, Ako Abdul-Samad. This nonprofit organization focuses on at risk youth and families in their community. I will summarize their mission vision by saying their desire is to break the chain of poverty and hopelessness by  providing educational tools and resources to help them become prosperous and productive citizens in their community. When I studied this wall mural on the Creative Visions office wall--it brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. Look at the progression of this picture. The memorial wall on the left is a partial listing of Des Moines area youth who have died of gun violence--next, look at darkness and doubts that transition into bright smiles and determination as they look forward to a better life. Yes, the story is on the wall--fear and helplessness--to confidence and hopefulness as they look forward to a better life. Now you know why I walked away with a smile.

Left: "A Place to Grow" by artist Amanda Phingbhodipakaiya adorns the whole west wall of Drake University's new Gregory & Suzie Glazer Burt Boys and Girls Club Building.

Above: Mural on north wall of Drake University Public Safety Building.

A lot of commotion here! Both of these wall murals are full of excitement and I find something new with every view. Left: This fun and fascinating figure is having a great time as he welcomes you to Murphy's Bar and Grill on Hubbell. Right: The title tells it all--I couldn't drive, walk or bike by this building without feeling "Welcome to the East Village."

Wall murals on buildings on East 12th Street south of University Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa. At the beginning of this story, I asked you to choose your favorite, but I have to admit--I'm still undecided myself. I like them all!