Nashville may get a lot of buzz for its mural scene, but don’t let that stop you from looking toward the state’s biggest city, Memphis, for your next street art vacation. Because as much time as I’ve spent in West Tennessee over the course of my life—many of my close family members live in Germantown—I’ve discovered yet another thing to love about the Bluff City: the boom of murals in Memphis.
Yes, indeed, the street art movement is alive and well in Memphis
I’ve spent the last three visits over a course of 18 months canvassing the city for my favorite walls, and much as I did with street art in Nashville, I wanted to compile a map and corresponding list with artists for murals in Memphis by neighborhood.
There are, quite literally, hundreds of murals in Memphis of all size and theme, so bear in mind that this is just a small selection. And if a mural doesn’t have a name or artist attached, it’s because I haven’t been able to track down that information, so if you know it, please share in the comments.
Today, Downtown Memphis is alive and thriving, a stark contrast from when I spent a summer living in Memphis back in the late 90’s. If you’re staying in one of the downtown hotels—I recommend Hotel Indigo, Hilton Garden Inn or the Peabody, going strong for 150 years now—you can walk to all of the below murals. Or better yet? Hop a scooter and make it even easier for yourself!
“A Note for Hope” mural, artists: Jeff Zimmermann
195 Madison (old S.C. Toof & Co. building); can be seen from the baseball park
Sterick murals, artist: Kyle Taylor, Brandon Donahue, Nosey42
Madison Ave and N B.B. King Blvd.
Memphis music history mural, artist: Nosey42
22 N B.B. King Blvd. (inside the garage of Hotel Indigo)
South Main electrical boxes, artist: Birdcap (top), Nosey42, others
along South Main Street downtown
99 S. Main St. (by Local Gastropub)
“Day in the Life” mural, artists: Jamond Bullock and Joseph Boyd
100 S. Main St. (by Aldo’s Pizza)
“It’s Beautiful Where You Are” mural, artist: Joseph Boyd (Flight of Fancy Co.)
east side of South Main Street (on Barboro Alley)
Barboro Alley murals, artists: unknown, Marcellous Lovelace (BLK75), AlivePaints
east side of South Main Street on Barboro Alley (near Belle Tavern)
“The Sound of Memphis” mural, artists: Damon Lamarreed and Pugs Atomz
100 S.Main St. (across from Aldo’s Pizza)
Car murals, artists: Birdcap, Anthony Lee and Kiersten Williams
639 Marshall Ave. (small murals on garage doors all around Marshall Arts)
Otis Redding mural (left), artist: unknown
“St. Blues” mural, artist: Nosey42
655 and 645 Marshall Ave. (parking lot next to Saint Blues Guitar Workshop)
Geometrics mural, artist: NJ Woods
237 Vance Ave. (on the side of Pullman’s Barber Shop)
Color block walls, artist: unknown
251 Riverside Dr. at Beale Street Landing
South Main is due south of downtown, right along the trolley line, and it’s one of Memphis’ more artsy districts. It’s very walkable and houses some of the city’s iconic sites and restaurants, like the National Civil Rights Museum, Central BBQ and the Arcade.
History of Civil Rights mural, artist: Birdcap
the corner of MLK and South Main streets
“Jay” mural, artist: Lance Turner
on Vance Avenue and South Main Street
W.C. Handy mural, artist: Kyle Taylor
under the South Main overpass
“Upstanders” mural, artists: Nelson Gutierrez and Cedar Nordbye
115 Huling Ave. (at the National Civil Rights Museum)
“I Am a Man” mural, artist: Marcellous Lovelace (BLK75)
398 S Main St. (close to the National Civil Rights Museum)
Historic Memphis scenes, artists: unknown
Florida Street beneath the underpass (close to Loflin Yard)
Soulsville, USA is home to the historic Stax Museum and now boasts a charter school, recording academy and more.
“I Love Soulsville” mural, artists: the Soulsville Neighborhood Association (SNA)
E. McLemore Avenue & Mississippi Boulevard
MLK mural, artist: Ella Pena
879 E McLemore Ave. (inside Memphis Rox)
“I Love Memphis” mural, artists: Whitney Kerr and Jeanynne Lewis
across the street from the Stax Museum on McLemore Ave.
Martin Luther King Avenue
This stretch of Doctor M.L.K. Jr Avenue had murals for days. Park where you can and get out and walk around to see all the beautiful paintings by artists like Mobe, Folek, Sarah Painter, Cosby Hayes and Zulu. I wish I knew all the artists who did these, but honestly, there were dozens and it was hard to keep track! Keep walking, go under the rail tracks and around the corner, and you’ll find mural after mural after mural after mural…
MLK Jr. Avenue murals, artists: Mobe, Folek, Dustin Spagnola, Zulu Painter, Beth Warmath, Grafilthy, etc.
711 MLK Jr. Ave. (all around the block and under the overpass)
Civil Rights mural, artists: Sarah Painter and Cosby Hayes
711 MLK Jr. Ave.
Crosstown Concourse has quickly become my favorite part of Memphis with its mixed-use buildings spanning residences, offices, restaurants, retail and so much art. There’s a rotating mural out front that has been different every time we’ve visited (see directly below), as well as plenty of walls painted within the buildings themselves, which are open to the public.
Crosstown Concourse murals, artists: Detour, for Moonpie Project (middle); Snap On! by Birdcap and Richt (bottom)
1350 Concourse Ave.
Heart Bridge Crosstown mural, artists: Kong Wee Pang and Jay Crum
419 N. Watkins Street
Broad Avenue Arts District
Undoubtedly, the most artsy neighborhood in town, Broad Avenue is becoming hipper every time we come back for a visit. It’s where our friends at Wiseacre Brewing are based, as well as numerous restaurants and indie shops. It’s also right off the B-line.
“This Is We” mural, artist: Guillaume Alby
2542 Broad Ave.
Broad Avenue water tower mural, artist: Youngblood Studios
2532 Broad Ave.
“Broad Forest” mural, artist: Qwynto
2481 Broad Ave.
Overton Square is close to Overton Park, the Memphis Zoo and the Brooks Museum of Art. It’s also a highly-walkable area with some great places to eat and shop—with several murals hidden among the alleyways.
Overton Square mural, artist: David Lynch
(on the side of Bari Ristorante)
Cooper-Young has long been one my favorite neighborhoods in town, and even more so with the addition of such concepts as Railgarten. It’s a pretty small and walkable neighborhood, with the intersection of Cooper and Young being the epicenter, but you’ll see new art popping up in the surrounding arteries on the regular.
“Time Tables” train mural, artists: Bishop, Slade, Kerr, Whitney, Hunter, Chase & DiNolfo, Anthony
Central Exchange mural, artist: Nosey42
2169 Central Ave. (Central Exchange Parking lot by Palladio Antiques)
Drippy mural, artist: Nosey42
2157 Central Ave. (side of Pavo Salon)
“Forming Function” sunglasses mural, artist: Kyle Taylor
242 Cooper St. (the side of Eclectic Eye)
“I Am the Cosmos” mural in Memphis, artist: Kyle Taylor
(on the side of Otherlands Coffee Bar)
“I Love Memphis” mural, artist: Nosey42
corner of Cooper and York streets
“I Love Memphis” mural, artist: Justin Jabbour
2162 Courtland Pl. (on InsideOut Gym)
Fingers mural, artist: Frances Berry
Young Avenue (in a parking lot across from Goner Records)
Hope mural, artist: Valerie Arenda and De Neuville Learning Center
190 Cooper St. (side of De Neuville Learning Center)
Woman with Wolves mural, artist: Kevin Hutchins (Chasing Wolf)
1384 Madison St.
Altown Skate Park
This old skate park on Lamar Avenue has myriad murals, both on a retaining wall, but also down on the ramps itself.
Altown Skatepark murals, artists: Kyle Taylor, Nosey42, Chris Veal
Lamar Avenue between S. Willett and Roland streets
A historically black neighborhood, there’s a lot of interesting art happening in Orange Mound thanks to groups of creatives like The Collective, who opened The Complex (CMPLX) to elevate black artists and empower the communities. While there, we peeked around the side of the building and saw this amazing collage of a wall.
Orange Mound murals, artists: Alive Paint, Siphne A. Sylve
2234 Lamar Ave.
East Memphis is a long sprawl along Poplar Avenue that eventually reaches Germantown and Collierville, which also has a mural on its historic square. This was the only East Memphis mural we could track down.
“Greetings from Memphis” mural, artist: Nosey42
5259 Poplar Ave. (on the side of Corky’s Ribs & BBQ)
Did we leave out any major murals in Memphis? Leave a description, location or artist name in the comments, and we’ll do our best to track them down!
Looking for more Memphis travel tips? I’ve got a few:
- Eat, Drink + Explore Memphis: A Weekend Guide to the Bluff City
- Meet Old Dominick: The Urban Distillery Takeover of Tennessee
- 14 Cool Things to Know About St. Jude’s Memphis Campus
- Exploring Memphis’ Vibrant Downtown District
- Memphis’ Musical Metamorphosis: A New Generation of Soul