SPOKANE, Wash. - One of Downtown Spokane's eyesores is looking a lot more pleasant, thanks to the Mobile Murals Project. Murals were installed on the corner of Division and 3rd Ave as part of "Create Spokane" - a month-long celebration of the arts in the Lilac City.
There are more than 80 paintings that make up the project. Its mission: to help beautify Spokane's downtown area.
"It's nice for the city to have a better self image, and when we start seeing beautification like this, it's going to inspire people to do more, and that's what I'm hoping," said artist Nikai Birchler.
Birchler is one of the 17 Spokane artists featured in the Mobile Murals Project put on by the Spokane Arts Commission, the City of Spokane, and Downtown Spokane Partnership.
Dozens of volunteers helped install the murals on Saturday morning. Now, Nikai's untitled piece stands front and center on the corner of Division and 3rd.
"I'm thrilled," Birchler said. "I love Spokane, I grew up here, I've been an artist for 20 years, and for me to give back to the city a little bit of beauty... it's a privilege I don't take lightly, it's a privilege."
Birchler's piece isn't finished. He's hoping to get the community involved by incorporating vintage photos in the painting.
"So people who have neat, interesting photos of Spokane, especially old ones, I'd love to get them in my inbox," said Birchler.
The organizers of this project say that's what it is about: connecting the community through art.
"It really makes the difference in the vibrancy in our city," said Marla Nunberg, Vice President of the Downtown Spokane Partnership. "We are a very creative city and we want to showcase the arts as much as we can and really show what Spokane has to offer. We have all these local artists here from the region and they're so spectacular its great to showcase them in this manner."
And the Mobile Murals Project is just that: mobile. So when the art is no longer needed at this site, it can be moved to be enjoyed at another Spokane location.