Looking for an outdoor art experience? Head to downtown Traverse City, to embark on your mural-hunting adventure where each one tells a unique story, reflecting the artist's perspective and our local community's character.
While there are more than just these murals downtown—and far more than that around the region—we chose these classics to start your art education.
Mazinaadin Exhibition: Clinch Park Tunnel
In 2019, the Clinch Park Tunnel—which connects downtown and the Open Space beneath Grandview Parkway—got a whole new look. The tunnel had once been decorated with paintings honoring the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (GTB), though they were painted over during a remodel. Artist bobby Magee Lopez of Colorado brought the spirit of that artwork back to life with an all-new mural, created in partnership with the GTB. Titled Mazinaadin Exhibition (or “Make an Image”), the mural depicts the history and culture of the GTB in vibrant color.
TC Postcard: Alley beside Kilwins
Created by Darin Knupp of KnUpp North Art (get it?) this postcard-inspired mural has turned a downtown TC alley into a must-stop for photos.
“Greetings from Traverse City,” the mural reads, paying homage to TC landmarks like Old Mission Peninsula, the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, and the State Theater. Cherries figure prominently, of course, as do scenes of bays, beaches, and greenery. You’ll also see “Northern Express” and “TC Ticker” tucked into the artwork—two local new publications that made the mural possible.
Wear Your Wings TC: Near the Coin Slot
Local artist Heather Spooner of Ampersand Lettering Lab is known as the woman who gave TC wings. You’ve likely seen iterations of this artwork style across the country, and Spooner brought her take on the design to the north.
Spooner was commissioned to paint the wings during Traverse City’s weekly August bash—Friday Night Live. The interactive element engaged the community and continues to do so as people from near and far pose with the wings for social media snapshots and family album photos. The mural’s feathers are inscribed with affirming words like love, acceptance, equality, and unity—a message that feels more relevant now than ever.
#DowntownTC: Larry Hardy Parking Garage
Artists Chase Hunt and John Jarosz teamed up to create perhaps the most Instagram-worthy mural downtown, aptly called #DowntownTC. Elements of the mural range from beachy scenes to bright cherries to what looks like a beer in the first W—cheers!—to paint a portrait of life in northern Michigan.
You can find more of Hunt’s street artwork around town. For a scavenger hunt—pun intended—stop by: Middlecoast Brewing, Union Street Station, and many of the downtown dumpsters, which Hunt designed with local youth artists.
While Bistro Fou Fou’s doors are closed, this stunning mural—also by KnUPP North Art—is always open. Running along the side of the historic former firehouse between Front and State Streets, the mural showcases hummingbirds—giant ones—flitting among flowers painted in soothing pastels. “Rue de Cass St.” is written in the corner, a nod to the former restaurant’s French cuisine.
TC Color Blocks: MiddleCoast Brewing
A Traverse City postcard on the backside of the State Street Market was created by Traverse City-based artist and muralist Chase Hunt. Yes! You have heard that name before! Chase was the mastermind behind other street art including the #DowntownTC mural adding some beauty to Traverse City and beyond.
Find this colorful hidden gem at the back of the building, making it a great stop for a picture!
The Fox: Little Fleet
Located off Wellington Street, you can find this fancy Fox dressed in a suit painted on this mural. In this spot, you are just steps away from the food trucks at Little Fleet. Before entering, he'll catch your eye and make you want to walk further.
Add this to your street art walking tour around Traverse City!
The Little Fleet Mural
An added bonus before grabbing some food and a margarita at The Little Fleet restaurant, check out this custom-painted mural by Em Randall as a part of the Downtown TC Paint Art Outside the Block series. The project is a mini pop-up series to celebrate the diversity of our communities and support the fight against intolerance.
You can't miss this work of art located right on the side of the restaurant!
At the Corner of Art and Culture
Six artists, Colleen B Larson, Erika Wynn, Janee Marie Meadows, Matt McCormick, Michelle Bien, and Mina Cotner, shared their talents with the Old Town Playhouse to create 11 large pieces of art that can be seen around the building. This project helped transform the building found at the corner of 8th and Cass Streets in downtown Traverse City. Look up to the skies when finding these beautiful murals.
Our Neighborhood Spot
You might be heading to Bryant Park for the views of the Grand Traverse Bay but be sure to stop by to take a look at this new mural. Completed by local artist Katherine Corden Bellisario, this is the latest project of the Traverse City Arts Commissions. This mural is part of the "Art in the Park" initiative, and annual collaboration with the Traverse City Parks and Recreation Commission.
Right Brain Brewery
Grabbing a beer at Right Brain Brewery? Their new mural located on the side of the building will make you thirsty before walking inside. Designed and painted by staff members Jim Young and Ashley Sorvisto, along with Right Brain mug member Rick Stringer, this piece of art depicts a bold, bright, conceptual graphic that incorporates a few key ingredients of beer. Get the best shot of it when walking on the Boardman Lake Loop Trail.
Art on the TART
To enrich the trail user's experience, the TART Trails introduced the Art on the TART program that features multiple pieces of artwork in our community. These three pieces of work can be found while walking the Boardman Lake Loop Trail. One is the Boardman Serenade by Rufus Snoddy and Glenn Wolff which was inspired by the natural setting of the Boardman Lake and Ottaway River. The other two are May You Always Know the Truth and See the Light Surrounding You painted by Logan Hudson and Serenity’s Muse by Kiah Anderson.