One of the many urban renewal projects is reclaiming billboards such as:
Murals bring color, life, creativity, & a sense of ownership to a sometimes vapid existence in a concrete mass of rectangular structures. Engaging with the huge amount of talent & vision to enhance our cities & towns is a trend that goes from Eureka, CA (eurekart.org) to Australia, as shown above in the above painting, to all over Europe. Art, no longer shuttered behind museum walls with formidable entrances & sometimes entrance fees, public art is to be enjoyed everywhere, all the time!
As a public art enthusiast, I wanted to make note that there are investment angels awaiting to alight once contacted by artists seeking funding to create projects (creative-capital.org) This organization in NYC has a vast network of ideas to see artistic projects to be well-funded, understanding the long term value art has on our communities.
Amidst the sad & bad news about urban decay, just like the tiny flowers growing out of the crack in the sidewalk, urban murals & the cities that embrace concepts of public art, are doing more that decorating utility boxes, although that can be perceived as a miracle in itself.
Public art engages the business community for funding, the city councils for allocating resources, communication between groups of people who may, or may not have reached out to one another under different circumstances. It increases the real estate value for those areas that are riddled & enhanced with public murals. Tourists along with locals, are eager to share stories, take photographs, laugh & enjoy positive changes in our society.