Mural Mania set to beautify South Bend's drab walls again - WVPE Public Media

If you’ve noticed more vibrant art covering what used to be plain, ugly walls around South Bend, you can thank Alex Allen. She’s bringing us more of that beauty next week.

Seven artists. Five days. Seven murals.

Mural Mania is about to strike South Bend again. For a third year festival curator and organizer Alex Allen is bringing in some of the nation’s top mural artists to beautify seven blank walls around the city. Allen said she met these artists at a big mural festival she does each year in Memphis.

They’ll paint from Wednesday July 3 through Sunday July 7. Corporate and nonprofit sponsors, the building’s owners, and the city combine to pay, feed and lodge the artists, and a GoFundMe is collecting a bit more for supplies and incidentals.

You’ve seen Allen’s work brightening different parts of town: The Vortex on the side of the Jiffy Lube on South Michigan Street is her favorite. She also painted the Gerbera Daisies on the side of Kodachrome Coffee, and the twin geometric murals on Eddy Street Apartments.

Allen said she’s proud of the festival’s impact on the community so far.

"Five or six years ago there weren't too many murals in South Bend and now we're upwards into the 30s, and 20 of them is just specifically from this festival," Allen said. "They bring people together. It's community engagement. It's kids walking down the street and getting inspired. Maybe they also might want to dabble in the arts."

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