City Has "Mural Laws"--Check Before Painting

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(top) Mural in downtown Murfreesboro parking area between West Maple and Walnut streets by mixed media artist Ryan Frizzell who specializes in murals and spray art (bottom) Mural inside Patterson Park Community Center in Murfreesboro by Robert Orr, Steven Matthews and Kim Bingham.

(MURFREESBORO) Murals, as an expression of public art, help bring color, life and story to otherwise bland walls. With the creative initiative of Murfreesboro artists, murals have been popping up in many locations throughout the city, but City regulations do apply.

"Murals can be interesting and enjoyable, even help define a community and encourage artistic expression and conversation," said Murfreesboro Building & Codes Director Robert Holtz. "However, businesses and artists need to be aware that the Murfreesboro Sign Ordinance includes regulations concerning the placement and use of advertising within the mural."

Advertising that would be prohibited by the Sign Ordinance would include words and graphics that depict a service or product that is offered at the business. The Sign Ordinance does not allow murals on the front of a building or on a wall that has a main entrance to the building or tenant space. Murals are also limited to no more than two walls of a building.

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"The Rutherford ARTS Alliance has been a terrific resource as we look to develop a review process for murals that is proactively working with property owners and artists," said Community Services Executive Director Angela Jackson. "The Alliance and its energetic coalition of volunteers continue to promote Murfreesboro and Rutherford County's arts, culture and heritage and contribute to the vitality and livability of our city."

The ARTS Alliance, https://www.rutherfordartsalliance.org/ is currently creating a prototype for artists and businesses to follow for mural design and installation in our City. The prototype will document the step-by-step process and create a checklist of best practices for a mural installed on a privately-owned building. This document will list helpful hints on 'How to paint a Mural' and will be available on the Alliance website in November. The community is invited to observe and participate in a mural painting on Saturday, Oct.19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 117 E. Vine Street in Murfreesboro.

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"As the Alliance extends its creative vibrancy into mural projects throughout the City, we recognize the obvious benefits this artistic expression creates in building an on-going partnership for public art in Murfreesboro," added Jackson.

Through local arts and cultural organizations, the City recognizes the social, economic and cultural impact of the Alliance and their contributions to our quality of life, fostering creativity and inspiring our community.

Mural artists should be aware that murals that include words and graphics depicting a service or product offered by businesses are considered signs and must follow the Murfreesboro Sign Ordinance regulations.

For more information on Building & Codes, visit the department webpage located at http://www.murfreesborotn.gov/101/Building-Codes and for Sign Ordinance rules and regulations visit http://www.murfreesborotn.gov/536/Signs-Permanent-Temporary.

Artist or businesses planning a mural, should contact Murfreesboro Building & Codes at 615-893-3750.

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expression of public art, Mural Laws, Murfreesboro, The ARTS Alliance, WGNS
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