elko murals

Get To Know Elko’s 51 New Murals, And How To Find ‘Em

51 murals, created by 43 artists from all over the West—and world—within one square mile of historic downtown Elko. That conjures a pretty strong picture in itself, doesn’t it? In a town where western heritage, culture and tradition are already part of everyday life, these kaleidoscopic free public art pieces catapult Elko’s cultural experience into one that’s more immersive than ever before.

Over the course of three days in fall of 2019, Elko held its inaugural Elko Mural Expo. And within that short timeframe, a Nevada town known for its rich artistic expression transformed once more, thanks to talents drawn from all over Nevada—mostly Reno, and Elko, but Virginia City and even Jiggs, too—as well as artists from the Navajo Nation, Salt Lake City, Portland, Jackson, Long Beach, and even Buenos Aires, Argentina and Bilbao, Spain. Together, they created something pretty magnetic, guys. So head for Elko, swing through a few downtown galleries, zero in on longstanding and diverse cultures, maybe even grab some pintxos, then go for a walk. You may just find a new perspective you haven’t seen before. #NVArt

If you’re in Downtown Elko, look anywhere. You’ll spot a mural. 

Alma y Corazon
Mural by: Edwin Martinez Escobar—Reno, NV. Titled, “Alma y Corazon”.

Though they’re peppered throughout Downtown Elko, the largest grouping can be found in Railroad Alley. 

The Flower of time
Mural by: Nathaniel Benjamin—Reno, NV. Titled, “The Flower of Time.”

…But it feels like they’re on just about every wall in sight, within 1 square mile. 

Metamorphosis of Love
Mural by: Artie Richmond—Reno, NV. Titled, “The Metamorphosis of Love”.

Coming from many parts of the country and globe, all 43 artists employed a variety of mediums, ranging from acrylic & oil paints… 

Wahine mural
Mural by: Bill Louis—Salt Lake City, UT. Titled, “Wahine”.

To incredibly intricate brushstrokes… 

Ancient Wisdom of the Unattainable Beast
Mural by: Jen Charboneau—Reno, NV. Titled, “Ancient Wisdom of the Unattainable Beast”.

To spraypaint… 

reno mural
Mural by: Bryce Chisholm—Reno, NV.

To photographs adhered with wheatpaste. 

Navajo Nation, AZ mural
Mural by: Chip Thomas—Navajo Nation, AZ. Titled, “Four Meditations on a Changing Climate”.

Together, an impressive array of themes are showcased, like alluring southwest vibes… 

Saguaro mural
Mural by: Jamie Darragh—Reno, NV. Titled, “Saguaro Universe”.

West coast graffiti art… 

bluebird mural
Mural by: Justin Johnson—Salt Lake City, UT.

Cartooning… 

feathers and spike mural
Left mural by: Derek Yost—Portland, OR. Titled, “Feathers”. Right mural by: Joe C. Rock—Reno, NV. Titled, “Spike”.

Abstract work… 

hope mural reno
Mural by: Eric Brooks—Reno, NV. Titled, “Bring What You Hope to Find”.

And loose lines and bold colors… 

reno animal mural
Left mural by: Angie Terrell—Reno, NV. Titled, “Forbidden Fruit”.  Right mural by: Rachel Pittaro—Elko, NV. Titled, “Symbiotic”.

Enough to straight up shake your eyeballs. 

Jack OFF mural
Mural by: Emily Montoya—Jiggs, NV. Titled, “Jack OFF”.

A little bit of mayan influence snuck its way in… 

mural in reno nv
Mural by: Anthony Orgega—Reno, NV. Titled, “The Greeter”.

So did a few sure to coax a couple of chuckles out of you. Yep, that’s a woman bareback on a smoking horse surrounded by rattlesnakes, and a surfing dino with a beer. 

mexican mural
Left mural by: VAKA—Reno, NV. Titled, “Mexican Doll”. Center mural by: Mike Lucido—Reno, NV. Titled, “Surf N Turf”. Right mural by: Hernan Borrero—Reno, NV. Titled, “Rattlesnake Mountain”.

Best yet, a whole lotta place-specific themes are all around you, sure to satisfy the true Nevadaphile in all of us. 

reno nv murals
Mural by: Erik Burke—Reno, NV.

Keep an eye out from local landscapes and animals. The storied “Jarbidge Moose” made the cut… 

moose mural
Mural by: Justin Johnson—Salt Lake City, UT. Titled, “Ghost Wolf Killah and the 36 Acres”.

So did the Himalayan Snowcock—an elusive pheasant subspecies who calls the Rubies home.

Himilayan Snow mural
Mural by: Seth McCorkle—Reno, NV. Titled, “Himilayan Snowcock”.

Local heroes are recognized… 

reno mayor mural
Mural by: Mallori Renee—Reno, NV. Titled, “The Mayor is Here to Stay”.

Both old, and new. 

visionary mural
Left mural by: Bryce Chisholm—Reno, NV. Titled, “Abstractly Possible”. Right mural by: Erik Burke—Reno, NV. Titled, “Visionary”.

Several artists pay a mighty homage to the horse… 

wild horse mural
Mural by: Erik Burke—Reno, NV. Titled, “Do Unto Others and Run Like a Mother”.

Like “Spirit Racing”—a relay on horseback that goes down each summer at Elko’s local fair—is on powerful display, too. 

spirit racer mural
Left mural by: Gina Holmberg—Elko, NV. Titled, “Spirit Racer”. Right mural by: Derek Yost—Portland, OR. Titled, “Feathers”.

A big chunk of these murals also do a damn fine job of celebrating the cowboy and ranching culture found in this region of Nevada…

cowboy mural
Mural by: Dale & Jake Slingland—Reno, NV. Titled, “Cowboy Dan”.

Like the arrival of the railroad and what that meant for the Silver State… 

train mural
Mural by: Joe C. Rock—Reno, NV. Titled, “Conducting Business as Usual”.

With a nod to other famous artists, part of railroad art history…

murals in reno
Part of mural by: Joe C. Rock—Reno, NV. Titled, “Conducting Business as Usual” and citing famous railroad worker and tagger, Russell Butler—aka buZ blurr or Colossus of Roads.

The movement of settlers to the West… 

virginia city murals
Mural by: Stephanie Cellier—Virginia City, NV. 

Nevada icons everyone has a way of connecting to… 

donkey mule mural
Mural by: Brent Johnson—Elko, NV. Titled, “Sunrise of Champions”.

And important threads of nostalgia… 

basque mural
Mural by: Bryce Chisholm—Reno, NV. Titled, “Basque Boys”.

That’re still very much alive and well today, right in the heart of Elko. 

star bar mural
Mural by: Selbas Velasco—Bilbao, Spain. Titled, “Far Westeko Euskal Herria”, or “Far West Basque Country”.

Though the inaugural Elko Mural Expo went down in fall of 2019, Elko will continue to hold the mural festival annually, welcoming old and new artists for fresh installations. For the most up to date information on future Elko Mural Expo event dates, upcoming walking tours, and information about the murals and artists, click HERE.