Mural Hunting in Duluth

Ganawenjige Onigam mural, which depicts an Ojibwe dancer watching over the city.
Ganawenjige Onigam

Are you looking for more Instagram-worthy content on your next trip to Duluth? Maybe you’d like to check out some new neighborhoods, experience amazing art and snap a few fun profile pics while you’re at it? Here are some of the largest and most colorful art murals you’ll find throughout the city to brighten your feed.

In the Lincoln Park neighborhood, you’ll find many murals scattered throughout the blocks and inside businesses. Earlier this year, Main Street Lincoln Park launched the Lincoln Park Art Walk, which features QR codes onsite at the murals to learn more. Start at the appropriately named Lincoln Park Craft District mural. It’s at the corner of 19th Avenue West and W. Superior Street, right across from the new shops at Enger Lofts, and near Bent Paddle Brewing. This mural is full of vibrant primary colors, and nods to the history of the area, with a look toward the present-day makers.

Just across the street, you’ll see the “Corner Park,” and its mural Big Rabbit and the Wolves, featuring urban animals. It’s by local artist Ann Klefstad, who has said the mural is about fun and the diversity of communities.

Time for a snack? Stop at Love Creamery’s Lincoln Park location for a scoop, and a peek at the mural inside featuring the work of local artist Shawna Gilmore. The vintage-style pastel painting turned wall vinyl features people and animals together enjoying sweet treats.

Down the road you’ll find Snowy Owl by regional artist Adam Swanson on 20th Avenue West and W. Superior Street, right next to DLH Clothing and Free Air Life, Co. Snowy owl sightings were at a record high in the area when Swanson created the work in 2018, and while the owl is the star of this mural, you’ll also see a ship in Lake Superior, and some fun robots on the shoreline.

Leaving the Lincoln Park neighborhood, you’ll want to head downtown to see Ganawenjige Onigam at 212 W. 2nd Street. This mural depicts an Ojibwe jingle dress dancer watching over the city. The mural can be interpreted in many different ways; she is seen as a water protector, a healer and as a reminder of missing and murdered Indigenous women. While here, visit Indigenous First Art & Gift Shop, which carries the work of nearly 100 Indigenous artists.

The full-wall Phoenix mural outside LIFE HOUSE (102 W. 1st Street) represents “strength and the ability to rise.” The mural was made by members of the Life House community along with regional artist Adam Swanson.

One of the newest murals can be found on the outside of the St. Louis County Depot. Another creation by regional artist Adam Swanson, this stunning display pays homage to art, beauty and pollinators.

Murals outside the Duluth Public Library
Duluth Public Library

Just across the street from the Depot, the Duluth Public Library mural is a great stop if you’re a book lover. It features giant versions of classic book spines, featuring titles for young and old, plus a mix of fiction and non-fiction. This is a great one for kids!

Piano mural

You can find this piano mural downtown at 1st Ave East and Superior Street. It’s on the walkway that leads from Superior Street to Gichi-Odé Akiing Park, and then down to the Lakewalk.

Walk past the piano mural and follow the path to Gichi-Odé Akiing Park. There you’ll find the Chief Buffalo Memorial Mural, created to share the collective history regarding Duluth’s beginnings with and about Chief Buffalo. It was painted by four Ojibwe artists and led by Duluthian Moira Villiard, a muralist and direct descendant from Fond du Lac Ojibwe reservation.

The mural scene is a growing one. Last fall, the Duluth Street Art Initiative organization gathered artists and volunteers in the alley behind Dubh Linn Irish Brew Pub to create new pieces. You’ll find a classic Lake Superior and Aerial Lift Bridge, and a bright Duluth.

The Image Wall at the Lakewalk is a ceramic tile mural created in 1990. Made from ¾” ceramic tiles in seven different colors, it depicts images from 50 photographs contained in the collection of the Lake Superior Maritime Museum. The whole wall is nearly 600 feet long and contains more than 1.2 million tiles.

In West Duluth, be sure to check out the mural on the side of Tortoise and Hare Footware. Created by local artist Tom Napoli, the full wall tells the famous fable of the tortoise racing the hare through scenes of Duluth – Ely’s Peak, Spirit Mountain and the Aerial Lift Bridge.

While you’re in West Duluth, check out Zenith Bookstore and the large-scale painted books on the outside (also done by Tom Napoli, above), along with a mural in the children’s section by local artist Annmarie Geniusz, featuring magical animals and book-themed scenes. In June 2023, Duluth artist Jonathan Thunder created a new mural, located on the north exterior of the store, that celebrates imagination, storytelling and family. This latest visual addition at Zenith depicts an adult and child reading, along with Duluth sights and Indigenous elements such as Ojibwe legend’s Mishi-bizhiw, the head of water spirits.

These are just a sampling of the beautiful murals and art that can be seen throughout the city. Be sure to tag us on social media (@VisitDuluth) so we can see photos of you with these and your other favorite mural spots!

Posted on April 25, 2022