Beginning in the 1930s with the famous WPA murals, Gallup began a lasting tradition in offered publicly-accessible, outdoor works of art. In the early 2000s, local artists were commissioned to re-tell Gallup’s story through a series of outdoor murals on downtown buildings. Each mural is unique in style and captures a part of dynamic heritage and history of Gallup.
1. Great Gallup Mural
Located on the West-facing wall of City Hall. Artists Paul Newman and Steve Heil emphasize the themes of landscape, railroads, Hwy. 66, rodeos, western life, and coal mining. The shape of the mural was chosen to resemble windswept geologic strata, showing layers of history evocative of rock formations.
2. Gallup Community Life Mural:
Located on the East-facing wall of City Hall. Artist Rick Sarracino shows some elements that have helped shape community life throughout Gallup’s history. Some of these elements include the public library, schools, coal mining, the arts, and even a dark side.
3. Zuni Mural:
Located on the West-facing wall of the Octavia Fellin Library and painted by Zuni artist Geddy Epaloose. Purposely located on 2nd street in Gallup because for years the Zuni people have entered Gallup on this one-way street. A rooftop view of the Zuni life is colorfully depicted.
4. Long Walk Home Mural:
Located on Third & Hill streets facing East. Artist Richard K. Yazzie shows the history of his Navajo people after they were released from Fort Sumner. Painted in the four sacred colors of black, blue, yellow, and white.
5. Native American Trading Mural:
Located on Tanner’s Indian Art at the corner of Third & Coal Streets. Artist Chester Kahn shows the nature of commerce in Gallup throughout history. For many years Chester has been the a champion of Navajo culture. Another piece not be be missed is his “Circle of Light” mural located inside Ellis Tanner Trading Co.
6. Ceremonial Mural:
Located on the Ceremonial Building on Coal Ave. between 2nd & 3rd Streets. Artist Irving Bahe uses the Navajo Beauty way concept to depict the unity and life that the Gallup Inter-Tribal Ceremonial brings.
7. Coal Mining Era Mural
Located in the downtown walkway behind the American Bar on Coal Ave. Artist Andrew Butler captures a piece of Gallup’s Wild West history when he depicts the mob coal miner conflict when the sheriff was shot with his own gun. This event happened in the very alley this mural is painted.
8. Multi-Cultural Women
Located on the South-facing wall of the Children’s library on 2nd street. Artist Erica Rae Sykes uses vibrant color to create dreamlike space that offers a tribute to the women who have carried on the cultural traditions of daily life.
9. Navajo Code Talker Mural
Located on 2nd Street between Coal Ave and Hwy. 66. Artist Be Sargent gives honor to those Navajos that served the military as Code Talkers during World War II But more importantly she tries to that greatest asset of The People is their language.
Also in the Gallup Area:
1. Be Sargent’s murals:
Located on the front of the detention center on Boardman St.
2. Circle of Light mural by Chester Kahn:
Located inside the Ellis Tanner Trading Co.
3. Lloyd Moylan’s Mural:
Located in the former Courtroom of the old McKinley County Courthouse Located on the West-facing wall of City Hall. Artists Paul Newman and Steve Heil emphasize the themes of landscape, railroads, Hwy. 66, rodeos, western life, and coal mining. The shape of the mural was chosen to resemble windswept geologic strata, showing layers of history evocative of rock formations.