Sunday, May 8, 2011

Toppenish murals

If you're like us, you whizz by Toppenish, Washington, on Interstate 82 between Ellensburg and the Oregon border. But the next time you make this trip, get off the freeway and drive into Toppenish to see the murals. It's a detour well worth the effort to make.

The "artist" working on the mural is part of it.
The Old West lives in Toppenish, particularly the downtown area with its Western style buildings, many of which are adorned with murals. The murals pay homage to the city's pioneer and Native American heritage. Tens of murals decorate the sides and fronts of buildings, and a new mural or two is added each year.

Some of the murals are quite realistic. We made a special trip to Toppenish last year just to see the murals. I'd stopped to take a picture of one when my husband spied a man on a ladder painting a mural on a wall about a block away. He encouraged me to go interview the artist so I could write an article for an online magazine. I started off across the parking lot and had almost reached the mural when I realized the "artist" was part of the mural.

The easiest way to view the murals is to park your car downtown and then walk around. I think you'll agree with me downtown Toppenish is pretty special.

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