Come Watch Paint Dry!!!
The Toppenish Murals began in 1989 with the inaugural mural titled "Clearing the Land". The idea was formed when state seed money was distributed to small communities in correspondence with the State of Washington's centennial celebration. A group gathered and brainstormed the idea of historical murals and hosted the first annual MURAL-IN-A-DAY
event in which an entire wall sized mural is painted in one day by a dozen or more artists. Since the first mural was completed a Mural Society was formed and the organization has completed 78 additional murals, including a single mural in a day each year on the first Saturday in June. Hundreds gather to come and watch paint dry.
The Mural Society has sustained the mural program since 1989 based solely on private donations and support. There are no public or tax dollars used to put any murals up in town. The board of 10-12 meets once a month and governs the creation of new murals, the location, the maintenance and up-keep, fundraising, etc. There are strict guidelines for each mural as the criteria set by the board is that they must all be historically accurate from 1840 ish -1940 ish and also be historically accurate to the area.
The artist is commissioned to paint the mural after a rigorous proofing process. The artists original wall art/paintings are displayed at the Visitor's Center. Artists include local, regional and national talent, many of whom have worked on more than one mural.
Tour Guide Jim Duke explains each mural in detail while driving his team of horses.
Jim Duke and his team (Frank & Jessie) lead tourists past a mural on the Hop Museum.