The Stories Behind Lompoc’s Murals
The City of Lompoc has a rare attraction.
Painted across old buildings, tucked on side streets, and dotting garage doors is an outdoor art gallery of impressive and vibrant murals.
Every mural tells a story, and there’s a lot to tell.
Visitors use the Mural Map to wander around the city, visit nearly 40 stunning murals, and learn about the rich history of Lompoc.
Here’s a snapshot of the stories behind just five of the popular murals in the city:
Location: 118 East Ocean Avenue
Painted in 1992, as a mural-in-a-day project, this mural is a tribute to the Chumash Indians who were among the first settlers to California’s central coast centuries ago. The Chumash Indians relied on the ocean for food, built their own canoes, and lived in dome-shaped homes made from willow branches.
Location: 1515 East Ocean Avenue
Painted in 2005, this 120-foot mural shows the progression of medicine in Lompoc. It begins with medicine practiced by the Chumash Indians about 8,000 years ago, depicts infirmaries built by Lompoc’s first mission in 1787, and highlights the city’s first official hospitals that followed more than a century later.
The mural is located at what is now the Lompoc Valley Medical Center.
Location: Behind the Cypress Gallery at 119 Cypress Avenue
Lompoc Valley provides the perfect growing conditions for commercial flower fields. Different seasons bring different flowers, which provide vibrant patches of color in and around the city. Acres of stock, larkspur, sweet peas grow seasonally in the flower fields that Lompoc is known for.
This mural, which was painted in 2001, celebrates the floral beauty of the city with different garage doors each depicting a different flower that is now – or has been – grown in the Lompoc Valley.
Location: Art Alley, next to Flower Valley Country Store at 111 South H Street
This mural, created in 2008, showcases Lompoc’s love affair with wine.
Wine lovers rejoice in Lompoc, where the coastal climate and soil condition provide the ideal growing conditions for wine-making grapes. Since the 19th century, winemakers have produced wines from the grapes grown in the region. Even early settlers got in on the wine-frenzy, making their own sacramental wine for the local church inside the La Purisima Mission.
Lompoc’s Mural History
The Lompoc Mural Project was conceived in 1988 when Gene and Judy Stevens visited Chemainus, British Columbia, and saw how a small community of only 3,500 people was using art as the major economic rebuilding tool. Gene and Judy brought the idea back to Lompoc, where the idea was embraced, and in 1989, the first mural – “Flower Industry” – was painted.
Since then, commissioned murals, as well as murals painted in a day or in a weekend, have been added to the collection.
Today, visitors from all over the world come to tour the Lompoc murals. There are now close to 40 murals, curated and maintained by the Lompoc Mural Society
Help Paint Lompoc’s Newest Mural – October 6 & 7, 2018
In October 2018, another mural will be added to the collection during Mural in a Weekend, slated for October 6-7. Titled “Chautauqua” the new mural – created by Master Artist Art Mortimer – depicts the traveling shows that flourished in the U.S. at the turn of the 19th century, and came to Lompoc.
Want to be part of Lompoc’s mural history?
Sign up to be a painter and take part in one of the city’s most unique events. And come watch the artists in action and see the new mural come to life.