DowntownView – New DoMo Walls Coming

By Chris Murphy

Downtown Modesto features an amazing variety of murals celebrating so much of Modesto’s culture. This all got going with the original Aaron Vickery Deuce Coupe at 13th and J Streets. Then more appeared with a ’57 Chevy at the Modesto Chamber of Commerce, a large scale mural celebrating Royal Robins on Camp 4, and the beautiful Corezon de la Valle at 15th and J and many others followed and artist from all of the the world have painted in our city. Murals have even spread up McHenry. I was really proud to be part the Community Mural team that put up Graffiti-themed murals, Murals in MoTown captured our hometown themes and DoMo walls lead by Aaron Vickery, converted a main alley into an art alley. Now we are moving on, block by block with amazing artistic creations that will amaze both people in town and those visiting from elsewhere. Let’s check out what is happening this year and enjoy a mural-themed poem from Modesto’s Poet Laureate Salvatore Salerno

DoMo Walls goes Triple
By Stephanie Foster, DoMo Partnership

DoMo Walls, downtown Modesto’s international mural festival, is looking a little different this year under COVID conditions; we’ve scaled down our international call to national artists only to avoid unnecessary international air travel. This year, three artists will paint three different walls in unique locations in downtown Modesto starting September 30th and finishing up in the first week of October. The artists, from Denver, CO, Dallas, TX and Modesto, will be given more space than past festival mural events, allowing onlookers to enjoy the artists’ work while not encouraging multiple days of dense, heavy gathering.

Additionally, DoMo First Fridays season finale is being planned for October 3rd, 6-10pm, with a watchful eye on CDC guidelines for large outdoor public gatherings. First Fridays will be a great opportunity to come out and observe mural installations along the J Street corridor while enjoying art and crafts, music, dining and dancing in the streets and taking advantage of downtown’s wonderful restaurant patios and parklets.

Drigo, Dallas, Texas:
Artist Page:
Mural Location: The Murray and Jones building, 922 J Street, facing Starbucks Drive-Thru

Kiri Leigh Jones, Denver, Colorado:
Artist Page:
Mural Location: Mira’s Bridal/The Boutique at Mira’s, 1201 J Street, facing 13th Street facing 12th Street

Sam Samuel Dominguez, Modesto, California:
Artist Page:
Mural Location: MPOA Building, 1016 13th Street, facing State Theatre

by Salvatore Salerno
Poet Laureate of the City of Modesto


Public art plays a riff on democracy,
Since it is by the artists, for the people,
and of what Modestans know and love.
Do make some time, as you go around town,
to meander from your business rounds
or on your way to that movie,
favorite restaurant or pub,
coffeeshop or gallery,
to step around corners, head into alleys,
to meet and greet the walls painted for you.
How bold they are, what a dazzling array!

Some pay homage to hometown heroes—
Royal Robbins and his mountainous ascents,
George Lucas and his monuments of film,
and a tribute to firefighters, heroes every day.
Others celebrate icons of our history—
the Modesto Arch, the hillside poppy fields,
the bountiful harvests of orchards and crops,
the locomotive that pulls them to market,
a cool ’57 Chevy and other classic rides.

Even some businesses got in the game.
Have you dined beneath a harvest moon dog
or been ushered in by the theatre harlequin?
Some murals are ablaze with brazen patterns,
abstract swirls, impossible meaning to know,
while others tease you to go figure.
Why is that fierce woman snarling?
Why is that cool monkey grinning?
Machine, human, and animals—huh?
There’s a lion, a tiger, a parrot, oh my

list is shy of six dozen more murals, I’m sure,
but that’s just what your curiosity’s for!
Go about your business in Motown, folks,
but take your leisure to visit galleries
of the open air, bright displays always there,
ever free, just linger a while and wonder anew
at the color-wild art of democracy.

Posted in: news

About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.