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In an effort to beautify Lead, promote civic pride, support local artists, and attract tourists, the city of Lead created the Urban Art Project in 2014. To date, 19 murals cover formerly blank walls and spaces throughout town. The project is sponsored by the Historic Deadwood-Lead Arts Council and relies on grants and charitable donations for funding.

Since its inception, the project has grown to include additional murals over the years—and that trend is expected to continue. “I’m excited to see a lot of individuals hire artists to come and do artwork on their properties,” says Sierra Ward, Executive Director of the Lead Chamber of Commerce. “Every year we get a couple more additions. I think Lead naturally attracts artsy individuals, and I love that we’re sort of an arts and science town and keep moving in that direction.”

If you’re planning on doing the walking tour, bring comfortable shoes; the project has expanded to include sites at both ends of town…and with Lead’s notoriously hilly streets, be prepared for a workout. Or, hop in your car and drive to some of the more outlying areas. Either way, the murals are vibrant and whimsical, depicting a variety of scenes ranging from the town’s mining past to the present-day DUNE project at the Sanford Underground Research Laboratory.

Mural #1: “Fairie Cottage”

Artist: Sarah Larson

Aspire Boutique & Sidewalk, Old Finnish Church, 170 W. Main St.

Mural #2: Artist Vans

Artists: Sarah Larson, David Livingston, Luke Gaddy

Various locations throughout Lead

Mural #3: “Lead Me There”

Artist: David Livingston

Prospect Park (former site of Old Lead Hospital), Main St.

Mural #4: Miners & Merchants Trading Post

Artist: David Livingston

300 W. Main St.

Mural #5: “Outer Space Perspective”

Artist: Kimberly Smith

Parking ramp interior wall, W. Main St.

Mural #6: “A Kind Day on the Mickelson Trail”

Artist: David Livingston

Odd Fellows Building, 403 W. Main St.

Mural #7: “Two Homes, One Love, from Arizona to the Black Hills”

Artist: David Livingston

Corky’s steps, 634 W. Main St.

Mural #8: Coca-Cola Sign Restoration

Artist: Les Roselles

Former Site of American Legion Post No. 31, 609 W. Main St.

Mural #9: “Newton’s Neutrino Nexus” (DUNE Mural)

Artist: Christopher Scott

Retaining wall below 197 Glendale Ave.

Mural #10: “Black Hills Landscape”

Artists: Jean Wellborn & Andrea Everett

207 Glendale Ave. (Rte. 85/14A)

Mural #11: Boys & Girls Club Activities Mural

Artists: Jean Wellborn, Cary Thrall, Boys & Girls Club Students

845 Miners Ave.

Mural #12: Community Garden Wall

Artist: Billy DeWolf

Far end of Miners Ave. (park and walk down steps to view)

Mural #13: “Activities Banner”

Artists: Oliver Burgoyne & Arts Club Students

Rear retaining wall, Lead-Deadwood High School, 320 S. Main St.

Mural #14: “Migrating to the Black Hills”

Artist: David Livingston

High Country Pub ‘n Waterin’ Hole, 322 Baltimore St.

Mural #15: “23rd Psalm”

Artists: Marie & Fred Johnson

Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 825 W. Main St. (view from parking lot on Julius St.)

Mural #16: “Breath of Heaven”

Artist: Christopher Scott

Garage doors, 515 W. Main St. (view from parking lot on Julius St.)

Mural #17: “Benny’s Birds”

Artist: Benny Roberts

Historic Mercantile Wall, 323 W. Main St. (view from parking lot on Julius St.)

Mural #18: “Famous Faces”

Artist: Cary Thrall

Linking fences, Manuel Brothers Park, W. Main St.

Mural #19: “Landscape, One of Three”

Artists: Cary Thrall and Team

Linking fences, Manuel Brothers Park, W. Main St.

Pamphlets with a map of the walking route are available at the Lead Chamber of Commerce and various other businesses in town.