12 Magnificent Murals in Wichita Falls and Where to Find Them
You see them at various spots downtown, usually when you least expect them, those giant murals painted onto the sides of buildings. Sometimes it’s a gorilla clutching a beautiful woman, sometimes a parrot staring down a startled man, other times it’s a pair of eyes gazing back at you.
Why are they there? And who painted them?
That last part is easy. They’re the work of longtime Wichita Falls resident and artist, Ralph Stearns. And they’re there because the building owners wanted to add a splash of color and whimsy to the downtown area.
Ralph was born in Austin and moved to Wichita Falls when he was in fourth grade. He left briefly for a stint in the United States Marine Corps then moved back to Wichita Falls to earn his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Midwestern State University. Since then he’s worked as a commercial artist and director for Lamar Advertising, is active in the local arts community, and has won numerous awards at area juried art shows and events.
Ralph has multiple murals across downtown Wichita Falls, many of them on the outsides of buildings so you can drive by and enjoy them any time. Several more are inside Wichita Falls ISD schools, churches, even Faith Mission.
His first downtown mural was the giant parrot on the Hall Building at the corner of Kell Boulevard and Scott Avenue in 2005. His latest is Cleopatra’s Eyes at the corner of 8th and Burnett in 2016, and the just completed light switch near the gorilla at the Coca-Cola plant on Lamar. Be sure to spot the small black cat and mouse at the corner of the building!
In the meantime, we’ve tracked down most of the downtown murals and their locations for you. Just use the handy-dandy interactive map or follow the list below.
These first three are all really close. The Parrot, Train and Patriotic Eagle are on the Hall Building at the corner of Kell Boulevard and East Scott Avenue. MAP IT.
The Longhorn Steer is on the side of the Branding Iron at 104 East Scott Avenue at Kell East. MAP IT.
The Soaring Eagle, Gorilla, and Light Switch are on one of the Coca-Cola buildings at the corner of Lamar Avenue and Kell West. Look to your left as you look at the eagle and you'll see the light switch. MAP IT.
Cleopatra’s Eyes are at corner of 8th and Burnett Street. MAP IT.
The giant Horny Toads are on Texas Tire building at corner of Brook Avenue and 6th Street (Seymour Highway). MAP IT.
The Hands in Prayer are inside Faith Mission at 1300 Travis. Faith Mission says everyone is welcome to come in to see this and the other murals inside their building, but please do so during normal business hours. There are several other spectacular paintings inside Faith Mission and scattered around Wichita Falls that were painted by other artists. MAP IT.
BONUS VIDEO: Famous People From Wichita Falls