The Eureka Street Art Festival is back for 2023

Well, take another look at Eureka, would ya? Back for its sixth year, the Eureka Street Art Festival and its brigade of artist recruits have applied even more color to Humboldt’s paint-lovin’ county seat during what has annually come to be a whirlwind week for those daring enough to involve themselves. Numerous buildings and infrastructure that would previously not have warranted a second look now proudly demand your wonderment. We say hooray.

If you’re unfamiliar with how this process works, let us briefly explain. Leading up to each year’s festival, event organizers attempt to match up artists, both local and foreign, with local businesses and/or city officials looking to spruce up a wall or surface. Dreams are discussed. Designs are refined.

Every year the festival attempts to focus on a different zone of the city. For the 2023 edition, it was decided that creative energy would be directed toward the Broadway/Highway 101 corridor, an area long-criticized for being a chaotic river of car yuck. As we approach the official end of the festival, we can report that most the murals are done, but if you find yourself rolling down Broadway this weekend you may still see a few artists hustling away and questioning their life choices. 

If you can’t make the trek, however, never you fear. Your Lost Coast Outpost made a few trips up and down Broadway this week and was able to snap photos of every single 2023 entry and the artists who manifested them. We invite you to allow them into your brain by scrolling below.

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(Weott and Table Bluff)
“Jardim Electrico”

The future downtown home of Marjo Lak’s Humboldt Nation dispensary lounge on Eureka’s Fourth Street has been transformed into a vibrant, psychedelic jungle thanks to the brushwork of locals Laci Dane and Blake Reagan.

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On the backside of the same building, festival goers will find a different jungle entirely courtesy of Brazilian artist Edar Muniz AKA Calangoss, who honed his craft tagging numerous buildings in Salvador da Bahia. 

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“Cruising for a Groovin’”

Showing his admirable commitment to sprucing up Fourth Street, local artist Tony Diaz is painting the other side of MOCA Humboldt, a building he first painted during the 2021 Eureka Street Art Festival.

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“Godwits in Flight”

At the corner where Fourth Street magically transforms into Broadway you will now be greeted by a flock of cheery, soaring godwits conjured up by Oakland’s Liv Losee-Unger AKA ORLUarts.

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“Inside Voice”

Easy tigers, apparently. Modesto artist FASM was so quick in applying a pair of fierce felines to the walls of Hubbard’s German Auto that the business agreed to allow him and his daughter to produce an additional design for another their walls. Rawr.

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(Victoria, British Columbia)
“Here’s the Connection”

Another entry a bit off the festival’s main route comes courtesy of Canadian artist Caitlin McDonagh, who set to work this week adding a sense of whimsy to a building at the City of Eureka’s Corporation Yard.

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(Santurce, Puerto Rico)
“The Ripped Wall” and “California”

Double duty! Puerto Rican artist Ekosaurio has two floral entries in this year’s festival: one on a retaining wall on Broadway just south of Hawthorne Street and another on the side of Synapsis on Union Street.

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“Kaleidoscope Galaxy”

It’s daddy-daughter week! Festival veteran Ben Goulart is sharing billing this year with his 8-year-old child Edin. The two collaborated to come up with the design that now adorns the long retaining wall adjacent Hawthorne Street off Broadway. 

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“Jellyfish of the Bay”

Fear not! They don’t sting. A pair of retaining walls near the intersection of Broadway and Vigo Street have been jellyfied by local artist Josh Overington. 

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Last year Rochester-based spray paint artist Justin Suarez AKA Aerosol Kingdom added some giant wildlife to the wall of Pacific Outfitters. He has returned this year to gift Eureka with this Broadway hooter. 

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(Nevada City)

Half spray paint, half brush, this imaginative piece by NorCal artist Miles Toland now adorns the back wall of S.T.I.L. on Broadway.

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“Eureka Through Sketch”

Tucked inside a small retaining wall on the long stretch of Broadway in front of Ocean View Cemetery, passersby will henceforth be greeted by painted “sketch”es of a handful of Eureka landmarks courtesy of local artist Kay Lopez. 

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(Los Angeles)
“Wings Across the Marsh” and “Impromptu Frogs”

After quickly completing the unthinkable feat of making Carpet Depot’s previously nondescript metal building a feast for the eyes — those egrets are e-great, no? — LA artist Mark Worst has also taken on a second mural. He’s currently putting the finishing touches on some frogs on Pure Water Spas’ wall down the street. (The artist that was scheduled to paint that wall couldn’t make it last minute. It happens.)

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“Pacific Dreams”

Not all of this year’s murals are vertical. Take Canadian artist Zoë Gelfant’s colorful addition to the previously color-bereft Elk River Park ‘n’ Ride as proof that even large expanses of pavement can be made more palatable with a many splashes of paint. 

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“Elements of the Lost Coast”

The most ambitious and logistically challenging entry in this year’s festival is being tackled by Yurok artist Carl Avery. To paint both sides of the Herrick Avenue overpass south of Eureka, Avery has had to work with Caltrans to divert Highway 101 motorists allowing placement for his fancy boom lift. Oh, and he can only paint in the middle of the night when traffic is sparse. 

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Whoa! You made it all the way down here. Great work. 

Now, one more thing: If you’d like to celebrate Eureka’s new art with its creators and fellow art appreciators, LoCO will remind you that the Eureka Street Art Festival culminates with its annual Block Party. This year, the gathering will be held Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. under the Samoa Bridge on Waterfront Drive, where attendees can expect food, beer, bands, vendor booths and live art demonstrations.

Yay, art.