Photo Worthy Walls of St Joseph

November 20, 2019

Written by Emily Baumann | Photography by Lura Landis


DEFINITION: Having or showing creativity or inventiveness

Across St. Joseph street art is popping up and it is perfect for professional photo shoots or impromptu photo sessions with your friends or family. We are excited to share five of our favorite walls and some of the stories that give this art form its unique vibe and uncommon character.

Griffon Wings

Located at Kelly’s Pub 1415 Frederick Ave

Artist: goindigo.art

Griffons assemble! Don your own set of griffon wings and show your school spirit at this mural on the eastern side of Kelly’s Pub created by Missouri Western alum goindiogo.art.

We caught up with the artist and asked her a few questions about the piece and her work as an artist:

Q) What was your inspiration for this art?

A) I was in my last semester at Missouri Western and Kelly’s Pub wanted to give students something to claim as their own downtown and MWSU wanted something to highlight the school. I really just took their ideas and made up designs. I was given a few initial ideas and went back and forth with digital versions with them to settle on a design! I thought it would be neat to take the logo wings and make them wearable in photos. The pattern is something I made up and it gives movement to the mural.

Q) How do street art and murals add to a community?

A) They inspire creativity and give that area positive attention. When people can pass by and see someone painting a wall, they see progress and investment in the community. When you paint something on the wall it invites you to stop and admire.

Q) Tell us a little bit about the art you create and what message(s) you are hoping to share?

A) First and foremost I am a Christian, so my art is an expression of the creativity that I was given by God.There are days where my creativity runs dry and I have to realize that it truly is a gift from Him. With my art, I want people to feel inspired and lighter. I want them to see shapes and colors that make them feel something, that gives them an emotional experience. I enjoy doing public art, because I get to engage with the community, hear their stories, and gain a new perspective.

River Bluff Brewing

Located at 1224 Frederick Ave

Grab some brews with your crew but don’t miss the perfect garage door photo opportunity located on the front and back of the historic River Bluff Brewing building.

Read the story of River Bluff Brewing

The City Worthwhile

Located at Restoration Church 117 Francis St, St Joseph

Artist: Krista Doyle

This mural was created by artist female entrepreneur Krista Doyle, who specializes in illustrations, hand-lettering, and design. It is a throwback to the famous electric sign that proclaimed “St. Joseph The City Worthwhile” which was perched atop the Corby Building in the early 20th century. Located on the eastern side of Restoration Church this photo spot also features historic cobblestone street.

Read the story of Restoration Church

Be the Window

Located at 1125 Faraon St

Artist: Braxton Poetry

A poetry mural by local Braxton Poetry seemingly popped up overnight with this inspirational verse earlier this year. Located on the eastern side of a building across from city hall…we hope to see more inspiring artwork like this across the city.

We recently chatted with Braxton Poetry to learn more about his art inspiration and plans for adding more poetry to buildings in St. Joseph…

Q) What was your inspiration for this art?

A) My inspiration for my quote came from my personal experiences in life. We all go through personal struggles and fight battles every day and it’s easy to get consumed in the daily battles to the extent that we forget we have a war to win (Life). One bad day doesn’t mean you have a bad life. I wanted my quote to provide inspiration to others, to be the light in the dark. To be “the good” that other people can go to on their bad days. In a dark world, be the window that people can find hope in.

Q) How do street art and murals add to a community?

A) Murals and street art add inspiration to communities. Art adds almost a uniqueness to any area its around. Art is an expression of life. There is nothing better than seeing colors, designs, quotes, and artwork on buildings. Downtown is coming alive again and I think street art can draw people from outside cities into Saint Joseph. Art can give people inspiration to get through their days, their weeks, their months. I think more art in the city would be beneficial for everyone. It can provoke and inspire others and that’s what life is all about.

Q) St. Joseph currently doesn’t have a lot of street art, do you hope to change this, and if so, how?

A) I’ve noticed that Saint Joseph really doesn’t have any street art and I do hope it changes. I’ve reached out to a few downtown organizations regarding working with them. I’m constantly on the look-out trying to find people I can work with. There is nothing better than adding positivity to the atmosphere of a community. I’ve utilized social media in terms of trying to connect with business owners, it just takes time for things to catch on. I plan to put my art wherever I’m able. The more impressions of my work, the more lives I can influence.

Q) Tell us a little bit about the art/poetry you create and what message(s) you are hoping to share?

A) My creativity is manifested from my life. From loss, hardships, heartbreak, and just living in general. I’ve realized that I’m able to feel and relate to others well. I use my artwork to maybe help a person I know get through something which in turn can help others get through their hardships. Every day I’m learning and experiencing new feelings and emotions that I’ve learned to channel into artwork. All of my work is made to pull some type of emotion from my audience. I make work to make people really think about life, about others, but most importantly about themselves. Positivity, motivation, and self-love are relevant in all of my creations. I want people to remember that it’s okay to get knocked down, it’s okay to be upset. But you will make it, you will get through it.

Southside Love

Located at 401 Illinois Ave

Artists: Kathy Liao, assistant professor, and MWSU art students

This mural located on the historic Southside Junction celebrates all of the icons of the Southside of St. Joseph. Including some of our favorites like Betty’s Cafe, the Southside Fall Festival, Carnegie Library, and even cardinal wings representing Benton High School.

Learn more about the Southside District

Bonus: Photo Tips

Our photographer for this article, Lura Landis, wanted to share some of her tips for getting the most out of your shoot!

  • Find an interesting background (like these walls).
  • Time of day really has an effect on the photos. Avoiding harsh sunlight is key.
  • Play around with composition, you never know what random pose might look perfect.
  • Change up the distance you are standing from the wall/background.
  • Bring simple accessories like sunglasses or a jacket to change up your style on the fly.
  • Don’t just smile directly for the camera, looking away or down can add interest to your poses.

We can’t wait to see your photos at these uncommon photo ops across St. Joseph…and let us know if you find any new spots that are perfect for that Instagram snap. Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram at @uncommoncharacter #uncommoncharacter

The artists featured in this article are actively creating commissions, if you want to add something unique to your space you can contact them using the information below:

Go Indigo Art goindigo.art@gmail.com 816-550-9888 Instagram: goindigo.art

Braxton Poetry Instagram: @braxton.poetry Facebook: Braxton Fuller

Krista Doyle

Lura Landis is a professional photographer based in St. Joseph and can be reached at Lura Landis on Facebook for all your photography needs.


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