Muralists Kick Off Sacramento ‘Wide Open Walls’ Festival

SACRAMENTO -- If you drive by The Mill on Broadway, you can't miss the bright colors glaring off the old water tower nearby.

It's just one of the 40 murals that will be completed over the next 10 days. Fifty artists, 11 of them international, are part of the Wide Open Walls mural festival, which began in Sacramento on Thursday.

"More color and more art and more culture," Spanish muralist Okuda San Miguel said.

Festival organizers say they were able to expand from 10 murals last year to 40 this year because of a tremendous response from more interested businesses wishing to donate.

"What we saw from last year is that these business owners love having the murals on their locations and, not only that, it beautifies the city," festival spokesman Patrick Harbison said.

Harbison said out of the 50 artists, 37 are local.

One of the local artists, Bryan Valenzuela, says painting a 90-foot mural in 10 days is a daunting task.

"Sixteen or 18 hours a day," he said of how long he works. "I haven't slept that much."

Valenzuela is painting a mural of hand playing tug-of-war on R and 28th streets. He says he's proud to be a part of the festival's effort to bring more art to the city.

"You try to create something that is beautiful but also has some sort of meaning or it sparks a conversation," he told FOX40.

To view a map of mural locations, click here.