Santa Clara Art Trail: 9 Mural Projects in Santa Clara

by Ben Landis, Marketing Manager at Discover Santa Clara

Art abounds all throughout Santa Clara. We’ve curated a collection of 9 mural projects in Santa Clara that you should discover. Whether you're seeking the perfect backdrop for your next Instagram post, you're a connoisseur of art, or perhaps you fall somewhere in between, there's something for everyone. These murals showcase a range of styles and themes, reflecting the rich culture and creativity of the Santa Clara community.

Don't miss the chance to appreciate the talent and passion of the artists who have transformed these walls into canvases. Whether you're a local or a visitor, discovering these mural projects is a delightful way to experience the artistic heartbeat of Santa Clara.

Join us on this art trail and embark on this vibrant journey through Santa Clara’s streets and neighborhoods, where each mural tells a unique story.

1. Merry Mart Uniforms Store Mural

This mural by Bay Area artist Jason Guastucci stands out prominently on the corner of Washington and Newhall, near the Merry Mart Uniform Store. This bright and colorful artwork prominently features the words "Santa Clara" with the Mission Santa Clara de Asís depicted behind the letters, creating a vibrant and welcoming scene. The mural also showcases various figures engaged in sporting activities, highlighting Santa Clara's active community spirit.

Wanting to improve the exterior of their shop, the team at Merry Mart brought in Guastucci in 2017 to give the side of the building a facelift. Located near the border of San Jose and Santa Clara, this mural warmly greets people as they enter Santa Clara. It has become a point of pride for both residents and visitors, offering a sense of place and connection as they explore the city.

ProTip: Don't forget to take a selfie by this vibrant wall to capture your visit!

Address: 33 Washington St, Santa Clara, CA 95050

2. Lawrence Station Mural

Continuing with the theme of welcoming people to Santa Clara, local artist Lila Gemellos has created a prominent mural located in the Lawrence Station Shopping Center. This mural welcomes visitors with the words "Welcome to Santa Clara" featured on a green street sign. Paying homage to historic Santa Clara, the colorful artwork includes several landmarks and a 1935 roadway traffic map at its center. Additionally, it highlights the agricultural history of Santa Clara, depicting farmlands and produce to celebrate the area's rich farming heritage.

Gemellos created a blog post on October 12, 2018, detailing her thought process behind creating this mural. It’s always a treat to see what is going on in an artist’s mind when they are creating a piece of art.

Address: 3550 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara, CA 95051

3. Utility Box Series

The Utility Box Art Program is a public art initiative by the Santa Clara Cultural Commission, aimed at transforming ordinary utility boxes into unique and vibrant works of art. This program enhances the city's visual appeal and creates a more attractive streetscape. Currently, there are 15 pieces in this project. For a more detailed rundown of the artists and all the locations, visit the City of Santa Clara's website.

a box with a painting of dragons

(Cycles of Mythical Survival by Betty Nguyen - one the painted utility boxes)

4. Avatar Hotel

If you have been driving down Great America Parkway, there's a good chance you've seen a bold and colorful mural that stands out amidst the office buildings. Santa Clara’s newest collection of murals can be found at the Avatar Hotel.

Art abounds at Avatar, with multiple original works bringing life to each space. The exterior of the hotel boasts a breathtaking four-story mural by Bay Area artist Benjamin Henderson. Guests outside on the Avatar Hotel’s Starbucks patio can enjoy an original mural by Palm Springs artist Angie Chua.

Whether you’re a guest at Avatar Hotel, grabbing a quick coffee at Starbucks, or just passing by, this hotel is a delightfully colorful building that breaks the noise among its immediate surroundings. We encourage you to experience the art for yourself.

Address: 4200 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara, CA 95054

mural at avatar hotel
(Mural by artist Benjamin Henderson)

5. Mission Santa Clara de Asís

Located on the campus of Santa Clara University, Mission Santa Clara de Asís is a Santa Clara landmark full of rich history and beautiful gardens. In October 1926, a fire destroyed the church. The university rebuilt it, aiming to restore its 1825 appearance, with the restoration completed in 1928. (To learn more about the history of the mission, click here.)

As you walk around, you will observe multiple paintings and statues, each worth taking a moment to appreciate. Inside, there are three main highlights among the collection of art front and center by the high altar. Behind the high altar, two murals by Candelario Rivas from 1931 are the primary attractions: one depicts St. Anthony embracing Christ on the cross, and the other shows St. Francis of Assisi. Above these, a reproduction of Augustine Davila's 1825 painting features angels and saints peering down from heaven. These artworks not only add to the aesthetic beauty of the mission but also offer a glimpse into the religious and artistic heritage of the region during that period.

Address: 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053

a church with a painting on the ceiling

6. Santa Clara High School Mural

Santa Clara High School (SCHS) commissioned artist Paul J. Gonzalez to create a mural, transforming their small gym's exterior into a visual celebration of student life. Erin Brown, Vice Principal of Activities, Facilities, and Communication, along with alumna Sofia Kritikopoulos, emphasized the importance of student input in the creative process. A committee of students shared various photos and their experiences at SCHS with Gonzalez. Using these contributions, Gonzalez captured the essence of student life at SCHS, from freshman orientation to graduation.

Completed on October 10, 2019, the mural has become a beloved addition to the campus and is expected to be enjoyed by students for many generations to come.

Address: 3000 Benton St, Santa Clara, CA 95051

a mural on a wall

7. Cabrillo Middle School Mural

In 2015, the Cabrillo Middle School Mural project brought together the San Francisco 49ers players and executives, Cabrillo Middle School students and educators, Chevron executives, representatives from the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, and members of the Santa Clara Unified School District School Board. The 49ers enlisted local Bay Area artist Morgan Bricca to design the mural, which was painted on an exterior wall of the Chevron STEMZONE at Cabrillo Middle School in Santa Clara. The mural aimed to inspire students to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

The 49ers STEM Leadership Institute, a collaborative initiative between the 49ers, the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, and the Santa Clara Unified School District, supported by Chevron, complements this effort. This six-year program is designed to help high-achieving students reach their full potential. It is available at Cabrillo Middle School for grades 7-8 and Santa Clara High School for grades 9-12. Projects like these play a vital role in nurturing and developing our students into future leaders. This mural serves as a powerful reminder of how businesses and organizations like the 49ers and Chevron can collaborate with educators to shape the leaders of tomorrow.

Address: 2550 Cabrillo Ave, Santa Clara, CA 95051

8. Wilcox Mural

Not much is known about the Wilcox Mural as there is limited information online. However, this unique piece was designed by the Wilcox High School Architectural Building Department, led by Fred Richards and draftsmen Stan Elliott and Les Burmeister.

The mural was crafted using colored rocks and stucco, incorporated into a tilt-up wall construction. The mural showcases an intricate design of geometric patterns and shapes. These patterns create a sense of movement and flow, drawing the viewer's eye across the entire piece.

Address: 3250 Monroe Street, Santa Clara, CA 95051

this is the wilcox mural

9. Mural at Mariposa Shopping Center - “Aurelian Season”

"Aurelian Season" was painted by artist Mike Tyau at the Mariposa Shopping Center. This vibrant mural features geometric butterflies in flight, bringing a modern twist to natural beauty. The colorful mosaic landscape symbolizes freedom and transformation, enhancing the urban space with its dynamic and hopeful imagery.

Address: 2760 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara, CA 95051

a mural of butterflies and bicycle racks

Beyond these murals, Santa Clara boasts a vast collection of public art, including numerous sculptures scattered throughout the city. The City of Santa Clara has created a comprehensive art map showcasing all the public art installations you need to check out.

Additionally, Santa Clara is home to the Triton Museum of Art, which features a rotating collection of artists and exhibits. We highly encourage you to explore this museum and discover the rich artistic culture it offers. Whether you're a resident or just visiting, the city's vibrant art scene is sure to inspire and delight.