Lompoc Mural Society History
Celebrating 25 years of Big Art in the valley
The Lompoc Mural Project was conceived in 1988 when Gene and Judy Stevens visited Chemainus, British Columbia. They were impressed that a small community of only 3,500 people, which was literally dying because its major industry had shut down, was using art as the major economic rebuilding tool. The town had been developing tourism with the help of murals.
Gene and Judy brought the idea back to Lompoc where they shared it with Marilyn Oliver, who is a native of British Columbia. She too had entertained the same thought. In August of 1988 about 80 people attended a town meeting called to discuss the possibility of using the same concept to help Lompoc’s declining “Old Town.” The response from the group was enthusiastic and a Board of Directors was formed.
Lompoc’s first mural was of the “Flower Industry” painted in 1990 by Santa Monica artist, Art Mortimer. Today, Lompoc has close to 30 major commissioned murals in its inventory. They all depict a part of Lompoc’s history and are located primarily in the old downtown area.
There are also dozens of smaller murals within the community. Some of these have been part of the Mural Society’s Community Canvas Project and Outdoor Art Competition. Many privately created murals have also sprung up all over town.
A member of the Global Mural Arts & Cultural Tourism Association & founding member of CALPAMS (California Public Art & Mural Society), the Society and the Chamber of Commerce hosted the first California Regional Symposium in 2001 here in Lompoc.
Today, tourists come to view Lompoc’s murals year round from all over the world. It was in 1988 that the idea of the Lompoc Mural Project was conceived and the vision of the project being an instrument of community pride and economic enhancement is happening!