La Crosse downtown alley now filled with murals by local artists

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU)-- Friday night was the official opening of an alley filled with murals in downtown La Crosse.

Ashton Hall's mural in the alley

The murals, located just behind Main St. and off of Fifth Ave., is a collaboration between 15 local artists.

Each of the artists were given a spot to paint, which for many, is a way they communicate.

"It gives you kind of like a voice as an artist and you can say whatever you want and whatever is important to you and express yourself," said Ashton Hall, one of the mural artists.

The muralists have been working for several weeks on the project.

"I know the artists have really had a great time, not only working on their pieces, but getting to know each other and those connections are what make a community strong," said Robin Moses, Executive Director of Downtown Main Street La Crosse.

For local artists, the alley isn't just a way to bring their art to the public, but also to provide La Crosse with something they say it's lacking.

"I want this alley to really inspire and spice up La Crosse’s art scene because La Crosse definitely needs some art, local art, and some artistic culture and flair," Hall said.

The spot has already been drawing attention by visitors walking around downtown La Crosse.

Moses hopes the murals not only brighten up the city, but also help make it more secure.

"When you have something that’s going on, it makes it a safer place to be because more people might be in this area," Moses said. "There’s also been an increase in lighting in this alley by the people who own the buildings here."

The artists hope that the public display helps remind the community of the important role that art plays and possibly inspire a new generation of artists.

"Everything has a time when it expires, art does not," Hall said. "Art is what we learn from in history. Art is what preserves ages and it preserves a time in space."

Organizers say the murals are here to stay and that they plan to freshen them up and create more in the future, making the alley a place for multiple visits.