Exeter, California: An Outdoor Art Gallery Showcases the Town's History, Folklore & Culture by Fiona Whiley
Exeter, Calif., is a quaint town located near the foothills of the Sequoia National Park in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Downtown Exeter is the stage of an interesting outdoor art gallery that features over 30 murals painted by different artists. The stories told in the murals, found on the external walls of the buildings, are of local history, folklore and culture.
The idea of the murals was born from the need for the historic town to attract attention in the middle of an economic recession. Some locals came up with the idea of painting the blank brick walls around the town with murals representing historic scenes of life in and around the settlement. The very first mural, “Orange Harvest,” was funded by the city government. Subsequent murals have been commissioned by private companies and even individuals.
Most of the murals are located centrally, within a six-block grid bounded by Palm and Maple streets, and between F and C streets. The terrain is easy walking, with level streets and footpaths. The outdoor art gallery continues to grow, partnered by specialty boutiques, antique shops and charming cafes – a winning combination which attracts many visitors to the town.