30 examples of street art and murals about books, libraries and reading
There are many ways to express that books are an essential part of our life. Street art with books in focus is one of the best.
Whenever you visit a crowded tourist destination, or a little quiet town, and spot a great street art, go make a pic and share it with your friends. The lists like this could be possible, and they can further spread the word.
Books are an important part of life. They provoke to think, to argue, to make an opinion, to succeed. This is very well reflected in street art.
My favorite works are the Valencia stuff from a famous street art group Escif, but also the one painted by Andreyante AO in Nizhny Novgorod, and the mural in Łódź created by a Polish street artist Barys.
When going through a lot of fantastic pictures, I realized one thing. A lot of street art is coming to mobile devices – in a variety of screen wallpapers or designer cases.
On the other side, almost no modern gadgets appeared on the streets so far, although they are becoming an important (if not overwhelming) part of life.
If you know of any great street art that should be featured in this list, please share it in the comments.
Street art and murals about books, libraries, reading
Real Books. A French street artist Levalet creates collages on city walls across France. Some of his works show people reading. And what they are reading are actually real books. ⇢ Credits and more info.
Book Riot. The painting is a part of a series of murals painted in Valencia, Spain, by a group of artists and performers from Escif. ⇢ Credits.
Literacy Windows. The mural was created by Carolyn Speranza and Lisa Link with a help of five high school artists. Please note, that the first book from left shows various learning tools. Except books, there are also computers. This is one of first examples of digital books coming to street art. ⇢ Credits.
Literary Mural. This outstanding mural was created by Jane Brewster and is located in Portland, Oregon, in the neighborhood of Hawthorne Boulevard Books and Powell’s Books bookstores. ⇢ Credits.
Transformer Books. Art-Facade, mural art studio from Saint Petersburg, Russia, created in 20 days this great book mural art on a transformer sub-station near Rossiysky Prospect.
Instead of bricks, typical for transformer sub-stations, we see the bookshelf full of oversized classic literature titles. “The creative concept design allowed us to put an elegant link between safety regulations and the world’s famous titles.” ⇢ Credits and info.
Pilsen Books. This book-themed mural is a part of an ongoing street art project by Chicago-based creative collective, Pawn Works. The mural was painted in Chicago, on a lengthy old wall in Pilsen neighborhood. ⇢ Credits and info.
Reading Punk. A part of a street art project by Buenos Aires street artist Patxi Mazzoni Alonso.
The project’s idea is “to promote study, work, education and music and show the punks visually to people who have rejected them and don’t recognize who they are.” ⇢ More photos and info.
Education is the Key to Knowledge. Created by street artist Marcin “Barys” Barjasz, in Lódź, Poland. Photo by Regina Lang. ⇢ More info.
Girl Reading. Street art in Gloucester. Found and pictured by Donglos Images. ⇢ Credits and more info.
Books are the basis. A smart street art spotted somewhere in Russia. It doesn’t look like a painting, but real books walled in a column. ⇢ Source.
Reading While Growing Roots. A surreal mural in Nuñez, painted by a Colombian artist Loto. “A pseudo human being is reading while growing roots.” ⇢ More info.
Kid Reading. Mural on the side of the Trilok School on Waverly Avenue, Brooklyn. Created by a legendary Chile-based artist Nelson Rivas (Cekis). ⇢ Photo credits.
Reading: A Journey. This huge mural was created by Donald Gensler, and can be seen in Philadelphia.
The mural is a part of The Mural Arts Program that has created more than 3,000 paintings representing important aspects of Philadelphia’s African American history. ⇢ Credits and more info.
Joyous Discoveries: A Journey Through Books and Music. The mural was painted by Keith Hollander at Market St. and Duboce Ave, in San Francisco. There are several books visible, including Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s 100 Years of Solitude, and Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. ⇢ Credits and more info.
Read. Sticker and poster campaign that started in 2005. Created by Brooklyn-based artist and performer Jay Giroux. ⇢ Credits and more info.
Climbing Over Books. Street art by Andreyante AO, in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. ⇢ More info.
Pile of Books. This amazing mural was created in Frankfurt by a Brazilian street artist Tinho (Walter Nomura). It shows two kids waiting on a pile of books. ⇢ Credits and more info.
Oye Read. From Brooklyn Street Art resources. Artist unknown. Photo by Jaime Rojo. ⇢ More info.
Read More Books. A simple typographic art spotted and photographed by Red Boy. ⇢ More info.
X-Times People Chair – Woman Reading. A part of a street art performance by a German artist and performer Angie Hiesl.
Elderly people sit on white chairs that are mounted on buildings at a height between three and seven meters. They perform rehearsed, everyday activities in a reserved manner: they read the paper, slice bread, fold clothes… ⇢ Credits and more info.
La Bibliothèque. A small mural on a library building in small town near Fontainebleau, France. Pictured by Kelly Robic. ⇢ More info.
Dr Seuss “Read” Sculpture. This amazing giant display was made of 25,000 Dr. Seuss books in front of the New York Public Library, between the library’s iconic lion statues.
The sculpture was a collaboration between the National Education Association and Target Corporation, and is a part of the Target’s plan to donate $1 billion to education-related programs by 2015. ⇢ More info and photos.
Bookstore Mural. Created on a side wall of Circle City Books and Music in Pittsboro. ⇢ Photo credits.
Wall of books. A 10-meter wall made of ceramic books, Amsterdam. ⇢ Photo credits.
Larchmere Mural. The mural graces the east wall of Loganberry Books bookstore, located in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Created by artist Gene Epstein, the painting reflects the neighborhood’s people and history. ⇢ More info.
La Bibliotèque De La Cité. A beautiful fresco-style mural on the façade of the Lyon Municipal Library, France. ⇢ More info.
School Bookshelf. This huge bookshelf was painted in a school yard in Tyumen, by Russian art group Color of the City. ⇢ Credits and more info.
Heart, Culture and Pedagogy. An amazing mural located in the College of the Sacred Heart of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, on a wall of Éva-Senécal library.
Created by artists from M.U.R.I.R.S. and influenced by master painters of trompe-l’œil, it is a metaphor of the local literary universe, with more than 100 authors represented. ⇢ Credits and more info.
Flying Books. Jazz mural by artist Bill Weber on Jackson Square, San Francisco. Flying books in front are Brian Goggin’s “Language of the Birds” installation. ⇢ More info.
Library Mural. Created on seven walls of Ustroń Public Library, Poland, and taking over 500 square meters, the mural shows the interiors of the Trinity College Library in Dublin. ⇢ More info.
Dublin Digital Classics. A part of a street campaign by Dublin City Council to get the young generation interested in reading. ⇢ More info.
• • •
More to explore:
- 24 books to read in under an hour (infographic)
- 15 most creative books from the past and present
- Fun stuff: famous book titles as played on a drum kit
- 20 memorable wartime books you have to reread
- Library of the future: 7 technologies we would love to see
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