City-owned parking garage receives a Sioux Falls artist's touch
From trouble-teen graffiti artist to painting the city’s largest mural, Sioux Falls artist Walter Portz’s latest work is on display.
Portz completed the mural in just 13 days covering a city-owned seven-story parking garage on East 10th Street.
This was in less than half the time originally expected to complete the mural.
Portz said what surprised him the most was not the undertaking of such a large project, but the support he received from the local community.
“Strangers and old men that would come and just visit for a little while, and friend's parents bringing me dinner, or, you know, those kinds of things were really fun. It was just great to have the community out. I mean, I bet 200 people stop by and say 'hi' in one way or another,” said Portz.
Portz said he used 18 five-gallon buckets in total to complete the project.
He said his inspiration for painting murals comes from a life of appreciating different forms of art.
“In the early 90s, I did a little bit of graffiti and I got into some trouble for that, so public art was not in my wheelhouse for quite a number of years," said Portz. "Now that that is a more acceptable visual, you know, art presentation, it’s something I have embraced and tried to figure out ways to incorporate digital, photography and street art to create murals.”
The mural now covers what used to be a massive gray wall of concrete near the core of downtown. The city hopes the new mural will attract the right developer for the space.