5 Crossroads murals off the beaten path

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If you’ve ever been downtown to the Crossroads, you know it’s called an Arts District for a reason.

Maybe you’ve seen the galleries open on First Fridays. Maybe you’ve noticed the big murals dedicated to the Chiefs or Sporting KC. But off the beaten path, there are other pieces (big and small) worth noticing.

Here are five pieces of artwork worth seeking out:

Young Hemingway

Picture of Young Hemingway

No, the characters in Dragon Ball Z didn’t grow mustaches. | Photo by KCtoday

Hemingway Building, 103 W. 19 St., KCMO | 🎨 by @lookatart

Artist Jake Merten creates art in the style of anime (a style of Japanese animation), including this portrait of Ernest Hemingway (note the mustache). This building was named after the famous writer, who worked for the Kansas City Star out of this office space.


Picture of BA BA MA

What do you see inside her head? | Photo by KCtoday

South side of Hemingway Building in the alley | 🎨 by @visualgoodies_aws

The piece represents a mother, and everything inside her head is what a mother carries with her. The artist is influenced by Egyptian symbolism + has an Afro-futuristic style. See the original concept.

Art Alley No. 2

An alley of art in the Crossroads

Urban Hikes Kansas City owner Lisa Peña in action. | Photo by KCtoday

Between Wyandotte Street + Baltimore Avenue, from the Hemingway Building to 17th Street | 🎨 by various artists

Maybe you’ve heard of Art Alley in the Crossroads, but have you heard of the other one? We’re not sure if there’s a specific name for it, but head north from the west side of the Hemingway Building, and you’ll find yourself immersed (literally from the ground up) in colors and shapes of all kinds.

Unnamed Portrait

Picture of woman with hair blowing

The artist didn’t give a name for this person. Who does it make you think of? | Photo by KCtoday

Art Alley No. 2 | 🎨 by @hevanpaints

Although this artist is no longer with us, you may know him for his incredible portraiture, including another piece — a depiction of Marilyn Monroe.

Skin Deep

Photo of blue people with flowers under their face

We are mesmerized by the colors in this one. | Photo by KCtoday

Back of Outreach Event Space, 112 W 18th St., KCMO | 🎨 by @zulupainter1

Part of the annual mural event SpraySeeMO, this piece by Zulu Painter is meant to say that beauty is on the inside, and everyone has something different to show the world. Here’s a before and after.

See more murals with SpraySeeMo’s interactive map.

Special thanks to Kansas City Urban Hikes for the tour. Here’s where to book one.