New murals painted on businesses throughout South Lake Tahoe

Submitted to the Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Notice more art around town? Over the course of the summer, four murals have been installed along US 50. The final one is in the throes of completion.

The first two murals went up in July. The first was done by Matt Kaufman in conjunction with local Girl Scout of the Sierra Nevada Troop 722. As the High School art teacher, Kaufman often works with his students to paint the brightly colored utility boxes you see around town. The mural he installed with Troop 722 is a beautiful design with silhouettes of trees and local animals set against vivid sunset colors on the side of Lake Tahoe Glass. It was intended to raise awareness about not feeding the local wildlife.

The second mural by Ryan Bahlman “Rynoart” is on Athletex gym at the corner of US50 and Sierra Blvd. It is an eagle taking flight and makes clever use of the pop out heating vent as an eye. The eagle represents freedom for new gym owners Ali Schirra and Rob Pyfer, who were able to buy out their corporate counterparts this spring. The gym is now 100% locally owned. Born and raised in the Tahoe/Truckee area, Rynoart designs snowboard graphics (in addition to large scale paintings) and started the Hive Collective up in Incline.

Working into the night, artist Craig Newman completed a third mural last Thursday on Hotel Azure at the corner of Rufus Allen and US50. It is the iconic view of Emerald Bay done in Craig’s unique style using swirling patterns and bright colors inspired by Monet, Van Gogh, and M.C. Escher.

Craig Newman with his mural on Hotel Azure.

Born and raised in South Lake Tahoe, Newman began drawing in his living room as a child. In his early teens, he began studying under local artist Phyllis Shafer for over 20 twenty years and his style reflects it. Newman’s favorite style of paintings include surreal landscapes based in Tahoe and the surrounding areas, mandalas, portraits, and murals.

Finally, Monday, Oct. 23, local artists Nick Akins and Drew Doiron started on their mural at Integrity Locksmith. You can already see the bright colors peaking through the trees as you approach. This joint effort was months in the making and now the two artists are successfully hustling to get it done before the snow falls. Doiron is a local tattoo artist and Akins did the mural at Tahoe Valley Elementary. His work can be found at multiple cafes and restaurants around town.

Drew Doiron with his mural at Integrity Locksmith.

The first mural was funded through the City’s Arts Culture and Tourism Commission. The other three murals were coordinated by the Tahoe Art League with funding from the City’s Cannabis grant, El Dorado Community Foundation, local art sponsors Carol and Fernando, Ashley Mattila with Marcus Ashley Gallery as well as by two local businesses Blue Dog Pizza and Athletex gym. Both of these businesses had had murals installed through the Art League and they agreed to help “Pay it Forward” by funding future murals on other businesses. Many, many thanks to all of our sponsors.

If you are a local business with US50 frontage and are interested in having a mural, please contact the Tahoe Art League at

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