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How a Louisville, KY mural is made with Liz Richter


Liz Richter sits against her breastfeeding mural in Smoketown. | Photo by Leslie Rodriguez

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New murals in Louisville appear like the first flowers of spring — quietly at first and then suddenly, their blooms are all around us.

For local artist Liz Richter, who often deals in florals, the process of creating each mural is just as varied as the types of clients and projects she takes on — from NuLu to St. Matthews Liz has 7 murals (which you can tour on her website). And she recently added another to her portfolio outside of city limits in La Grange as part of HGTV’s “Hometown Kickstart.”

We were curious about what it takes to create a mural in Derby City, so we gave her a call.


Liz said the type of business or project often determines the timeline of the piece, with her work on the Multisensory Public Art for Clifton project — a current work in progress with the Kentucky School for the Blind — set to take about three years to complete. Other works, like her Time Spent With Cats piece on the side of Lucky Cat Cafe & Lounge, take only a few months.

Bidding process

Occasionally Liz will respond to “Calls for Artists,” which organizations put out from time to time, but she said it can be a bit of a double-edged sword — on the one hand, it helps emerging artists get a chance to have their work considered for a big project, but on the other, it asks artists to surrender their ideas for free without necessarily getting the bid.

“It’s important for people to understand that we are contractors and that even though it’s art, there’s a specific process and we are entrepreneurs, too,” Liz said. “There is a need for artists to value their time and for local businesses and organizations to understand the value of an artist’s time and that this is a very special field and that there’s not very many people who can do it.”


Liz Richter depicts Louisville’s first drive-in movie theater on the backside of Best Buy in St. Matthews | Photo by @lizrichterart

Some clients — like her NuLu Wildflower piece for Google Fiber — don’t have a definitive brief in mind while others have specific themes they look to highlight. Last summer, Liz did a piece on the backside of the Best Buy in St. Matthews celebrating the history of Louisville’s first drive-in theater, which was established there in the early 1940s.

Nuts and bolts of mural-making in the 502

🎨 Types of clients who commission murals: Commercial business, nonprofit organizations, individuals, local government

🎨 Best time to paint outdoors: Fall, from September-November

🎨 Liz’s ideal time table on a project: 6 months from concept to creation

🎨 Liz’s advice to organizations looking to commission a mural: Reach out to your artist early — like 6 months in advance.

🎨 Liz’s dream wall to paint in LOU: The side of The Manhattan Project or the Walgreens on N. Ewing + Frankfort Ave.

You can catch Liz at her upcoming solo show at Revelry Boutique + Gallery, opening Fri., Aug. 5. She’ll be transforming the nooks and crannies of the gallery to represent her mind. Follow Liz on Instagram for updates.