The Anacortes Museum is excited to announce a new self-guided, smartphone tour of the Bill Mitchell Mural Project. Anyone with a smartphone is invited to log onto: billmitchellmuralproject.org and begin exploring the wonderful Anacortes history, created by the late Bill Mitchell - muralist, cartoonist, artist, local historian, pirate and overall scallywag – who was born on April 14, 1949 and lived most of his years in Anacortes.
Join museum educator Adam Farnsworth on Thursday, April 14th at 5:30 pm for a demonstration of the tour. Meet at the northwest corner of 5th Street and Commercial Ave. The demonstration will last about a half-hour, with a short walk, but participants are welcome to continue exploring on their own. The demonstration tour will be repeated at the same location on Saturday, April 16th at 2:00 pm.
“Our hope is that people will use the website to add depth and meaning to their experience of downtown,” says Adam Farnsworth, Education and Media Curator at the Anacortes Museum. Recordings of Mitchell telling about the murals is part of the tour, adding to the context and background. “People are able to stand in front of a mural and have a much more enriched experience.”
More audio content will be added as the project progresses, and QR codes will be placed next to the murals as entry points for the tour. Tour development was supported by the Anacortes Museum Foundation and its generous donors, as well as funds provided through the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee.
Mitchell’s roots were deep, and his love of all things Anacortes fueled his passion to preserve and honor the rich history on Fidalgo Island. Always one to champion saving a cherished building and hoping to spruce up the community, Bill created the Anacortes Mural Project. The first mural was mounted May 3, 1984. The project generated a life of its own and currently there are over 160 murals on display and several that were still in the planning stages. Bill loved parades, mermaids, cars, pirates, World War II mementos, to name but a few. He would share his vision and enthusiasm with everyone who took the time to listen. His impact will remain within all of us.
Self-Guided Mural Tour How-To:
Individuals can get started on their own by launching billmitchellmuralproject.org on a smartphone and navigating to “The Mural” located under “The Murals” menu item. From there, they can tap the Google Maps center location icon: a small compass around a circle, under the “Map” button in the top, left corner of the map. This will use the phone’s GPS features to center the map on the user’s location. The pin icons indicate the locations of each mural, and by tapping a pin, one can see the mural at the specific spot. Further, by clicking through to the post for each individual mural, users can view additional information about the mural, its subject, related history, and more.