Bug Bunny Mural

The Rebel Beauty of Art Alley

Instead of shutting down artistic expression, Rapid City embraced the magic
Rapid City, South Dakota


It all started with some light posts.

Around 2004, a few residents and business owners wanted to liven up their downtown area. They painted a door and two light poles, unaware of what some simple bits of artistic expression would do to one downtown block of Rapid City

More property owners started to do the same. And then came the artists that started painting in the alley that connects Sixth and Seventh streets between Main and St. Joseph streets. 

The explosion could not be contained.

Art Alley Graffiti artwork
Art Alley murals
People walking through Art Alley

After much discussion, the city created an ordinance that embraced the power of Art Alley. Power lines were buried. The asphalt paving was replaced with a stamped, painted-brick pattern. What was once a drab alleyway is now alive with color and creation, attracting onlookers, musicians, and artists. 

And now what might be the state's only public art space provides smiles and inspiration to anyone that might wander its way. 

Man leaning against a mural in Art Alley
Guitarist playing while people walk through art alley

Today, anyone can apply for a free permit to add their vision to Art Alley. (Click here to access the application.) This ensures the alley is forever evolving.

Forever growing.

Forever magical to anyone that wanders its way.


Graffiti on a dumpster in Art Alley
Graffiti artist spray painting a wall in Art Alley

"We've got these kids that come in and they may be graffiti artists, they may have been in trouble, and now they're doing murals."

 Susan Hughes, former Rapid City Arts Council executive director

Art Alley mural
Art Alley artwork
Breast Cancer Awareness mural
Group of musicians playing hand drums in art alley
Art Alley Graffiti artwork
Mural in Art Alley
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