Our Books

Artmakers muralists have written books on a variety of mural topics: a cultural history of New York City’s community murals, an educator’s guide to painting school murals, a history of the early years of the National Community Murals Movement, and California Chicano murals.

On the Wall

ON THE WALL Four Decades of Community Murals in New York City

by Janet Braun-Reinitz and Jane Weissman
University Press of Mississippi, February 2009 foreword by Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan introduction by Timothy W. Drescher from the University Press of Mississippi Fall-Winter 2008-2009 catalog.

Energizing the visual landscape since 1968, New York City’s community murals beautify, educate, protest, celebrate, and often motivate residents to action.  Collaborations between artists and neighborhood groups, these painted walls reflect the social, cultural, and political climate of their times.

The result of six years of research and hundreds of interviews, On the Wall: Four Decades of Community Murals in New York City brings to light murals that were hitherto “lost” to history or unknown outside their immediate surroundings.  Documenting six chronological periods, the book highlights significant murals and introduces the artists and sponsors that created them.  In relating the many fascinating stories behind the murals, the authors describe the interactions between artists and residents – including the controversies that have led to the destruction of several notable murals.

Gathering together 150 color images and providing a muralography or listing of the 500 outdoor community murals created in New York City since 1968, On the Wall offers an aesthetic perspective on the city’s community murals in a lively and perceptive history.


The Mural Book

The Mural Book: A Practical Guide for Educators

An indispensable resource for creating a mural from the initial proposal to the final installation and dedication. Topics include selecting an interior or exterior site, collaboration on a subject or theme, calculating size, time, and budget as well as funding sources. Also included are tools and materials, selecting a medium, enlarging drawings, and creating the mural with either paint, paper collage, or fabric. Over 80 color photographs reinforce the text and provide creative ideas for all levels.


Toward a People’s Art

First published in 1977, Toward a People’s Art remains a classic study of the community-based mural movement that produced hundreds of large-scale wall paintings in the United States and Canada. The authors provide a comprehensive discussion of the muralists, the murals’ effects on the community, and the funding these works received.

Those interested in art and social change will welcome this new edition, which represents an ongoing faith in the ideal of participatory democracy as the best way to confront the nation’s social problems and in the potential of activist art to have long-term social impact. The introduction describes the era-the late 1960s-and a new afterword looks at the 1980s and 1990s and the continuing commitment to the community-engaged process of making public art.


Signs From the Heart

Signs from the Heart: California Chicano Murals

Over the past twenty-five years, Chicano artists have made a unique contribution to public art in California, transforming thousands of walls into colorful artworks that express the dreams, achievements, aspirations, and cultural identity of the Mexican-American community. Signs From the Heart tells the inside story of this new and important American art form in four interpretive essays by noted Chicano scholars about its historical, artistic, and educational significance.


Other Books

When Women Pursue Justice, booklet

Jane Weissman and Janet Braun-Reinitz, 2006 (Artmakers Inc.)
A 48-page illustrated booklet detailing the creation of this award-winning mural, with an introductory essay by writer and university professor Julia Watson, a schematic of the mural accompanied by a key to its 90 portraits, biographies of the activist women, and focus questions for use in the classroom.  The booklet, which can only be obtained through Artmakers, costs $5 plus $2.50 for postage/handling.

Contact Artmakers for information on how to order.


More Books

Community Murals: The People’s Art,
Alan W. Barnett, 1984 (Associated University Presses, Inc.)


San Francisco Murals: Community Creates Its Muse,
1914-1994, Timorthy W. Drescher, 1994 (Pogo Press, Inc.)


Urban Art: Chicago,
Olivia Gude and Jeff Huebner, 2000 (Ivan R. Dee)


Street Gallery: Guide to 1000 Los Angeles Murals,
Robin J. Dunitz, 1998 (RJD Enterprises)


Philadelphia Murals and the Stories They Tell, Jane Golden, et. al.,
2002, 2006 (Temple University Press)


Insurgent Images: The Agitprop Murals of Mike Alewitz,
Paul Buhle and Mike Alewitz, 2002 (Monthly Reivew Press)


Walls of Heritage / Walls of Pride: African American Murals,
James Prigoff and Robin J. Dunitz, 2000 (Pomegranate)


This Home We Have Made / Esta Casa Que Hemos Hecho, Anna Hammond and Joe Matunis, 1993 (Crown)


R.I.P. Memorial Wall Art,
Martha Cooper and Joseph Sciorra, 1994 (Henry Holt & Co.)