Enormous Mural Going Up On Ingleside’s Graffiti-Ridden Walgreens

Neighborhood artist Neil Ballard is painting a mural depicting the neighborhood's landmarks on Walgreens’ graffiti-ridden wall.

Enormous Mural Going Up On Ingleside’s Graffiti-Ridden Walgreens
Neil Ballard and Nathaniel Bice work on a mural. | Anne Marie Kristoff/Ingleside Light

Ingleside’s Walgreens is often covered by graffiti. Now it’s getting a whole lot more than just a fresh coat of paint.

Ingleside artist Neil Ballard, with help from fellow artist Nathaniel Bice, is painting a sweeping mural on the exterior of the Ocean Avenue drugstore. 

The design covers the length of the wall and depicts Ingleside landmarks such as the former El Rey theater, St. Emydius Catholic Church, City College of San Francisco’s Science Hall and others. It will be done in Ballard’s cartoon-esque style with a color palette of blue, black, red and orange.

“I was really, really pleased to be approached and selected,” Ballard said. “It's going to take shape and people are going to hopefully really like what I've come up with.”

 Ballard, who has created other murals in the neighborhood like on the Faxon Garage roll-up doors and The Ingleside Light’s Iconic Landmarks of Ingleside enamel pin set, said partnering with Ocean Avenue Association, Walgreens and its property owner was easy and something the community has supported.

“These projects come about when there’s support from the community so I think it made it really easy to get this to happen,” Ballard said. “The more that people say yes to these things and advocate for them, the more that wonderful art projects can happen in the neighborhood.”

The Ocean Avenue Association, a nonprofit tasked with cleaning and beautifying Ingleside’ stretch of Ocean Avenue, is leading the project with funds from the Civic Joy Fund, a nonprofit spending $2 million to put some magic back into San Francisco’s commercial corridors following the slow recovery from the pandemic.

“I humbly say it's very cool and exciting to see how much the retail district has changed in the past couple of years and there are only more new art and activations to come,” said Rosendo Betancourt, the association’s small business and marketing manager.

Walgreens building with scaffolding.
Scaffolding is being used for the enormous mural on Ingleside's Walgreens. | Anne Marie Kristoff/Ingleside Light

Betancourt added that the association and Ballard will maintain the mural should it be vandalized or damaged.

Bice, who has worked with Ballard on other projects, is happy to work on the project.

“It’s such a prominent neighborhood wall and to be going from something that was just kind of gray and dingy to this beautiful cartoon representation of the neighborhood is great,” Bice said.

While progress is ongoing, Ballard expects the project will be completed in roughly one month barring the rainy weather.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to The Ingleside Light.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.