The Springfield Arts Commission was established by the City Council in 1986 at the end of the Centennial Celebration. The Council charged the Commission to encourage the community’s emerging arts groups, and with the creation of the Art Alley, a series of outdoor murals in the downtown neighborhood.
The first Art Alley mural was a small one at 122 Fifth Street, titled It Ain’t Why, it Just Is, painted by artist Alan Cox in 1988. The second mural, at 130 5th Street, titled Bob the Dog Visits the Old Growth, was painted by John R. Swenson in 1989. Each artist was paid $50 and used materials provided by the Commission.
The Commission accomplishes their work through an active, nine-member volunteer citizen board, a modest annual budget, and part-time staff support.