Many visitors come to Springfield, OR to search out physical sites from The Simpsons television show... and while many people still point to inspirational remnants attributed from Matt Groening's era in Springfield — it does require some imagination, and a dive into the archives, as Springfield has changed its buildings, skyline and personality over the decades.
But the clever Simpsons' fan that looks around will start to see the impact that Bart left on the community... possibly with a paint can in hand...
Throughout the historic core of downtown Springfield, and even along the downtown side streets of Shelbyville (Eugene), tributes to The Simpsons pop up in unexpected places.
Start with the official Simpsons mural (2014) on the west wall of the Emerald Art Center building... this celebrated mural was christened by FOX television and Matt Groening himself, and even Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson, came out for its big reveal. But over time, smaller, sneakier street art has crept into building cervices and along side streets to celebrate and immortalize Springfield's fictional alter-ego.
Now... before you go blaming Bart, it seems that much of this recent street art can be attributed to local muralist Bayne Gardner. Gardner has worked with the respective cities and private businesses to place murals of all types across the Eugene - Springfield metro area. His diverse paintings were part of the EUG 20x21 mural project dedicated to increasing public art in the roll out to the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 at Hayward Field. And you can also see his work in the children's corridors at PeaceHealth's Riverbend hospital, on the side of local businesses, and in the training rooms beneath Hayward Field. A self-taught artist, Bayne is generous with his time, often involving students in collaborative school projects. And because of his playful nature... he doesn't like to announce all his mural locations — you have to spot them yourself!
In downtown Springfield there are over 26 tributes to the Simpsons hidden about town including one of Bayne's earliest — Blinky the three-eyed fish. From psychedelic Krusty to Sasquatch Homer, the characters and scenes depicted are fun and surprising. In downtown Eugene you'll find pink sprinkle donuts and an alien Maggie, with over six murals across building facades or hidden in alleys. Want to find them yourself? We encourage you to ride a bikeshare bicycle around on a self-styled Simpsons mural scavenger hunt — and then check your success by visiting the Emerald Art Center in downtown Springfield — they have a "cheat sheet" map of many of the Simpson locations. But we are not promising that's all of them... so keep looking!