Skip to Main Content

 View All News

Annual May Flower Initiative Brings Colorful Blooms to Downtown SLO

May 2, 2022


FROM: Rachel Lackmann
Marketing & Communications Coordinator


Local Artists Decorate Downtown Storefronts with Beautiful Painted Flowers 

San Luis Obispo, CA — For the third consecutive year, Downtown SLO is excited to announce the return of the popular May Flower Initiative Community Art Project. Launched in 2020 during the first shutdown due to COVID-19, the May Flower Initiative brings artists, businesses, and property owners together to brighten downtown San Luis Obispo with beautiful and colorful floral window paintings. This year, the project returns with an exciting new activation, the pop-up roller rink Skate Mission Plaza and a fun flower-themed family scavenger hunt throughout the month of May.

To coincide with the nostalgia of the roller rink, the theme of the May Flower Initiative 2022 is Flower Power: Artists were invited to interpret this theme in their window paintings.

Window Blossoms

Downtown SLO has connected 50+ storefronts with local artists, who have collaborated to create beautiful floral artwork in their windows for the public to admire. A map and list of all the participating businesses and artists will be available in Mission Plaza, as well as at Throughout the month of May, visitors are encouraged to stroll downtown and follow the map on a trail of beautiful blossoms. You may find some other floral decorations along the streets, too!

Downtown SLO would like to thank all the businesses and property owners for their enthusiasm surrounding this project. Special thanks to the San Luis Obispo County Arts Council for their assistance in the call for artists. Downtown SLO is exceedingly grateful to the 40+ local artists who have dedicated their time, talent, and creativity to this initiative, as well as Art Central for supporting this program.


“This was my first year painting windows for the May Flower Initiative, and I have never been more proud to be a part of San Luis Obispo. The community here is so kind, so beautiful… while I worked, people would pass by and say the most lovely things to me, or they would just smile, and I could see their reflections in the glass! Thank you to the awesome team behind Downtown SLO, for providing such an energizing experience for artists and a whimsical environment for our local people.”

— Amanda Garcia, Artist (Salon 62)

“Working on the windows gave me a lot of opportunities to talk to passersby, who were enthusiastic and intrigued by the project. I got to talk to several people about what the project was for, and the best part was, and is, getting to talk to kids who ask so many questions and truly engage in a conversation about art. Being able to inspire others to spark their own creativity and to give kids a confidence boost has been an unexpected and deeply inspiring experience for me. I look forward to this initiative every year now and love seeing everyone's different approach to their art. This is such a wonderful project and I hope it continues for years to come.”

— Kelly Knox, Artist (Shift Hair, Avanti, Teazer)

“The May Flower Initiative is a wonderful opportunity to pair the business community with local artists and brighten up downtown during the Spring/Summer season. It’s great to walk through town and see windows come alive with vibrant colors and beautiful designs to celebrate the season.”

— Stephanie Stackhouse, Co-Owner of The Center SLO and Board President of Downtown SLO

Sweet Pea Scavenger Hunt with the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum

Flowering sweet peas are sprouting all around downtown! Families can pick up a clue card in Mission Plaza, leading them to five different nearby storefronts that have incorporated sweet peas into their window displays. At the final location, children can show their finished clue card and receive a kit to grow their very own sweet peas, supplies and instructions for an adorable craft, and other sweet pea-themed goodies!

The scavenger hunt ties in with the Museum’s month of sweet pea programming; participate any time during the month of May!

Skate Mission Plaza Monday, May 6 – Sunday, May 22, 2022

Downtown SLO, in partnership with the City of San Luis Obispo, is bringing a groovy new pop-up installation to Mission Plaza this May. Visitors are encouraged to lace up their skates and enjoy an outdoor roller rink as part of Skate Mission Plaza, presented by Guaranteed Rate. Skaters can enjoy music, a disco ball, and flower-power-inspired decorations all in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo. Skates will be available for rental. This is a ticketed event; tickets and waivers will be required for entry. Tickets must be purchased online; no walk-up admission will be accepted. Learn more and purchase tickets at

A media kit for the May Flower Initiative and Skate Mission Plaza is available here.

Artists, businesses, and visitors are encouraged to use #MayFlowerInitiative as they share their May Flower memories. To stay up to date on all things downtown, follow @DowntownSLO on Instagram, @ExperienceDowntownSLO on Facebook, and subscribe to the weekly Deliver-E newsletter.

Window Blossom Locations & Artists

About Downtown SLO: Downtown SLO is a 501 c6 nonprofit whose mission is to foster an economically vibrant Downtown. Downtown SLO serves the community by working on initiatives like parking and beautification efforts, coordinating special events and the weekly Farmers’ Market, supporting economic activities, and examining Downtown issues.