Would I Lie To You? Mural Walk creator George Tisdale unreliably narrates tours of Richmond’s murals. It’s more entertaining than you’d think.
The Would I Lie To You? Mural Walk showcases some of the most beautiful, and most hidden, murals in and around Richmond, but with a twist. The stories told at each mural could be complete lies, and it is up to you to decide if you trust your guide or not.
George Tisdale, the owner, and guide of Would I Lie to You? Mural Walks, starts off the tour by saying, “From here on, I am not a reliable narrator.” After each explanation, the group must decide if they trust his story or not. Each story sounds completely believable but always contains a subtle hint at the answer, so you have to listen carefully.
Tisdale started the company in May 2019, after fabricating a story about a mural that he found while on a hike through downtown Richmond. The people on the hike believed him at first, then laughed when they found out he wasn’t telling the truth. From then on, Would I Lie to You? Mural Walks was born. It soon grew to the four different walking tours offered now. The mural that started it all is still part of the Downtown walk, but Tisdale’s story about it is still a lie, so pay close attention.
Each of the four walks explores separate parts of Richmond.
The Carytown walk is offered on Saturdays at 4 p.m. It is around 3 miles long, and the tour takes about an hour and a half. The tour starts in the heart of Carytown and takes you on a loop where you will see murals of skeletons, explorers, human forms, animals, and more, according to the website.
If you wish to explore the Fan District and VCU, there is a 3-mile, hour and half walk that analyzes around 20 murals. Available on Saturdays at 1 p.m., this tour begins just past VCU and features murals of people, abstract collages, and cartoon shapes.
The Monroe Ward mural walk is the longest walk, reaching 3.6 miles and taking about an hour and 45 minutes to complete. Cultural murals, celebrations of Jackson Ward and African American history, are showcased in this journey between VCU’s campus and downtown Richmond, the website says. This mural walk is on Sunday’s at 2 p.m.
The final walk weaves through the Canal Walk and Shockoe Slip on Fridays at 7 p.m., lasting an hour and a half and equating about 2 miles. From murals in hidden alleys to paintings that take up several buildings, there is a variety of artists and styles for everybody to appreciate.
The tours are not always the same, because Tisdale continues to find new murals and learn more about the origins and artists, he said. While on the tours, he frequently makes stops at newly discovered murals that have yet to be added to the tour but are interesting to discuss. By asking the owners of local businesses and people who have lived by the murals for years, Tisdale is able to gain information about the origin and artists behind the works. However, it is up to him whether or not to tell the group the true story, or to test their trust and create a completely different scenario.
Tickets are $14 for adults, $10 for children ages 6-13, and free for children under the age of 5. You can purchase tickets and find additional information about the Would I Lie To You? Mural Walk at wouldilietoyoumuralwalks.com.
Mural Photos via RVA Mag archives. For more information about the Richmond Mural Project and artists behind each mural, visit their site here and find your favorite.