It's fair to say the driveway/alleyway out the back of the Daily Post newsroom was not traditionally known for its beauty.
It did receive a boost back in 2016 when artist Jeremy Shirley painted a bright mural on one wall but the other wall - the one we can see from our desks - remained grey and unappealing.
That all changed this week when three stunning murals were put up, facing Shirley's design. Now, on the rare occasion we get a moment to look up from our computers we enjoy a glimpse of beauty.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
So thanks to the artists and the organisers of the Rotorua Mural Symposium for choosing that particular spot (on Pukuatua St beside McLeods Booksellers) as one of the installation locations!
Eight new mud and steam themed murals have gone up around the city and they are worth taking the time to check out next time you're in town - check out page 2 today for the locations.
In the past few years the council has made concerted efforts to beautify the inner city with artworks and sculptures.
As any regular reader will know, they have not always been well-received by everyone - with most objectors feeling the costs involved could be better spent elsewhere. But others have welcomed the changes and the fresh vibe they have brought.
There's no doubt in my mind the inner city is markedly more attractive than it was when I moved to Rotorua six years ago. I like the open look of Te Manawa, although acknowledge it can be confusing for pedestrians and motorists alike. I like the murals, seating and sculptures around town - and the InfraCore crew always do a sterling job with the gardens.
Beautification may seem unimportant, and it is - when compared with weighty issues such as poverty and homelessness. But it does have an important role to play, in how it makes people feel about themselves and the world around them.
And today, walking down a previously unremarkable alleyway, art made me look, appreciate and smile.