by Ronnie Estoque
During the 2020 protests against police brutality and amid a global pandemic, local businesses across the city shut their doors down and put up boards to cover their storefronts. The uncertain times gave light to many local artists who decided to use their time and talents to transform boarded-up storefronts with murals. Located on Rainier Avenue, Paradice Avenue Souf, a burgeoning youth-centered Black and Brown artist collective, chose to create a mural to show the importance of multiracial solidarity during times of social unrest. Through a collaboration with the Wing Luke Museum (WLM), their Black and Brown Solidarity mural alongside other art pieces and installations are showcased in their exhibit called “BACK HOME.”
Continue reading ‘BACK HOME’ Wing Luke Exhibit Highlights Black and Brown Solidarity
by Amanda Ong
From 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m five days a week, Tori Shao works as a landscape architect. But after work and on weekends, Shao is creating artistically — whether that be making, bottling, and designing labels for small-batch hot sauce for friends, starring in a Vanity Fair video with her sister, or quite literally painting the town red as a local muralist. Since late 2019, Shao has also had a ceramics studio space as a tenant at Inscape Arts. Last year, the owners of the former Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) building — which houses Inscape — listed the building on the market, putting Seattle’s largest artist enclave at risk for redevelopment into commercial or residential spaces.
Continue reading Artist Tori Shao Shares More Than Just Studio Space at Inscape
by Ronnie Estoque
On March 3, renowned Seattle muralist Joe Nix had his first show in nearly six years. The exhibition, called “HOLD ON,” is located in Belltown where Nix has lived for over 15 years. At the grand opening on Friday, March 11, the venue was packed with art connoisseurs and community members, all eager to view his latest work that draws inspiration from everyday mechanical objects. The oil paintings in the exhibit infuse machinery with life through color, shape, and form.
Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Joe Nix’s ‘HOLD ON’ Show Features Machinery Art
by Amanda Ong
Muralist Henry Luke (they/them) has murals lining the streets in the cities of Seattle; Oaxaca, Mexico; and Manila, Philippines. Luke is deeply rooted in the Pacific Northwest; they grew up in Madison Valley in the early 2000s, and their parents grew up in Mount Baker. They have been painting murals since 2013, and carry with them a sense of place and community storytelling in all of their work.
Continue reading Muralist Henry Luke Brings Community Stories into Public Art
by Susan Fried
There are hundreds of murals all over the City of Seattle, and some of the city’s most iconic reside in South Seattle. Several of those murals have become cherished parts of the neighborhood. Recently, after the Martin Luther King Jr. mural on the wall outside of Fat’s Chicken & Waffles was defaced on MLK Jr. weekend, the community, including the mayor, vowed to work together to repair the damage. Similarly, when the mural celebrating the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther Party that hangs on the fence in front of Franklin High School was vandalized in 2021, some of the members of Franklin’s Art of Resistance and Resilience Club and several local artists repaired it.
The murals of South Seattle are an eclectic group with depictions of everything from Sasquatches, dogs, and cats to expressions of solidarity, artistic renderings of the Seattle skyline, marine life, and dancers. The art is accessible to anyone driving or walking along Rainier Avenue or Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Murals — Accessible Art for Everyone
by Chamidae Ford
Last Saturday afternoon, many braved the heatwave to gather at Be’er Sheva park to celebrate the unveiling of the park’s first mural.
The event was a collaboration between Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC), Art of Resistance and Resilience (ARR), Link2Lake, and Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.
Those involved spent five days working in the sun, and the previous two months planning the mural, in preparation for this celebration.
Continue reading Rainier Beach Action Coalition Unveils Mural in Be’er Sheva Park
by Mark Van Streefkerk
There’s a new mural facing Flo Ware Park on South Jackson Street that will bring even more brightness to the area this summer. On the outer wall of the Seattle Girls’ School is “Find Yourself Outside,” a mural of Black people in a Pacific Northwest landscape swimming, paddleboarding, dancing, camping, and exploring the urban outdoors. At the center of the mural, rising out of a body of water, is a larger-than-life head made of two faces spliced together. The left side of the face is purple and lavender, made of repeating lines and eyes, a recurring archetype in artist AfroSPK’s work. The right side of the face is painted in purple, red, yellow, and cool blues, framed in a halo of curly hair, painted by artist Perri Rhoden. The result is a celebration of Black people in the outdoors and intriguing symbols that inspire the viewer to look a little closer.
Continue reading Two Vivid Matter Collective Artists Collaborate on New Mural by Flo Ware Park
by Mark Van Streefkerk
It’s been almost three months since Moses Sun finished his mural “Flourish Together” on the south-facing exterior wall of The Columbia City Theater. The ground-to-roof-sized mural is made up of floral designs in gold, green, and light blue, set against an indigo background, with two abstract hands clasped together in the middle. It wasn’t easy working on an outside mural during the rainy months. The process officially started on Dec. 16, with Sun and his team patiently on call, showing up to paint as the weather permitted. Finished in early January, “Flourish Together” pays homage to a space where cross-cultural connections thrive. Since then, Sun has been hard at work, completing another mural for Starbucks in January and sharing dynamic artworks fused with jazz and hip hop on Instagram, and he’ll be part of a Vivid Matter Collective show debuting this week at Vermillion Art Gallery & Bar. Though his next projects are under wraps, expect to see much more from Sun in the coming months.
Continue reading The Art of Moses Sun Reflects Seattle’s Diaspora, Cultures, and Jazz
by Jessie McKenna
Angelina Villalobos, who goes by the moniker “179,” uses art to affect social change. Through drawing and painting, she explores her past and Latinx identity, dissecting elements of a traditional Mexican-Catholic education. She is consciously unlearning aspects of it, such as gender norms — issues, she said, “would do me harm and will ultimately hold me back.”
Continue reading Artist Angelina Villalobos, aka 179, Infuses Her Art with Art, Culture, and Family
by Emerald Staff
Murals are infused with meaning. More than decorations on a building’s exterior, murals represent and reflect the community. That’s why the Emerald asked readers this month: What are your favorite murals in the South End?
Continue reading Emerald Asks: What Are Your Favorite Murals in the South End?