I had the immense pleasure of adding to The White Center community by painting a mural on the high trafficked corner of 16th & Roxbury right on delicious Taqueria Los Potrillos #4. I had just completed my Microsoft Mural and was looking forward to the switch of private murals to something public. Honestly, as a art activist, my goals are to bring art into the world as cost effective as possible. Meaning, art should be for the people and hopefully then the people will be for art. But the balance of being an artist in a very competitive city is a hard line to walk so I compensate high profile commissions with community based work.
This mural is apart of a larger project in which more murals will pop up in the area by various local artists over the summer. This was the first! Organized by Sheryl from the White Center Chamber of Commerce, this mural took 2 Saturdays, 1x 10-hour shift, the other an 8-hour shift.
I donated my time & paint because of the reasons listed above, but also since moving to West Seattle 10-years ago, White Center was my escape from a very foreign, predominantly upper and middle class, white community (I grew up on Beacon Hill). Although many things have changed, there remains a strong influence of neighbors and business owners adamant on keeping the essence of White Center true to its history. While there have been changes, not all change is bad and it’s important we keep these points in mind especially in such a fast growing city like Seattle.
The neighborhood was welcoming, supportive, and engaging. People stopped to talk to me, ask questions, compliment me on the work, and were especially thankful of the mural going up. For many, it made them feel like the were getting a gift that I personally was giving. They thanked me which made me feel really good, that I was able to give happiness to someone’s commute, ride, or walk through their neighborhood. This is what public art should be all about.
I chose to paint climbing leaves and vines, a very recognizable 179 styled pattern for the top section of the building. This was purposely done so when the trees that line the street lose their leaves in the fall, will still retain the vibrant green canopy. I painted swimming koi, playfully looking at each other to show tranquility, peace, love, and respect. They were chosen to be family friendly, colorful, and to play off the idea of one of my most favorite quotes that “If a tree can grow here, anything can grow here” 🌱💚.
A heartfelt Thank You! to The White Center Chamber of Commerce, Tommy from Tommy Sound, Sheryl from Miss Sherly’s Ballet, Aaron from Aaron’s Bike Repair, and special Delicious Thanks! to Linda of Brass Knuckle Bistro for providing lunch both days. Thank You also to Art Primo Momma Angela for snacks & champorado, my sister Claudia who stopped by to help me paint the autumn leaf style patterns, and all the other community members who came and checked up on my safety.
I did have 1 incident where someone someone ran off with a case of paint. This is a risk I knew I’d take as a 4’11” woman on a ladder. I’m super of thankful the response time to the incident, the people around that tried to stop the guy, and the officer that came after. Although crime happens in White Center, this isn’t an incident that’s going to define it especially for me. White Center is defined by the people, their hard work & love, and the energy they put into supporting each other. Again, so thankful for the opportunity✌️👩🏻🎨💗!
Here’s the article about the clean up and my progress;
White Center Refresh Gets Things Cleansed Up & Painted