ABOUT The SODO Track is an icon in the making. We are transforming the portal to Downtown Seattle – a two-mile transit corridor traveled by over 50,000 daily – into an imaginative raceway of art in motion. This free and accessible urban art gallery is the first to commission over 60 artists to explore one theme, and to paint side-by-side.
Local, national and international artists – invited by Lead Artist Gage Hamilton and artists who self-submitted to 4Culture’s Muralist Roster – are exploring “movement and progress,” a reflection of the in-motion viewing experience of their bus and light rail-riding audience.
More Info; https://sodotrack.com/about/
All I can say for this is WOW.
First of all, above is a quick synopsis of what The Sodo Track’s 3-year mission. For those that know all about this, read on for my personal experience participating in it’s final year which brought over 100 international, national, and local artists together to create a 3-mile stretch of interactive art.
The concept of my mural was to use the entire front face to act like a movable aquarium, something of a frame that captures a moment in time much like looking at a fish-tank. Every time you look the scene changes. My leaf shapes frame the space into thirds. Underneath is the shape of a snake or serpent swimming throughout the building. I purposly don’t show the head or tail to give a sense of endlessness. The goal is to invoke the imagination of the viewer to create a backstory of where this animal is going and where it came from.
I spent a very full 5-days at an intense 5-7 hours at this wall. Some days I was super inspired therefore was extremely productive. Other days I had only a little energy; mural painting is a really physical thing and you get tired fast (especially in the sun hence my beautiful umbrella!). When this happened I allocated my time to background tasks. I’m not sure if people realize I do all my mural painting without an assistant, so I really have to anticipate beforehand all that I need. When I come to a wall I come prepared! This was my first time using a boom lift so that was interesting. And while I’ve painted large murals, I definitely had my work cut our for me using a Stencil Cap, my work was like a snail, slow and steady. Some of the challenges included making sure I had enough water up there. Going up and down was time consuming so I had to be smart with my time. Also staying organized was essential. I devised a system of taping things in place, like cups for my thin and fat caps.
One of the things I had to get used to was the business of the space around me. The job site super was active with the light rail coming and going, airplanes overhead, trucks coming to park and take containers from the parking lot, and the traffic of cars trying to navigate the industrialized area. I could have easily worn headphones to drown out the sounds of the city, but I chose to use a speaker to add to it. Dance to it. Emerge myself within it. One thing I especially loved was the people that connected to the piece and that made the effort to call down from the ground and yell encouraging words. This is a heavily trafficked route for commuters and I am so freaking thankful I got to talk to them. This is how you engage people in public art and have them feel they are apart of the things that are happening around them.
Each meal while on site was creating by Josh Henderson of Huxley Wallace Collective. The meals were reflections of the restaurants he owns. They were delicious and really helpful especially if you were in a groove and didn’t want to come off the lift. Delivery was also an option and every time I saw the golf cart I got super excited/ hungry.
Midweek we were invited to 9th & Thomas for a roof deck party compliments of owner Scott. This building boasts one of the largest collections of murals in their parking space. The idea of utilizing this area for art is innovative. Drinks were catered by Gold Bar which also hosts a number of community events, most recently a fundraiser for Mary’s Place, an emergency shelter for women.
Saturday night we had The Sodo Track Open House where you could tour the track on Seattle Metro Buses. Also hosted was a print show, and introduction to the 3-year project for newcomers. Afterwards I even got to sneak to Bon Odori, my most beloved Seattle annual SeaFair event and danced the infamous Coal Miner Dance (learn it for next year!). I felt like I truly got to participate in all the the things that make Seattle so unique.
Some of my the most memorable moments include getting stuck on the lift a few times up there. Uncle Gage and Dom had to save me. While I waited I re-organize my work station and had a dance party. One day I even got oysters shooters hand delivered by a very handsome surfer all the way from Westport!
Big Thanks to the staff at Performance Radiator who were immense supportive and really made me feel welcomed. Also, thank you immensely to my Art Primo family who kept the warehouse going, supplied the paint and caps for the mural, and in general allowed me the freedom to take time off work to participate in this.
You can also support The Sodo Track by purchasing art prints from their shop of all the artists involved.
I am so proud I was apart of a project that changed the landscape of Seattle.
What Grows Around, Comes Around
Aerosol | 2018
25′ X 85′
What Grows Around plays off the theme of growth, movement, and layers. While I stage a serpent-like creature, we don’t ever see the head or tail thus showing ongoing movement, with no end or beginning. On the surface layer, my vine patterns grow toward the center of the building. I chose lush greens with hints of warm autumn tones, patterned intricately to emphasize the dynamic shapes. Underneath, a turquoise serpent slithers through the greenery and out of viewer’s sight. I chose to retain the color of the building in large spaces to give the sense of the serpent and greenery growing throughout the building, even if the other sides aren’t visible. This layer represents an abyss, much like looking down into our Pacific Ocean from a ferry. Since we’re the observers, I propose we are the top layer, viewing the ever-changing scene much like watching koi in a pond; each time you take a peek, it changes slightly and pulls us in as participants of the scene.