Here’s a project that I am so thrilled I was a part of. I was told of a community opportunity from my second momma Kaji to design signal boxes in the Victory Heights neighborhood. Kaji is the mother of one of my closest and dearest friends who lives in the area and is always informed on neighborhood business. When I was little I stayed with my grandparents, first in a beautiful brick building on 5th Avenue and then in a little bungalow on Latona Street. I went to St. Catherine’s for kindergarten, had my first communion there, and then went to Olympic View Elementary. I remember riding my bike with my cousins around the block exploring the neighborhood, going to the corner store (where I would have my first Pop Rocks), eating at The Bells, and taking the bus to Northgate Mall for Ivar’s or if I was lucky, Cinnabon! Needless to say, I really wanted to find a way to show my love for this time in my life and this project was a perfect opportunity to do so. As luck would have it, I was selected along with a few other wonderful artists. My box ended up at the corner of NE Northgate Way and 15th Ave. NE east of Northgate Shopping mall.
For my painting I was inspired by the idea of patiently waiting and observing the world around you. My utility box is at a Seattle Metro bus stop and I wanted to play with the idea of letting your mind wander; creating stories and using your imagination. I pulled from a number of sources for my imagery, my love of Beatrix Potter stories, My Neighbor Totoro, and a little of Alice in Wonderland to create little stories within your imagination while you’re on your commute. I used to love this part of living in the city; zoning out on the bus. I wanted my box to be bright and stand out and to give company to those that wait along side it.
If you enjoy this little cat and want one of your own, I have prints and cards for sale on my artist site shop179.com.
Enjoy the slideshow below! It has progress shots of the painting which I always love sharing with viewers. This is a little insight on my progress, my mistakes, and my little successes. Can you see where the painting changed a little?
Special Thanks to the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and the Seattle Parks Foundation and the amazing Ben Cober for organizing all the magic to have this happen. You may watch my interview below as well as the rest of the artists interviews on the Victory Heights Youtube Channel.
The utility boxes are scheduled to be installed Spring of 2021.
Thank you again for the support!