Whether you consider them free art exhibits, neighborhood signifiers, welcome distractions while stuck in traffic or lone bursts of color on gloomy winter days, murals provide a vital backdrop to city life.
When a new mural is painted, it’s often a revelation—why did we leave that boring wall blank for so long? Murals age with us, showing signs of environmental stress via fading and pockmarks instead of scars and wrinkles. (Thanks to breakthroughs in graffiti-resistant coatings, new murals now have a better chance of staying youthful.) Seattle’s mural count has grown in the last year, with several vibrant new paintings popping up in spots both widely visible and delightfully hidden.
Sci-fi robots fight monsters in “The Mural at Cinerama” in Belltown, created by Don Clark of local design firm Invisible Creature
As the city continues its accelerated growth, more murals are in the works, thanks in part to groups like the Seattle Mural Project (seattlemuralproject.org), which helps pair street artists with businesses looking to spruce up a dull façade, such as the Sorrento Hotel, whose parking garage will get an extreme makeover this summer.
Neighborhood volunteers pitched in to paint local artist Michiko Tanaka’s “Animal Silhouettes” located under Aurora Avenue at North 63rd Street, near Green Lake
Philadelphia artist “Nosego” (aka Yis Goodwin) painted “Suki” on the side of the Rejuvenation store on First Avenue South in Sodo
Seattle boylesque star Waxie Moon swings from a chandelier at Pike Place Market. Commissioned by Pink Door owner Jackie Roberts and painted by local artist Anna-Lisa Notter
A delicate floral mural created by Wakuda Studio (aka Jonathan Wakuda Fischer) in a Belltown parking lot combines graffiti style with a spin on Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints