• Mark White

Seattle COVID Mural Art To The Rescue

Tiger, Cactus & Bird covering Rudy's Barbershop in the old section of Seattle's Ballard neighborhood.

When the city first shut down, businesses shuttered in darkness. Lights went out, but everything by day looked normal. Vestibules quickly became shelters for the homeless. Once reality hit in the form of broken windows and break-ins, businesses covered their facades with plywood. Seattle looked like it was preparing for a hurricane, or had become the new Detroit of the last decade.

Then overnight the artists were called in. In virtually every neighborhood with shuttered businesses, murals now proliferate. Artists were hired by businesses and neighborhood associations to turn plywood into color, despair into whimsy and hope, the drab into art.

I've take a brief break from my walkabouts and am traveling by car throughout the city to capture this eclectic art. It's a brief moment that these murals will exist. As we ease out of our Shelter at Home mandates, the plywood will come down.

In the meantime, I've created an Seattle COVID Murals album where I'll continue to add to the collection as I come across new art. So far I've gotten murals from Pioneer Square, White Center, Columbia City, SoDo, Financial District, Belltown, Ballard and the University District. Tomorrow I'll be heading to the Central District, Beacon Hill and Rainier Valley.

In the meantime, here are my three favorite captures so far:

1. PIONEER SQUARE'S DRIFTWOOD BUILDING / ARTIST: Jonathan Wakuda Fischer of Wakuda Studio

Wakuda's Japanese woodblock style fits perfectly into this iconic Pioneer Square building. His work is still in progress in this photo, but his addition to the building facade feels organic in a way that most others do not.

2. SODO'S BUILT BY CIVILIZATION STUDIO / Installer: Daniel Michael Viox

SoDo Mural: Health is a Human Right

It doesn't get more simple or more iconic than white block print against a black background with an equally simple and iconic quote by this country's first African American elected to the U.S. Congress. A Martin Luther King quote would have been overused and too obvious. This mural gets high marks for reaching back into our history to help us remember both a basic message and a great messenger.


@Pozfy's Lucca mural as backdrop to our current state.

I don't want to say much about this image except for two things. @Dozfy's style perfectly matches the style of Lucca. If you've shopped at Lucca, you know what I'm referring to. And second, this family is excruciating for me to look at.

Check out the rest of my Seattle Covid Mural images.

© 2016-2020 MARK WHITE  |  mark@mjwhitephotos.com I 206.409.1247

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