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Art in the Time of Coronavirus

When Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation was instated on March 23, restaurants and retailers across the city started closing, with many boarding up for the downturn. Soon after, however, those simple plywood facades began morphing as local artists answered the call to help beautify the boarded up storefronts. Before long, what now feels like a significant art movement washed across the city, and Seattle streets are now screaming with bright colors, unleashed creativity and unbridled hope. I set out to capture the moment.

Crisscrossing the city over the course of a few days, I made my way from Pioneer Square, over to Belltown, up the hill to Capitol Hill, then shot out to Fremont and Ballard catching everything I could. Usually, each of those neighborhoods have their own individual street art culture, but this art movement feels unified and unique. Sort of like a supergroup like the one our own Quincy Jones put together for We Are the World: many different artistic styles and approaches, but all singing the same song as one.

I have to say it was weird out on the street; I think I saw more artists out than anything else. I did see a few folks out on the street checking out the art, but most people were being smart and safe and staying home. Everyone I did speak with, though, shared the same sort of awe at both the condition of the moment and in the juxtaposition of all the art collectively hollering, “We’re going to be ok.”

There’s tons of great artwork out there, with more being created even now. Scroll down for a glimpse of what I’ve been lucky enough to capture.

Malt Bizney and Carlos Aguilar at Frame Central in Capitol Hill

Tori Shao at a&bé in Ballard

Morgan Zion at Sam’s Tavern in Capitol Hill

Mogan Zion at Quinn’s Pub in Capitol Hill

Kalee Choiniere and Kreau at Quinn’s Pub in Capitol Hill

Katie Kulseth at Percy’s and Co in Ballard

Josie Rice at Venue Ballard in Ballard

Frida Clements and Kate Blackstock at Tractor Tavern in Ballard

Stevie Shao at The Other Coast Café in Ballard

Laura Burkhart at September in Ballard

Crystal Barbre, Casey Weldon, and Electric Coffin at Roq la Rue Gallery in Capitol Hill

Debora Spencer at Rabbit Hole in Belltown

Bella Pham, Benjamin Hubbard, Stacy J. Milrany, and Josie Rice at Oddfellows Café in Capitol Hill

Dozfy Nguyen at Lucca in Ballard

Genevieve St. Charles-Monet and Ariel Parrow at Lost Lake Café in Capitol Hill

Taylor Reed at Kavu in Ballard

Ryan Henry Ward at Hot Cakes in Ballard

Leo Shallat and VK at Central Saloon in Pioneer Square

Stevie Shao at Bitterroot BBQ in Ballard

Elisa Maelen at Big Mario’s Pizza in Capitol Hill

Ryan Henry Ward, Debora Spencer, and Tara Velan at Belltown Pizza in Belltown

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