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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