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Our director Kathleen Warren asked muralist Erik Burke about his experience and vision with the epic Richmark Mural on Capitol Hill this summer - and well, he's good with words, so here's what he said. There's a lot of meat to this mammoth mural! Erik's words below:
"What I found interesting with this mural and murals in general is their subtle yet quick ability to transform people. While the wall is the most obvious object of alteration the people coming in contact with the space took on the larger change. The transformative powers of color, form, and composition is a powerful thing (I suppose only when aligned correctly like when the ghostbusters cross the streams from their proton packs). Take for example Bill (the property owner), a skeptic and naysayer [of our original sketch] who became upbeat and glassy-eyed within a week. Employees of the factory, who saw us initially as flighty and lazy artists were amazed at our work ethic and began documenting the days work. Neighborhood regulars would routinely stop by with encouraging word. A drab block of endless mauve became a new visual soundtrack for about 68 steps.
The overarching topic du jour for people on the Hill is the g word. Glaring and grossly overused - Gentrification. So it is easy for the public to view large public works like this as a real estate developers Trojan Horse. And for good reason. Much transformation has happened up there and very little to the benefit of the long-time inhabitants of Cap Hill. So it was with great sensitivity that we entered into this work trying to stimulate not dominate. However this mural, this 5-lane pile up of color was causing a lot of rubbernecking. Luckily to the effect of joy and wonder instead of being a threat. The sheer scale was threatening enough to us as the artists dangling thirty feet up in power lines but every time someone would walk by they would lighten our mood with affirming expressions.
But what does it say? The question everyone was asking. Once the initial idea was leaked to the press, Bill had SEVERAL talks with me about not wanting to make any political or social commentary that would cause any form of controversy. His request was directly in opposition to our intention to abstractly write "READ UP HANDS DOWN". So to respect his wishes, keep the press on their toes, and have the mural take on a deeper meaning we had to change the saying completely. We had already finished the R E A D and on the opposite side of the wall the O and W. How could we make this work without starting over? Earlier when I reached out to Read for his involvement in the project I mentioned the proximity to the Police precinct and wishing to make something addressing them subtly and poetically since they were by fault our permanent audience. When he came up with Read up hands down I felt it was perfect, albeit a little heavy handed (no pun intended). Of the few Readeresque sayings I brought to the table my favorite was READ WHAT YOU THROW. As if meant to be, the phrase perfectly fit the letters we had already painted and also seemed to be loosely phrased for numerous interpretations.
To me 'read what you throw' is a remix of 'reap what you sow'. While 'reap what you sow' speaks to the affects of dealing with the aftermath of ones doing 'read what you throw' acts as a precursor stating to practice what you preach. Since the phrase is a mashup of reading and throwing it's only natural to think of books. You read books and you get the book thrown at you. By splicing these meanings together we hoped to speak to the police, the policy-makers, and the people. We could all do a little better at reading from our proclamations.
Lastly the use of abstract typography as the main element in this mural connects to the varying 'types' of people that make-up the diversity of Capitol Hill. By creating a mural fueled by varying typography we hoped to illuminate the strength in no type, in all type, in experimental type. Hence the creation of a 35 foot tall H using nothing more that a power drill, a can of spray paint, and duct tape."
Join us on June 20th for Urban ArtRide, a very special guided bike tour of Seattle's vibrant street art scene including our city's best murals and installations, featuring the artists themselves giving a short talk on their piece! Sponsored by New Belgium Brewing, curated by Urban Artworks and in collaboration with Bombus Bikes.
More details below. Hope to see you there!
8:30am. Meet up & launch spot will be at Pratt Fine Arts Center. Address: 1900 S. Jackson; the parking lot adjacent to Jackson St & which spans the distance between 19th & 20th Aves. Complementary cold brew provided by Porchlight!
Ends at 2pm in Ballard: party hosted by New Belgium Brewing Co. (21+) at Kangaroo & Kiwi from 2 to 5pm.
The Urban ArtRide is a guided bicycle tour of Seattle’s best public street art. The tour expands on the idea of First Thursday Art Walk, spreads it out across the entire city, and makes the city itself the gallery, as we explore several neighborhoods & their vibrant street art scenes. The tour will be curated & hosted by Urban Artworks, & will include some of the artists themselves, as they explain their inspiration behind their work & the processes involved in producing large outdoor works of art.
Tickets are limited to 50 guests & will be $25 each, available athttp://urbanartride.eventbrite.com, includes comp coffee at check-in, the tour itself, & comp beers at afterparty, all proceeds from ticket sales to Urban Artworks
Route planning & ride safety provided by Bombus Bikes, who’ll be providing ride marshals for group safety the day of the ride.
We hope you'll join us for our first Urban ArtRide - it's a pretty special treat to be able to meet these awesome artists right in front of their creations!
About a year ago, a friend studying in Copenhagen sent me a photo of a mural of a bright pink tree with wind blowing through it. While usually not the subject of my choosing, this tree’s vibrant almost feather like flora against the rich black background stuck with me for months. I pulled the photo out at meetings, and I think it even incorporated itself into my dreams a few times. As with anything, if I think about it enough, it’s time to do something about it. I do it with shoes, I do it with friends, I do it with art – sometimes ideas stick with you for a reason.
Our studio is in the Chinatown/ International District of Seattle (we are technically on the cusp of the SODO neighborhood but we eat our lunch in the ID). Each spring this area is abundant with cherry blossoms, especially on Jackson. Spring is breathtaking and refreshing and seems to make the entire neighborhood feel safer and cleaner and happier. But as soon as the petals fall, the vandalized and chipping walls are revealed yet again, leaving me wishing spring was eternal. So, that’s what Urban ArtWorks intends to create: spring, through the eyes and hands of 5 different artists, that will last us longer than the life of the petals.
This past summer Seattle Works and Urban ArtWorks teamed up to launch the idea – we had funding and 40 volunteers. Our designer Wakuda Studio created a design that was easily executed in one day with many hands. The historic preservation board approved the idea, and it was applauded by neighbors walking by as we painted.
Now that our big volunteer day is over, it’s time to slow down and focus on some really unique ideas that can work as part of the series.
We will be accepting work samples through the end of February and hopefully be well under way by the time the real cherry blossoms bloom. Compensation will be based on wall size and design, and will be agreed upon before a final design is required.
Please send your resume plus relevant work samples via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org –please attach or link an inspiration board to explain any visions you have for this project, if you would like to submit an actual sketch of your idea instead of just inspiration photos that will be welcomed!
In the body of the email or cover letter, please let us know if you have experience working with volunteers or youth and if you would be interesting in/willing to allow others to participate in your mural (this is not required).
We currently have funding for the next two murals and are seeking interested partners to help us fund the others! If you would like to sponsor a mural, please email email@example.com
It’s my first official 2015 day at ArtWorks and I’ve declared Monday mornings a day of writing. A resolution, a routine, whatever you’d like to call it, but so far I’m 1 for 1 and feeling great about it. It’s the time after my first coffee, but before the emails, before the voicemails, before our neighbor’s studio dog runs in and barks at me like an intruder in my own office- a time to reflect and rev up (and release) my excitement for the week. But mostly before the emails - which I write not completely unlike The Tasmanian Devil.
When I email, usually I’m well caffeinated and deeply excited about an idea that needs to be heard by someone on the other end of my finger tips… lest it escape me forever. One of my peers once called this type of Seattle-art-scene-personality an “unbridled enthusiasm, seldom justified” - I didn't love it. But I tweaked it to fit how I see myself, and use it as my tagline on various social media platforms. Changing “seldom" to “mostly”, made it just right. If you are always seldom justified, you need a new line of enthusiasm. And if you are always justified, you need to buy a lottery ticket (and me one too please). I prefer to hover on the spectrum of risk and reward. And to never bridel my enthusiasm, ever.
Like most of us these days, I type fast and furious. I’ve taken inboxes from the thousands to net zero in a day, without ignoring a single request, misspelling a single word or diluting my truly enthusiastic responses. But the problem is that I, like most, don’t like to deal with emails - and like a pesky chin hair, you get rid of one and 3 more come back in its place. Or so I hear.
So at the suggestion of one of my amazing board members, 2015 will be the year of putting thoughts and updates into newsletters and blog posts. Maybe I will switch to tea (every once in a while) and compose myself with unbridled enthusiasm that has aerated through some deep breathing exercises.
Please do sign up for our newsletter if you haven’t already, as my next few posts and emails will be about some awesome calls to artists!
Happy New Year to you all!
One week from today is GiveBIG, The Seattle Foundation's one-day online charitable giving event designed to inspire people to give generously to nonprofit organizations that make our region a stronger, more vibrant community for all. Over 1,600 Seattle-area nonprofits will see donations matched that day. While we hope you will giveBIG to Urban ArtWorks, there are many organizations doing important and creative things also in need of support. Below our are some of our favorites. Check them out, and help us spread the GiveBIG love!
But first: our AMAZING NEW VIDEO, featuring some of the youth who participate in our programs, with spoken word by Urban ArtWorks teaching artist Matt Gano. We love how this captures the spirit of our organization, and hope you do, too.
Shout outs to these fine people doing great work in Seattle:
- Youth Care, because every night 700-1,000 youth have no safe place to sleep. We applaud their efforts endlessly, as many of our own youth have benefitted from their education and shelter services.
- KEXP.org. Not only because we can't live without them in our studio, but because if you have free live streaming world wide you're also a form of public art, right? Plus they are champions of local artists, which is one of our reasons for waking up too. ArtWorks was lucky to be a community partner of their's last year. Check out their littleBIG shows that benefit local non-profits throughout the year, and feel good about doing good... without even trying!
- Union Gospel Mission. As residents of the International District/Pioneer Square area, we are made aware daily of the societal need for change on our city streets. The Union Gospel Mission provides than meals and beds: from free dental services to addiction recovery, they tackle some of the toughest needs our city has. They are always accepting volunteers and donations, learn more here: Union Gospel Mission Volunteers
- The Seattle Design Foundation. New to the Seattle nonprofit world, they are empowering creative local thinkers and designers - we encourage all young creators to rise to the challenge of applying for their grants and social services.
We hope you'll join us and the many other worthy organizations on this important day, so that all of us can continue our mission to make Seattle more vital and more beautiful, in our own ways.
Learn more about how giving on May 6th can make your donation go further, here on the Seattle Foundation's website.
If ever nature creates a mural, she does it in spring.
This spring in Seattle, we find ourselves taking a deep breath and gearing up for summer, the dry(er) season, and our favorite season: mural season! We hope you will save the date for two wonderful events we have coming up that will help us do our best work yet.
Friday April 25th
7 p.m. - 12 a.m.
154 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103
This Friday, come to a free party celebrating the Northwest’s best in mobile photography, enjoy complimentary beer from New Belgium, shake a tail feather to DJ Phosho & help raise money for Urban ArtWorks.
Last month, New Belgium & IGers Seattle invited aspiring and pro photographers to share their best Northwest shots on Instagram, with themes including “PNW Spirit” & “PNW In Motion.” Out of 4,000 #SnapshotPNW images submitted, 50 were selected to be framed and displayed at the Fremont Foundry as part of the gallery’s inaugural exhibit since its restoration & re-opening. All photos will be available for purchase, with proceeds benefiting Urban ArtWorks. Plus: free beer and dance party! Hope to see you Friday. RSVP here.
Want for bang for your buck? More murals for your money? More social change for your... loose change?
Then please mark your calendar for The Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG event on May 6th! GiveBIG is a one-day, online charitable giving event to inspire people to generously support nonprofit organizations who make our region a healthier and more vital place to live.
If you give any size donation on May 6th, your support will be increased via matching funds from the Seattle Foundation - meaning even more overall support will go toward our creative work with underserved youth. The more donations we receive- the higher the match percentage will be!
Even the smallest donation can make a huge impact: you could be randomly chosen to win a Golden Ticket which will earn the selected donor's nonprofit an additional $1,000. So $5 could be $1,005 - and we will paint you a custom hero cape!
SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Our mailing address is:
815 Seattle Blvd S
Seattle, WA 98134
Date: Friday April 25
Time: 7 p.m. - 12 a.m.
Location: Fremont Foundry – 154 N. 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103
Live DJ: DJ Phosho
Food Truck: Outside The Box: Paleo Food Truck
Throughout the month of March, New Belgium & IGers Seattle challenged photographers of the Northwest to capture & share their best images relating to weekly rotating themes, such as “PNW Spirit”, “Landmarks of the PNW”, & “PNW In Motion”. And in 4 short weeks, over 4,000 inspired images were added to the newly created #SnapshotPNW gallery on Instagram. On April 25, we will celebrate the very best of this collection by highlighting 50 specially curated images from the gallery. Each 12x12 printed image will be matted & displayed at the Fremont Foundry as part of the gallery’s inaugural exhibit since its restoration & re-opening. Come out & celebrate the Northwest’s best in mobile photography, enjoy complementary beer from New Belgium, &help raise money for Seattle youth & arts nonprofit organization Urban ArtWorks.
Learn more about the event and judges here
Must be 21+ to attend.
Here's your chance to get in behind the scenes of the awesome Seattle Mural Project process! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more detailed volunteer coordinator descriptions, and responsibilities.
Social Media Coordinator
We’re looking for a talented and driven Social Media Marketing Coordinator to join Seattle Mural Project! Reporting to and in partnership with the Executive Director (Director) the Social Media Marketing Specialist will work to develop and implement PR strategies for Seattle Mural Project via social networking websites. You will be responsible for creating a professional and interesting content to keep our followers engaged and to help increase awareness about Seattle Mural Project. As murals develop you will work with our documentation teams and our creative department to create media to share on social networks that showcase our project.
Sponsorship development coordinator
Reporting to and in partnership with the Development Director (Director) the Sponsorship development coordinator will spearhead all sponsorship development opportunities as Seattle Mural Project continues to grow. The successful candidate will be responsible for the identification, cultivation, preparation, contacting, follow-up and monitoring of corporate sponsorship relationships. Provides support to the administration by locating and pursuing sponsorship opportunities of all kinds. Ability to prioritize and work well under tight deadlines must be able to coordinate efforts with other departments.
Wall preparation coordinator
We’re looking for a construction oriented team leader to join our volunteer staff at Seattle Mural Project and get their hands dirty. Reporting to the Executive Director (Director) and working with the Volunteer Coordinator and the Site Manager, the Wall Preparation Coordinator will develop a team of capable volunteers that will assess the condition of the walls and bring them to a paintable state.
Mural site greeter coordinator
We’re looking for a committed and outgoing Mural Site Greeters Coordinator to join our volunteer staff at Seattle Mural Project. Reporting to and in partnership with the Executive Director (Director) and the Volunteer Coordinator the Site Greeters Coordinator will develop a team of approachable people that will field questions during mural painting. Your team will be the voice of the project to the curious public onlookers while keeping them at a safe distance and out of the way of the artists.
Mural site assistant / runners coordinator
We’re looking for a committed and outgoing team coordinator to join our volunteer staff at Seattle Mural Project leading a team of site assistants. Reporting to and in partnership with the Executive Director (Director) and the Volunteer Coordinator the Site Greeters Coordinator will develop a team of attentive and patient people that will assist the artists with non-painting support during mural production. Your team will help make the difference in productivity and timely mural production by ensuring the artist has everything they need to work efficiently at all times. Your teammates will work in pairs as assistants and errand runners to ensure that at least one assistant is always available on-site during production.
We’re looking for a committed and meticulous Safety coordinator to join our volunteer staff at Seattle Mural Project. Reporting to and in partnership with the Executive Director (Director) the Safety coordinator will develop safety protocol and best practices surrounding the mural painting. The candidate will work with our volunteer coordinator to develop and schedule a team of safety supervisors. Your team will make sure the public and the artists are safe and in compliance with regulations while the artists produce their murals.
Human resources coordinator
Reporting to and in partnership with the Seattle Mural Project Executive Director (Director) and also with the assistance of Urban Artworks staff, the Human Resources Coordinator will support Seattle Mural Project in developing a solid foundation of volunteer staff members. Since Seattle Mural Project is a 100% volunteer run organization, this position cultivates all internal organization volunteers. The Human Resources Coordinator will help maintain the effectiveness and occupancy of both internal steering level positions as well as common “off the street” volunteer positions.
The 63rd street mural committee is seeking an artist or team to Design a new mural for the retaining wall (north) side of N 63rd street and AURORA AVENUE N.
Eligibility: Open to all artists living in Washington
Deadline: April 25. 2014 at 5 p.m.
For more than a decade the whimsical mural painted in the 90’s at the Aurora underpass at N. 63rd Street was left largely unmolested. Two years ago graffiti overwhelmed the mural and it now stands covered by solid gray paint. The 63rd Street Mural Steering Committee has received a grant from the Department of Neighborhoods to create new artwork designed by local artists and maintained by the community for a period of five years. The goal is to create a mural that will beautify the neighborhood, delight passers-by and stand as a statement of our community’s commitment to this heavily travelled gateway.
|Inscape Open House, this Sunday!
Inscape Arts celebrates its next Open Studios on Sunday, March 23rd from 12-6pm. More than fifty artists and artisans will be showcasing work in a wide range of media that includes painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, video, ceramics, glass, jewelry, textiles, fashion, metalwork, bike building and more.
Come see the latest work from five floors of creative professionals, including the printmakers at Print Zero Studios, painter Sara V. Cole, sculptor Elijah Evenson, multimedia artist Tina Randolph and encaustic painter Patti Bowman.
Inscape also welcomes several new tenants, including woodworker/designer Peter Benarcik, painters Esra Guler, Dana Baran and Kimberly Balla, and ceramic artists Kristin Schimik and Virginia Jenkins.
Join hundreds of fellow artists, gallery owners, collectors and art lovers and experience a fun afternoon filled with art, live demos, music, food and drink. This event is also family friendly when kids are kept in view.
815 Seattle Blvd South
Seattle, WA 98134
KEXP’s Northwest music show is out in the community! Every month, Audioasis hosts a monthly benefit show at a local venue in Seattle with the net proceeds benefiting a different local charity.
Friends and Family
Support for Audioasis comes from the Snoqualmie Tribe Fund, Office of Arts & Culture and U.S. Bancorp.
KEXP Community Partnerships Facebook
a Canvas. a Cause.
....an art-inspired performance event, fundraiser and dance party.
a Canvas. a Cause. will feature four collaborative performances by artists across disciplines and genres, each one inspired by paintings by our artists and youth. The goal is to showcase the talent and work of Urban ArtWorks, and celebrate the positive impact that creative expression can have on communities— an impact at the heart of our mission. Learn more about the musicians, dancers and sponsors on our facebook event page.
Friday's party was a huge success!
We would like to thank all of you who made it to our dance party on Friday. Around 400 people came through the doors, raising $4,000 for our youth programs. We are so very grateful for you all.
PARTY LOCATION HAS CHANGED TO WESTERN BRIDGE!!!
3412 4th Avenue South Seattle, WA 98134
Announcing the second annual first rate Holiday Dance Party thrown by the Studio Gypsies and Graypants to benefit Urban Artworks
With the help of a few good friends we're throwing a party that will melt your 'sicle right off its stick. Hilliards & Gilbert Cellars are hosting the bar, we have TWO DJs, taco truck will be parked out front.. and Patrick Richardson Wright is doing projections again!
The event is free - and there will be one of a kind- and kind of awesome-items for purchase, so bring your cash! And dress up like your inner pop prince or princess so you can dance the night away in style.
All proceeds from purchased items, raffle tickets, tip and donation jars will go directly into funding ArtWorks youth and public art programs!
December 7, 2012
7pm until we drop
Please join us to celebrate and support Urban ArtWorks! The ArtWorks Masquerade will feature Live and Silent Auctions to benefit our youth programs Bid on the ultimate travel destination package or your creations by your favorite local artists! Join us for a fun evening of live entertainment and delicious food and wine. Each ticket purchase includes an original carnivale mask courtesy of our young artists! Advance ticket price is $50, $75 after February 1. Your donations and support make a difference! Can't make it? Consider a making a donation at www.urbanartworks.org Many thanks to our event sponsors! Lane Powell Seattle Seahawks Nitze Stagen Starbucks
Please join us to celebrate and support Urban ArtWorks!
The ArtWorks Masquerade will feature
Live and Silent Auctions to benefit our youth programs
Bid on the ultimate travel destination package or your creations by your favorite local artists!
Join us for a fun evening of live entertainment and delicious food and wine.
Each ticket purchase includes an original carnivale mask courtesy of our young artists!
Advance ticket price is $50, $75 after February 1.
Your donations and support make a difference!
Can't make it? Consider a making a donation at www.urbanartworks.org
Many thanks to our event sponsors!