I sat down with Cameron Larson during the September Blitz Art Walk as he was installing the first rows of bottle caps for the “Caps for Slats” mural on the Capitol Hill Sound Transit Art Wall Project. As the project gets a little closer to completion, here’s a look at some of the elements behind the work.
Larson says he got interested in making pictures with pixels about five years ago after creating a portrait of Marilyn Monroe with number and letter stencils. “It unlocked a door in me that I can create an illusion in stencils instead of color. It’s not all I do, but taking a bottle cap or a piece of trash and making something out of it, it’s fascinating to me.”
I asked Larson why he picked Chris Harvey, or Slats, as the subject for the mural. “Since the proposal was to pitch a project about Capitol Hill, about things going up and going down,” Larson explained, “I though Slats was a perfect staple for Capitol Hill. He was the person nobody knows or everybody knows.” I also asked DK Pan, the head artist for the STart Wall Project, about what he thought of the subject of the piece. “I think the idea of a memorial was really strong, especially for a public space…It’s very applicable for the time and the neighborhood.”
Larson planned the mosaic with a free online program, pictures of bottle caps, a photo of Slats that he found on the internet, and a whole lot of dedication. “The computer is a very useful tool! I can see anyone doing this,” says Larson, “It’s not difficult per se, it’s more about patience and dedicating the insane amount of time it takes to make something that hopefully people got a kick out of.” Throughout our conversation, Larson emphasized that the making of art isn’t restricted to artists, and that creativity is something that belongs to everyone. “Everybody should be creative at least part of their day. More so, everybody is…it’s not a brand, being an artist is just another thing people do.”
Speaking of bottle caps: if you’d like to help Larson collect material for the Caps for Slats mural, drop by Rosebud and buy something in a bottle. The fine bartenders of the Rosebud have agreed to collect their bottle caps for the next week or two and donate them to Larson’s mural-making.
Since Larson is newly graduated from the Cornish College of the Arts, this is his first public art project. “I feel really fortunate to be able to do something like this. Any chance to show work, but especially something that’s going to be up for a year, maybe two, that’s so public…I mean, yeah!”
While Larson said that the “Caps for Slats” mural is basically all he’s doing right now, he will have a some pieces showing at X17’s spooky art show in the 619 Building for the October 1st Thursday Pioneer Square Art Walk.