The guidelines from Richmark Label left a lot of room for creativity: Paint over the company’s entire 12th and Pine building, sidewalk to roof. And don’t include any horizontal lines.
With that, Reno-based muralist Erik T Burke and a group of 16 to 18-year-olds got to work earlier this week on what could be the largest mural project standing on Capitol Hill today.
With the East Precinct police station directly across the street, lead artist Angela Larsen told CHS the mural will include, among other elements, a nod to the Black Lives Matter movement — a wraparound message that says “Read up, Hands down.”
“The building was not very pretty. Whatever they do will make it a lot better than what it was.”
Rickmark president Bill Donner said he basically gave Burke and youth-focused group Urban Artworks carte blanche to liven up his building that has stayed the same mauve-ish color since he bought it in 1971.
“Make it something that’s a little more relevant to the people living here today,” Donner said. “The building was not very pretty. Whatever they do will make it a lot better than what it was.”
Outside of coffee roasting, the custom label printer is one of the few manufacturers operating on Capitol Hill today.
The teens working on the project are being paid through an education and employment training program run through the King County juvenile justice system. According to Larsen, the artists hope to finish the mural in a week or two. When it’s finished, Larsen said the mural should camouflage the building while adding a massive splash of color to the intersection that just recently got a rainbow facelift.
Meanwhile, two new murals are joining the streetscapes in the Central District and on First Hill with a third popping up on a familiar E Pike canvas while 11 rainbow crosswalks have joined the Pike/Pine landscape.