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What this giant mauve wall on Pike needs is a $15,000 mural

Sitting inside Vita, you can see it looming there across the street above the parking lot, above Havana, above the Aveda girls taking their smoke breaks. A giant, empty, mauve wall just west of the corner of 10th and E. Pike. Behind it, Capitol Hill ad agency Creature is looking for a way to cover that wall in local art.

Creature’s The Wall Project is an attempt to organize the creation of a mural on that big mauve wall. It’s a large enough project to need local business and community support. It needs artists to come up with a great concept for the space. And it needs 15 grand to make it happen — and some donated supplies to defray a portion of that cost. The goal is to have the funding and concept complete by early June and the mural ready for unveiling on July 10.

Did we mention it’s mauve?

I traded e-mails with Creature’s Andrew Jasperson to find out more about the project and how the rest of us can get involved.

Creature has been going strong for a few years and you’ve been on the Hill for awhile. Why a mural? Why now?
We want to do a mural because we have a giant wall on our building, and murals are the kinds of things that make giant walls cool. Beyond that, we have been an agency who has been built doing a lot of work outside of Seattle. We are at a point now where we have the resources to now contribute to what’s closer around us. We spend most of our time using creativity to solve business problems. But we also like to create culture when we can. Behind that soon-to-be-painted wall, we have graffiti artists, djs, writers, musicians, painters, thinkers, critics, and culture vultures- we’re already doing cool stuff all the time, it’s just that in this instance, we’re being pretty vocal and visible about it.

As to the mural itself, and what it means, that’s about getting into our community, and showcasing the talent we have in the area. We’re very excited to be working with three local street artists- Jeff Jacobson, Shawn Diaz, and Sam Wallace, who are all excellent examples of the level of talent that currently resides in Seattle, and getting them to collaborate on this mural is our way of instilling a spirit of interest and solidarity into the area and the city. We’re hoping this is just the start of that kind of thinking and that kind of effort.

Now, the second question. We’re doing it now because we can do it now. We have the right people in our building to make it happen, and we have the resources outside our building to make it happen. Beyond that though, we’ve been here a while and we’re seeing Capitol Hill go through some changes. We want to make sure that even with all the new development and evolutions, Capitol Hill retains the personality that has made it great. We think this wall project is exactly the kind of effort that will do it. And we hope it sparks more of the same.

 


Have you ever pulled something like this together? What’s the closest example from the ad world?
We recently had a bunch of artists paint a 21 1958-66 VW Buses for Pacifico Beer, so that’s sort of the same thing. Brands are always getting artists to do stuff- design shoes, paint footballs, paint VW Buses, but I don’t really know if an ad agency has ever done something like this on its own. There’s a place called the Republik in North Carolina, and they hang artists’ work in their giant front windows so it can be seen by the world. And, Wieden + Kennedy in Portland has some cool statues in their place. But commissioning artists to paint a giant collaborative mural that reflects the values of the pacific northwest for the benefit of all passers by, canine and human alike? Not sure about that. It might be a first.

 

What are your hopes and dreams for the project?
My hopes for the project are that people will like it, and that it will look really cool. Also, I hope that it will spur people into doing this kind of stuff in the neighborhood. When you walk through the neighborhoods of Brooklyn, you get a real sense of energy. You see people adding to the neighborhood constantly, whether through playing music or selling scarves they’ve knitted, or holding an impromptu art exhibition/dance-off, you get the feeling that something is happening in the neighborhood, and it’s evidenced by all the great music and art coming out of that corner of the world. We can have that kind of energy, here. Seattle has always been known as a creative town, and Capitol Hill is right in the center of it. We want people to start taking the leap and putting their creative inclinations to work. Put yourself out there, and make it all the more interesting. We can always use more interesting.

You’re working with groups and businesses on the Hill to get this done. What’s the best way for somebody who lives on the Hill to get involved?
Give us money, please. Just kidding. But seriously, money helps. We need to rent cherry pickers, we need art supplies, we need help promoting this effort. We want to make t-shirts with artist designs on them, we want to get DJs involved, we want to get taco trucks involved. If you’ve got anything you think would add to the mix, we want to know about it. Give us a shout at Creature, email us at [email protected].

Images: Creature

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Andrew Taylor
Andrew Taylor
15 years ago

This is a perfect candidate for a Department of Neighborhoods Small and Simple matching grant.
They run to $15,000 and typically matched with sweat equity.

wall
wall
15 years ago

Neighborhood art is great – but this wall in on one side of a parking lot and faces another blank wall. Most people are not going to see the art work (unless you cut down the trees on the street…)

Do this, but do it on the side of the Comet or somewhere where people can see it easily from the street.

Swift Albero
Swift Albero
15 years ago

As long as it’s not another multi-racial-children-holding-hands-across-America mural. Am I also seeing that a bald eagle is up for discussion? What are we? Confederates??

This could be a great idea if done correctly. I hope the design team does some serious thinking about their final decision. Whatever they paint, it would be cool if they somehow incorporated the parts of the wall that sticks out, to result in a raised-relief effect.