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Three giant new murals grace E Pike, Central District, First Hill walls


A new face at 23rd and Union (Image: Mohamed Adan for CHS)

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.

The new Sorrento Hotel parking garage mural is the work of Ellen Picken, an artist originally from Spokane. Picken’s black and white geometric design triumphed in a competition with 40 submissions from around the world, an impressive feat for a novice with only one public mural under her belt.

For the past two months, Picken has been working diligently on the mural with her assistant Phyllis Austin. Picken is passionate about transforming the space, which was formerly a hideous concrete wall, into something worthwhile and inclusive.

“I want to provide a space that let’s people feel the way they want to feel, and that’s why I don’t put in any figure work or anything with too much symbolism,” Picken told CHS.

Weirdo's work on E Pike as of July 1st (Image: CHS)

Weirdo’s work on E Pike as of July 1st (Image: CHS)

The mural was expected to be completed this week and was funded by by a joint public-private partnership between the City of Seattle, the non-profit Seattle Mural Projects, and and Magnetic/ERV, the company that operates the Sorrento.

On E Pike, the latest mural on the north side of Neumos is a work from artist Weirdo depicting musician Shannon Perry of Seattle band Gazebos as part of a project with Capitol Hill Block Party producers and the Capitol Hill Arts District to bring attention to the neighborhood’s visual artists at this year’s three-day music fest starting July 24th.

Meanwhile at 23rd and Union, a new mural outside Uncle Ike’s and The Neighbor Lady was completed by artist Joey Nix. Nix’s murals are found all over Seattle and he told CHS he enjoys doing large-scale projects. The mural is 2 1/2 stories high and 20 feet wide and is a full-figure portrait of Amanya, a bud tender at Uncle Ike’s. Nix took a photograph of the woman at the Arboretum and based his work on the image. The t-shirt she’s wearing has the word “Uhuru” on it, Swahili for freedom. Nix says his satisfaction comes from the hope that a lot of people will see and enjoy his work. “I hope they enjoy it, it’s for them, it’s for the public,” he said.

UPDATE: There is another…

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6 thoughts on “Three giant new murals grace E Pike, Central District, First Hill walls

  1. Street art is beautiful thing! Im new to Seattle I hope there is more and more to come. The one on 23rd and Union is fantastic

  2. This is “street art” that I can get behind!….a far cry from the usual vandalism which some claim is art.

  3. There’s also the new mural on the Richmark Label building at E. Pine & 11th that started this past week…