Here’s how Kurt Cobain’s big face ended up back on a Capitol Hill wall

Last summer, the replacement of a Nagle Place mural of Kurt Cobain sparked a wave of nostalgia for a Capitol Hill that never was. First, the work had only been in place for half a year. Second, the muralist was a famed London street artist promoting a show at a Pioneer Square gallery. And third, the work was replaced with another by local artist and prolific Capitol Hill muralist Weirdo.

Nevermind all that.

Now the London artist, that Pioneer Square gallery, again, credit union BECU, and Capitol Hill’s Everyday Music have teamed up for a nostalgic flipside to the removed original. Continue reading

With Capitol Hill a nirvana of murals, here’s why Kurt Cobain got painted over for Pride on Nagle Place

Kurt Cobain could give a shit about Nagle Place. And walls? Walls change.

“Walls rotate. And if you’ve been in the game long enough, you’ve seen it happen to your own walls,” muralist and street artist Weirdo tells CHS.

You’ve seen his “hyper-real” Weirdocult works all over the Hill, most prominently on the side of Neumos where a regular rotation of new works hype the latest big music release or, recently, new kits for the Seattle Sounders.

The murals are his business and this kind of street work is a growing industry for influencers and marketing. They’re not strictly advertising. To stay clear of the city’s rules about off premise advertising — remember this legendary 12th and Pine ad space? — the depictions don’t include overt commercial messaging and involve imagery and subjects related to the building and the community. The paintings, in the end, become statements and part of the colorful background of Pike/Pine and Broadway.

Mostly, Weirdo’s murals are celebrated for their mix of intense, beyond real colors, and photorealistic depictions of his subjects. Weirdo’s latest work is being wrapped up on one of the newer canvases in the Capitol Hill wall space on the backside of the Hunters Capital-developed Broadway Building, along Nagle Place, facing the popular and usually bustling Cal Anderson skate and sport courts. Continue reading

City says legendary ad space at 12th and Pine needs to come down

img_9163A legendary Pike/Pine street corner is set to lose some of its commercial color. The Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections has issued a sign code violation to the Richmark Label Company for the Alaska Airlines advertisement that was added to the building in September in a space that has become notorious for its usually incongruous marketing messages targeting drinkers of Jager, travelers to Portland, and, now, airline flyers.

Richmark has until November 3rd to remove the billboard or risk $150 per day fines for the first 10 days of noncompliance, $500 per day after. A Richmark representative has not yet returned our call about the notice. Continue reading

With Alaska Airlines deal landed, ad agency opens office on E Pike

The ad agency Mekanism has joined the ranks of tech and creative agencies opening offices on Capitol Hill. This time, the music was part of the draw.

“We were just drawn to it,” said Mekanism partner Pete Caban. “The Capitol Hill area has a ton of history, a counter-culture pioneering vibe. A lot of it had to do with raw creative energy of the area.”

Mekanism officially launched its Capitol Hill office above E Pike and Broadway last month. The company is known for ad campaigns like Messin’ with Sasquatch. Caban says that while landing the Alaska Airlines account in January tipped the scales, the idea of opening up a brick-and-mortar office in the Northwest had been floated for some time. Continue reading

Sidewalk signs hyping Capitol Hill apartments hit with Independence Day weekend blackout tagging protest

A 15th Ave victim

A 15th Ave victim

 In the meantime, the Central District has taken anti-development angst into a much more creative direction.

In the meantime, the Central District has taken anti-development angst into a much more creative direction.

We don’t know exactly what set it off but somebody was busy with a spray can over the 4th of July weekend tagging a-frame sidewalk advertisements for various Capitol Hill apartment complexes from 19th Ave E to Pike/Pine.

This picture below from Twitter was claimed to show a tagger at work Sunday night.

With rents continuing to rise and City Hall so far powerless to do much to stem the tide, it’s possible the weekend’s blackout tagging was an angry response to the ongoing rise in the cost of Capitol Hill living. Or maybe whoever is responsible is a sidewalk muni code vigilante tired of what can be a cluttered pedestrian experience. Whatever the cause, the response was thorough if not elegant with apartments and condo buildings new and old included in the sweep.

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 2.47.36 PM

Was it you? Tell us why in comments, text or call (206) 399-5959 or tell us via email at