It’s this time of year when I’m reminded that we’ve created a program that works in sync with mother nature’s summer blessing, and winter wrath. The last week of every August we graduate our summer youth artists, who have worked outside painting directly on sun baked walls, and begin recruiting a new work force of adjudicated teens 14-18 to join us in our studio. This fall we are painting a graphic black and white mural for a construction site on Dexter, keep your eyes peeled!
Our materials library continues to expand, and as walls come down and are replaced with glass facades we look up and down and dream of new canvases around our rapidly changing city. The beloved signal box art local artists have created with us over the past 6 years has always been hand painted, until we admired the awesome vinyl wraps commissioned in Japantown and decided to give it a go in South Lake Union. It allows us to continue to produce public works year round, and to expand our catalogue of artists from many different backgrounds. We launched our wraps with imaginative graphic images from Matthew Hollister and Sasha Barr and are now expanding into the soft watercolors of Jordan McKay and the colorful linocut vibes of Victor Malendez.
There are many murals that for various reasons (like, no youth in a boom lift please, thank you), don’t involve our 14-18 year old artists, but help support our programming by continuing to build our portfolio and providing sustained support for our studio. Every project builds us up and brings work readiness training and positive community connections to youth who need it most. Every commission, every dollar donated, every volunteer hour, every supportive shout out is a building block.
Speaking of building blocks… we built a new website! With the ever patient, hilarious and talented Josh Doll, we managed to create a platform to celebrate our partners and youth, the designs of contributing artists, and the reason behind our volunteers’ generosity. As with our city, our site will be changing and growing more as we add work and artists profiles, so please visit often – and if you are willing to, at your desk right now, give a round of applause to volunteers like Josh who have to gusto to email an organization that had an obvious need and offer a solution to it.
Thank you all for what you do. To the human services providers, to the muralists adding layers to Seattle’s walls and to the patrons who help support them – we are all in this together!