There are certain incumbent human needs one can not overlook, food, water, shelter; and then there’s art, which falls in between necessity and extravagance. With the use of public art, we can offer those who are primarily focusing on their needs, a little extra. So within this mindset, Urban Artworks with the help of local Seattle artist Leo Shallat and myself have created something a little extra for the women and staff at Angeline’s shelter in Belltown.

During the initial brainstorming with staff and stakeholders, we created an idea to mix street art and a feminine aesthetic to brighten up the back patio. This led to the use of Leo’s calligraphy like swirls and Lina’s use of floral designs to create a backdrop to the patio. With the use of a neutral – calming – palette with some sparks of color, we created this mural to accompany the womxn during their stay at Angeline’s.

The process was an interesting one. It was almost as if we were live painting at an exhibition, where the womxn had an opportunity to give input, criticism and encouragement along the way. The mural was equally praised as well as critiqued, and it was interesting to see where each and every individual was coming from as we had time to chat with them on the patio about what their ideal image would be on that wall. Given this input, we made some on the spot changes, repainting the whole mural at a certain point to jive better with the environment and the womxn that will be seeing it everyday.

Through this process, I learned a lot about art, and activating and changing spaces; all from these womxn that offered their input and stories. With the final touches being doted and loved on, Leo and I are walking away from this mural with hearts full and proud to have given them… a little extra.

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