I took a short stroll under a bridge through the Northeast Campus Parkway, near the University District in Seattle. This after,I noticed notice some crazy colors to the side, at the end of a long bus ride.
And there I was, on this quiet day. The streets were still damp, from the heavy rains of past days. The walls seemed washed, cleaned. The street art, urban graffiti, whatever you want to call it..brought a sense of youthful expression to this area of higher education. I know little of the artists who add magnificent style in their signatures. I can appreciate their work, and enjoy the small messages and subtle details for those who really take time to visually explore these walls. I am also particular fond of inclusion of the 1990s comic character and MTV cartoon star, The Maxx (pictured below)
The mural’s origins can be traced back to 2004, with this article I G
oogled researched. Here, explains what began as the project of UW art grad Jill Rothenburger, who found the underpass previously “drab and depressing.” With encouragement and permission from the city, that was changed. City officials were worried this could be spread, or encouraged towards illegal “tagging.” Jill defended the bridge in her quote from that article:
“Vandalism is illegal, but how can a style be illegal?…Graffiti is a style. It’s the visual manifestation of hip-hop culture. Hip-hop is youth culture. Does the city really want to be against that?”
So, the city allowed. Over 10 years later the underpass mural continues to impress, though with some changes to the art over time (much of it painted over older art). Here below, are some shots of its current appearance..
– Orion T