A Mural for Leschi

At the December Leschi Community Council Executive Board Meeting, Tom Goedde from Mt. Baker, Lawrence Pitre, Director of the Central Area Chamber of Commerce and Stephanie Tschida presented the idea to create a giant mural on the retaining wall on the corner of 31st and Jackson.

The wall is a perfect candidate for a mural depicting the rich cultural history of Leschi and the Central Area. Tom, Lawrence and Stephanie put out a few proposals of ideas for what to put on the wall, though the most important aspect of it is to get community involvement in the creation of this work of art. We want to engage the community and help make this wonderful art project be a beacon of cooperation for all of us in the Central Area.

The group mentioned the work of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and how they have modeled a way to garner deep community involvement in public arts works. We would seek out a similar model for developing this wall. You can read more about the Philadelphia Mural Arts Project and their process at www.muralarts.org.

There is a long road ahead for the group to make this project a reality. They will have to work with the local communities, the Department of Neighborhoods and the City Council to get support and funding for the wall. The group is planning on presentations that are more public and seeking funding opportunities through grants and crowd funding.

One interesting aspect of the wall is the idea to make it an augmented reality project. The concept is that you would use your mobile device to view a part of the mural to get more details of the history the mural is portraying. The team anticipated that local High School students in the area could help out, with not only painting and designing the wall, but also creating the accompanying app to digitally enhance the mural experience.

It is important to note that at the December meeting the Leschi Community Council Executive Board did not have a quorum and thus could not support the mural project officially yet, but we anticipate much excitement from the community in the upcoming months as Tom and his team foment interest around the city to make this a reality.

If you are interested in getting involved, contact Tom Goedde at goeddeUP@gmail.com for details, and let’s work to bring some beautiful community-driven art into the public spaces of Leschi!

~Trevor Menagh

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