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Local Artist Lawrence Pitre

In December of 2017, Tom Goedde of Mt. Baker, Stephanie Tschida and Lawrence Pitre, Director of the Central Area Chamber of Commerce presented the idea of creating a giant mural on the retaining wall at the corner of 31st Ave. and Jackson St.

Lawrence Pitre described his inspiration for the project:

“I return daily to a retaining wall which I have walked by my whole life, located on 31st and Jackson. My vision has always been to develop a concept that would be interactive and celebrate the rich history of the community. During my lifetime, I have watched my community within the Central Area become altered because of Gentrification and economic displacement. I conceived the interactive mural as part of the concept series called “We Are One,” which became my thesis at Seattle University. The thesis reviewed how art influences communities, specifically the Central Area in Seattle.

This mural is deeply personal because I was born and raised in the Central Area. It aims to “reconnect the past with the future” because my community is being erased daily. Throughout my life in the Central Area, I used art as a tool of emancipation, freedom of expression and social activism. As urban art becomes more mainstream, I believe that creating promotional campaigns and designs allow other artists and myself to showcase our distinctive artistic styles.

The objectives of the mural project are to (1) advertise the welcoming nature of the Leschi area, (2) inform visitors about Leschi’s historic legacies, featuring the legend of Chief Leschi in 1858, Leschi Park that was developed into an amusement park in 1889, the Lake Washington Cable Railway’s trolley line in 1903, and the history of Frink Park in 1906, and (3) use public art to visually enhance the retaining wall to be compatible with its surroundings and the park.”