Ever find yourself staring blankly out the window of the light rail, then suddenly, BOOM: a mural? If that’s happened to you, chances are it was in SoDo, along the two-mile strip of buildings on 5th Avenue South between Royal Brougham Way and Spokane Street.
That’s where the public art project SODO Track is in its second year of covering the walls with work by 50 artists from all over the world. We took a walking tour with the folks running the project, talked to a couple of the artists, and got background stories for some of the murals. Here are a couple that stood out — and might just make you stare a little longer next time you’re zooming past them.
- Artist Addison Karl’s working on a mural that reaches back to how Seattle might’ve looked before it was settled and dammed: a rich mass of greens that’s somewhere between underwater and a rainforest. He met with Chief Seattle’s descendants and is adding their portraits to the scene to finish his homage to the native Duwamish people, whom he’s passionately honoring. (See a work-in-progress photo at the top of this page)
(Photo courtesy of @sodotrack)
- Last year, a duo of artists called CYRCLE painted a simple phrase, all-caps and italicized: ‘THEN OUT CAME THE SUN’. One of the artists who painted it is originally from Bellevue, and remembered the significance of the sun coming out here, using our weather “as a metaphor for circumstances or perspectives that change like the seasons.”
- Keep an eye out for the piece in progress that looks like a comic strip. Our theory? When it’s all complete, just maybe it’ll blend and animate before our eyes when we go by.
Want to watch the artists in action? The current painting period ends Thursday (there’ll be another one in September) and here’s where you can find the artists at work:
If you don’t have time to stop by, keep up with the project over on the @sodotrack instagram account (where we got the mural photos). And head over to the project’s website for more background on some of the artists and the murals that were finished last year.