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Artists Everywhere is Art Everywhere: Black Lives Matter Mural Restoration – artbeat.seattle.gov ocn News Artists Everywhere is Art Everywhere: Black Lives Matter Mural Restoration – artbeat.seattle.gov

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OCN News,

On the Road with Royal Alley-Barnes, Acting Director of the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture

Seattle is an incredible city that is home to a diverse and expansive arts and culture sector. Almost every neighborhood is home to art, artists, and the threads that weave our cultural landscape into a rich city that thrives because art is everywhere. From the first inhabitants of our city until the birth of the state, music, art and culture have defined our region.

Supporting, enhancing and celebrating the rich history and people who continue to make Seattle one of the most livable cities in the country is central to the alley-barnes vision of the acting director of the Office of Arts and Seattle culture and the impetus behind this series of blogs celebrating “artists”. everywhere.”

“Artists everywhere is art EVERYWHERE. Art is the music we listen to, the movies/plays/poems/books/animated/paintings/sculptures we laugh, cry, hang, sympathize with , live with and through. Artists and the public are at the heart of our mission, employing artists so that we can all enjoy art everywhere. I hope you will explore the city with me and discover the art that is everywhere.

Royal Alley-Barnes, Acting Director, Office of Arts and Culture


The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture is an incubator that strengthens the arts sector and the creative economy through grants, public art, and arts experiences in public schools. For the first feature in this series, we look back at the restoration of the Black Lives Matter mural on Capitol Hill.

In July 2022, ARTS partnered with Living Matter Collectivethe Seattle Department of Transportationand community volunteers to repaint the Black Lives Matter mural on Capitol Hill.

Established on June 11, 2020, Vivid Matter Collective – now made up of 16 local artists – created the 250-foot-long Black Lives Matter mural along Pine Street as a creative reflection of grief, anger, pain, of hope and resilience from the Black community amid the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests on Capitol Hill.

In September 2020, ARTS and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) began collaborations with the original 15 Vivid Matter Collective artists to recreate and maintain the mural.

Takiya Ward at the restoration of Black Lives Matter; Photo courtesy of the artist

“The annual painting of the now iconic Black Lives Matter street mural is an opportunity for reflection and reverence. As responsible artists, we remember that fateful day when we painted the mural seen around the world on June 11, 2020. What has happened since then is the effect of that effort. We decided to form a collective to continue to support each other in our artistic endeavors. We’ve opened a gallery, with support from Molly Moon’s Ice Cream, to continue showing our work and sharing with the community. As monumental as this mural was, what we got out of it was so much more. We understood each other. We have all experienced individual and collective success since then, but the real reward is connection, affirmation and a renewed sense of purpose. Our hope with the mural continuing to hold space on Capitol Hill is that people who encounter it will remember the energy of that time and continue to commune, speak, work and grow from a place of connection and wanting everyone to have their fair share. Live and thrive, not just survive.

Takiyah Ward, co-founder of the Vivid Matter collective

Photo courtesy of Takiyah Ward

Among the volunteers for the recent restoration was Acting ARTS Director Royal Alley-Barnes, who helped repaint the large letters while communicating with muralists and volunteers.

“The recent restoration of the Black Lives Matter mural shows the utmost importance of this work to both the community and the city. What an honor it was to share the afternoon with the artists of Vivid Matter Collective, the staff of ARTS & SDOT and, most importantly, members of the community who collectively share a desire to ensure that the legacy wall painting prevails for the time to come.

Royal Alley-Barnes, Acting Director, Office of Arts and Culture

“This mural looks like a representation of our neighborhood and our city. Seeing Vivid Matter Collective and community members show up to be part of archiving this moment together is really important to the work we should be doing as a city.

Ricky Reyes, ARTS Public Art Project Manager

Photo by Ricky Reyes

Today, the mural is a reminder of the importance and cultural significance of the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement. ARTS and SDOT remain committed to ensuring that this mural and its message is preserved for years to come.

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