Mural Project Edmonds tackles first projects

What is and what isn’t happening with the murals in town
By Brian Soergel | Jun 07, 2018
Photo by: Brian Soergel Andy Eccleshall’s “Changing Times” mural is on the wall of Spangler Book Exchange in Edmonds. The mural is not scheduled to be replaced.

The newly formed Mural Project Edmonds (MPE) wants to make three things absolutely clear about its role in bringing new murals to town.

First, MPE stresses that it is not removing all 15 murals in Edmonds. While it is at a building owner’s discretion whether an existing one remains or is removed, it is not the goal of the MPE to replace all current murals.

Second, MPE is focusing on bringing in professional, experienced muralists to create new murals downtown. It intends to award artists significantly more money in order to get more experienced artists interested in the project. That means it will actively solicit donations and sponsors.

Finally, calls for artists will be open to all muralists, both new and past muralists alike. MPE is looking for a diverse, culturally rich collection of new murals.

The call for muralists for the first two murals is expected to go out in the middle of June.

It was last year that the nonprofit Art Walk Edmonds – which puts on the third Thursday event downtown – formed a committee of volunteer board members, community members, artists and Edmonds business owners to rethink the Edmonds murals.

The agreed-upon concept? Murals are not permanent, but like at a gallery, art can be continually changing and evolving.

First murals in 2009

The original Edmonds Mural Society was created in 2009 by the husband-and-wife team of Manya Schilperoort and Jeff Stilwell, who run MaJe Gallery on Main Street. They also were the original creators, in 2002, of the third Thursday art walk.

The first mural was Pat Brier’s “A Day in Edmonds,” in September 2009. Murals continued into 2010 with creations by Greg Hartman, Andy Eccleshall, Tracy Kay Fraker and Cheryl Waale.

Downtown walls sported new additions for the next four years – 15 total.

Judges awarded one artist with a members’ choice award each year. Two-hundred-plus Edmonds Mural Society members raised funds for the murals.

The murals were each under a five-year agreement with the building owners to allow the art to be on display. Most of the murals are now past the terms of the agreement, and some building owners will be removing and/or replacing them.

Mural Project Edmonds – a new, unrelated entity – has been working with building and business owners, as well as consulting with the city of Edmonds. MPE has formed a plan to create a new series of professional quality murals and assist in removing some that are damaged.

Ultimately, it will be the building owners who have control over whether murals remain or will be removed or replaced. Although viewable by the public, all current Edmonds murals are on private property.

The first project of the MPE, begun at the end of May, was the removal of the vinyl mural on the Sound Styles wall on Main Street – Brier’s “A Day in Edmonds” – and the subsequent commission of a new mural in its place.

Another project will be to work with the owners of the new fishmonger and eatery, The Mar·ket – Shubert Ho and Andrew Leckie – to create a mural for its east-facing side wall. A call for muralists will be issued this month.

MPE plans to develop a few new murals each year, opening a call for all interested muralists to submit ideas and concepts for the individual walls. Its goal is to incorporate the architectural elements of the building, as well as taking into consideration the placement, perspective, and view from the street.

MPE will be seeking a culturally rich and diverse selection of murals, which will range in style from traditional to contemporary and abstract. Muralists who are interested in being considered should email Art Walk Edmonds at info@artwalkedmonds.com.

To pay for the murals, MPE is using funds raised by Art Walk Edmonds’ Summer Wine Walks, as well as donations. In some cases, building owners and businesses may sponsor the mural while MPE will manage the project.

“The overall goal of the new MPE is to bring professional-level, well-planned artistry to our community,” MPE spokeswoman Rachel Dobbins said. “As one can imagine, high-quality art comes with a high price tag.”

Those interested in donating to the Art Walk Edmonds can do so online at http://artwalkedmonds.com/donate. Companies or entities interested in sponsoring a new mural can contact Art Walk Edmonds at info@artwalkedmonds.com.

The Mural Project Edmonds committee is Robert Gutcheck and Lynn Hanson, Art Walk Edmonds co-presidents; Clayton Moss, Art Walk Edmonds vice-president; Denise Cole, Art Walk Edmonds director; and Mark VonGunten, Ten Gun Design.

 

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.