Share story

In a few months, Seattle’s cityscape may be a little more colorful.

Four large-scale murals are planned for Capitol Hill this summer, an effort to beautify a neighborhood and match street artists with funding and a widely visible canvas.

Large murals are “kind of a sign of a modern city,” said Justin Hart, a co-founder of the Seattle Mural Project and Graffiti Defense Coalition (GDC).

The graffiti group, which seeks community appreciation for street art, is leading the project, with help from individuals and groups such as its fiscal sponsor, Urban ArtWorks.

This week, save 90% on digital access.

The city allocated a Neighborhood Matching Fund grant of $49,251.

The four locations chosen for the murals are Shop Rite Drugs, 426 15th Ave. E.; Union Art Cooperative, 1100 E. Union St.;
Olive Terrace Apartments, 430 E. Howell St.; and the Pike Building, 1000 E. Pike St.

Submissions from artists who want to take on the walls are due Saturday.

Each of the four winners will paint one mural and receive $3,000 and supplies. Artists from all over the world can apply.

Designs submitted last year, when the initiative was dubbed Stunning Seattle, will still be considered in the final decision.

“We’re looking for colorful designs that are vibrant … just things that exhibit the capabilities of not just aerosol art but modern street art,” Hart said.

The public will get a chance to view submissions online and weigh in.

A curation committee will be involved in choosing the winning entries, according to Hart, but the property owners have the final say.

The plan right now, Hart said, is for the murals to be painted from June 26 to July 31.

The project will bring art to underserved populations, Hart said.

“You have a lot of people that really don’t have money or time or whatever it might be to, you know, go and enjoy art in a museum or a gallery context, and so this kind of allows people to be exposed to art and enjoy it in their everyday lives and for free,” he said.

Kathleen Warren, the director of Urban ArtWorks, said the project will add to the city’s “portfolio” of art.

“We have some good murals in Seattle and we have some great local artists, but a lot of cities in the world have murals from artists all over the place and the murals almost are a sight that people want to see when they visit a city,” Warren said. “I think that this could help put Seattle on the map in terms of really impressive public art.”

Custom-curated news highlights, delivered weekday mornings.