Artists and community members gathered Sunday afternoon and earlier in the week in the Chinatown-International District to paint murals in support of the Black Lives Matter movement on plywood at businesses that had been boarded up because of the coronavirus.
Community members came up with the murals as a way to beautify and protect the historic neighborhood.
An art club from Franklin High School was painting boards at an empty storefront with a mural honoring Black trans lives, with portraits of Marsha P. Johnson, a leader behind the 1969 Stonewall uprising, and Ade A Connere, a prominent Seattle drag queen.
“We wanted to highlight people not as recognized in the Black Lives Matter and Pride movements,” said Alexandra Lawson-Mangum, a Franklin junior. “When you think of Stonewall you don’t really think of the people of color behind the scenes.
Kylie Lor, 12, was painting a multi-hued collection of raised fists and flowers on the N-P Hotel. She said she wanted to do something to try to beautify the city and project a theme of unity.
“It’s just painting a few boards,” she said. “A lot of things have been happening recently that aren’t very beautiful.”
A mural painted on the Kobo Gallery, featured portraits of Manuel Ellis, George Floyd, Charleena Lyles, and other Black people killed by police.
“The Japanese American community stands in unwavering solidarity with our Black, brown and indigenous siblings, who stood with us through the mass incarceration of our people during WWII,” the mural reads.
Painting landscapes, cityscapes and shrimp har gow on the side of Dim Sum King, started out as a way to support businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic, said Jimmy Jia, one of the artists. Adding Black Lives Matter messages, as protests have dominated the city is “a way of supporting our Black allies,” he said.