The blocklong installation outside Seattle City Hall on Fourth Avenue reads simply: “Black Lives Matter, enough is enough.”
“For years to come, all those who pass through Fourth and Cherry will see this celebration of the profound impact the Black Lives Matter movement is having on our city and country. I’m grateful to our community partners and City staff who made this installation a reality,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan in a statement Wednesday.
The piece was commissioned at the request of community groups, including the Center on Contemporary Art and the Onyx Fine Arts Collective, that asked that the installation be placed on the civic campus, according to Durkan’s office.
The $60,000 project was funded by the city’s recovery fund, Durkan spokesperson Kelsey Nyland said. The design was developed by the in-house muralist at the Seattle Department of Transportation, which will provide long-term maintenance for the installation. The department used an application method that is expected to remain durable for at least five years.
The installation is a reminder to “leaders and all people of the need for systemic change in racial justice,” said Earnest Thomas, president of the Onyx Fine Arts Collective.
The pattern of dedicating public spaces to the Black Lives Matter movement started after weeks of protests last year sparked by the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police in May 2020. Street murals have since been painted in bright, bold colors in cities across the country, including one on Seattle’s Capitol Hill outside the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct. That one was crafted by a group of artists, who filled the space inside each big letter with designs.
According to Nyland, the city has worked with artists to help preserve the Capitol Hill mural and is paying them to return annually for necessary touch-ups for the next five years.