Sunday, May 6, 2012

Northeast Campus Parkway Mural - U-District

Northeast Campus Parkway Mural - U-DistrictNortheast Campus Parkway Mural - U-District
Now this is a wall to get excited about, two blocks of wall to be exact along Northeast Campus Parkway on the edge of the University of Washington campus. It contains all sort of interesting and creative parts. It was created in 2004 by UW alumna Jill Rothenberger and 40 volunteers. This was Rothenberger’s first art project after her graduation with a double major in art and the comparative history of ideas. The finished mural came under some heat because some of volunteers’ choice of materials (spray paint) and subject matter (looking too much like graffiti), but mostly it was in hot water because the south side of the underpass was covered with art without prior permission. That was in 2004 and the images have survived, although they appear not to have weathered the random tagging so well. Is the city employee who said “it will encourage graffiti vandals” right? Perhaps, but maybe there is a better way to look at it: all things fall prey to entropy (like graffiti). It’s inevitable. It’s time for a refresh. Persuade up and coming artists to refurbish the existing images or better yet, start fresh.

Some of the panels include bridges and water themes connecting to the immediate surroundings (University Bridge and the Lake Union). There are also fantasy landscapes and a persistent theme of breaking free from convention.

Deep Speaking to the Shallow (left) and Mural Attribution (right)
Northeast Campus Parkway Mural - U-DistrictNortheast Campus Parkway Mural - U-District

Peacock (left) and Goddess on Lotus (right)

Northeast Campus Parkway Mural - U-DistrictNortheast Campus Parkway Mural - U-District

Just a Number – Breaking with Conformity – The Sun Also Rises
Northeast Campus Parkway Mural - U-DistrictNortheast Campus Parkway Mural - U-District

Bugs (left) and Bug Detail (right)
Northeast Campus Parkway Mural - U-DistrictNortheast Campus Parkway Mural - U-District

Controversial South Wall – Heads and Perfection
Northeast Campus Parkway Mural - U-DistrictNortheast Campus Parkway Mural - U-District

West to East (starting near ramp to University Bridge) 1,2
Northeast Campus Parkway Mural - U-DistrictNortheast Campus Parkway Mural - U-District

West to East View 3, 4 (Neptune)
Northeast Campus Parkway Mural - U-DistrictNortheast Campus Parkway Mural - U-District

West to East View 5, 6

Northeast Campus Parkway Mural - U-DistrictNortheast Campus Parkway Mural - U-District

Bridge Mimic (left) and Wall With Tagging (right)

Northeast Campus Parkway Mural - U-DistrictNortheast Campus Parkway Mural - U-District

Living for the City (Stevie Wonder?)Northeast Campus Parkway Mural - U-District

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