Dexter mural selection near, funding for project still needed

The first votes were cast for a new mural to grace the Dexter Way North underpass which for years had been defaced with graffiti.

The votes were cast at last week's Queen Anne Community Council Meeting but Queen Anne Murals, which is organizing the project, continues to seek more votes and more funding for the project.

Fifteen pieces, contributed by artists who responded to an open call for an award of $200, are up for consideration in the space. The chosen design will be transformed into a 20-feet-tall by 100-feet-long mural, and will be projected on the wall in a similar fashion as a paint-by-number for the volunteers.

The votes gathered at the QACC meeting and at last week's Queen Anne Farmers Market total about 80, and project organizer Lauren Hibbard will solicit more votes at tomorrow's farmers market, from members of the Uptown Alliance and Greater Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce.

Hibbard hopes to announce a winner in late September. In the event of a tie, there will be tie-breaker vote at the QACC meeting Oct. 7. Painting of the mural would take place on an October weekend.

Apart from collecting votes, Hibbard said donations are still needed to put paint to the walls. So far, Queen Anne Murals has raised $2,080, including a $1,000 donation from 4Culture. Just to paint the mural requires $5,000, according to Hibbard. The group also applied for the Small and Simple Grant for the full amount of $15,000 last week. If they receive the grant, which won't be known for almost five weeks, it would help pay for mural upkeep and materials among other expenses.

But another aspect of this mural project is the partnership with ArtWorks-a Seattle nonprofit that gives at-risk youth a chance to create public artwork. Aside from providing mural expertise and direction from the very beginning of this project, ArtWorks members and youth participants will have a chance to paint a mural on one wall of a Volvo dealership on Aurora Avenue North-but only if enough funding is raised.

"To put wooden panels on the backside of the dealership that ArtWorks kids can paint we would need another $4,000, so we need about $8,000 more to include ArtWorks and their project, have a really nice mural with a nice protective finish and a good pressure washing of the underpass and, we don't just need cash donations, we also need material donations," Hibbard said.

Ideally, Hibbard would like to secure more funds by the second week of September because ArtWorks intends to start its mural project Sept. 14.

While the search for funding continues, the idea behind the two mural projects continues to center on cleaning up the area and reactivating the space for community members.

"We want to reclaim this whole area and bring attention to this beautiful green belt we have in Queen Anne. We think this whole area's very valuable," Hibbard said. "This is the first step in that direction."[[In-content Ad]]