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All Those Boarded-Up Shop Windows? In Seattle, They’re Becoming Murals

by Jerome Weeks 8 Apr 2020 1:38 PM

Life gives you lemons, paint a still life. If you see any closed businesses in North Texas becoming outdoor art galleries, let us know.

Photo: Seattle Times

According to the “Seattle Times,” it wasn’t just the quarantine that caused store windows to get boarded up.

“Plywood started going up about two weeks ago after vandals began smashing windows of closed businesses. That led to more plywood from store owners who feared they might be next. Things were starting to look bleak all over town.”

Venue, a local artists’ shop, gallery and educational center, moved quickly: “We didn’t want to promote fear with boarding up, so we thought instead we could spread a message of happiness and hope if we made our boards beautiful,” Venue owner Diane Macrae said. “Knowing artists are struggling as well with canceled shows and lack of sales, we figured it was a chance to provide some additional work for them. Our store is all about supporting local artists, so it made sense to continue to do this during this time in any way we can.”

Artist Carlos Ruiz works on his mural for the Jade Garden restaurant. Photo: Ramon Dompor/Seattle Times

But the murals actually started a few weeks earlier in Seattle’s International District and Little Saigon because vandals had smashed several restaurant windows. It’s not known whether the attacks were racially targeted at Asian shopowners or simply opportunistic: The streets are mostly empty now, so there’s the impulse to get away with a little havoc. In any event, photographer Kekoe Silvano saw the damage, saw an opportunity and put out the word to the art community.

The “Seattle Times” story includes more pictures and a video. If you see or hear of any murals going up on closed businesses here in North Texas, let Art&Seek know.