Muraltastic Wallingford is getting a new splash of color: the new Mack Urban development at 45th And Stone Way has hired Los Angeles street artist Bumblebee to create a piece for the wall that overlooks Walgreen’s, facing Stone Way.
Mack Urban’s VP of Development (and Wallingford resident) T.J. Lehman explained how the project came about:
We have offices in Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York, so I’m down in LA regularly. One day by happenstance I drove by a mural of a boy on his back launching a paper airplane (attached) and thought “Great God, who did that?” and we eventually were able to figure it out. He was not the easiest guy to find, but eventually we connected and he indicated he was willing to do it.
We didn’t do it lightly. We think it is critical that we all support local artists. The walrus emerging from a manhole that we are currently casting and installing on Interlake is being created by Scott Fife, who in additional to being stunningly great is also very local. Our bias should be, and is, in favor of local artists.
That said, when we looked out over the group of artists we could hire for this piece, most local but some not, Bumblebee kept rising to the top. We thought we ought to go with the best match, no matter where the artist lived. In fact, we think you can make a strong argument that taking creative ideas from LA and applying them to here, and vice versa, is good for both cities. Is this cross-pollination as important as supporting local artists? Probably not, but still worthwhile enough to do when the circumstances are right.
Bumblebee will be painting the girl in the raincoat (above). The piece was created, T.J. explained, because they asked “Bumblebee to do a piece that would lighten a very gray day,” something we have more than our fair share of up here in the PNW.
To my eye, it’s a nice fit, not just with Seattle’s knack for turning a puddle into a playground, but for Wallingford’s family friendly vibe.
If you want to see the artist at work, he’ll be using a projector to trace the image in the evenings (7 pm – 3 am) starting tonight, Saturday, though Tuesday, and then painting starting Wednesday. They hope to have things wrapped up by the 14th.