Six new murals are about to be unveiled as part of the City of Tacomas Murals Project, which is in its fourth year of combating urban blight with commissioned neighborhood murals. All the artists are graduates of the apprenticeship system offered by the project, which pairs new mural artists with experienced ones in order to create an expanding artist pool and artist work opportunities.
Last weekend the Tacoma Buddhist Temple dedicated the most recent one, painted by Chelsea OSullivan: The mural, on the back wall facing Court D between South 17th and South 19th Streets downtown, is a wash of glowing golds and pinks, portraying a girl under pink cherry blossoms lighting lotus-shaped candles that float on deep blue water. Beneath them, a giant Pacific octopus stretches benign orange-red tentacles. Like all the mural artists, OSullivan worked closely with the temple and other community groups nearby to decide on subject matter.
The lotus is an important symbol in Buddhism, and the cherry blossoms echo the ones on the street in front, explained OSullivan, who painted most of the mural using spray cans from the bucket of a cherry-picker, touching up with a brush at the very end.
The other murals, most nearly complete, include the Lighthouse Activity Center south side (5016 A St.), the Dock Street Bridge (east and west sides facing the Foss waterway), the west wall of 120 Tacoma Ave. North in the Stadium district, the north wall of the Mandarin Antiques Building (616 St. Helens Ave.), the side barriers of the 43rd Street bridge (310 E. 43rd St.), and the Hillside Mural (2502 S. Commerce St.).
For more information, see tacomaculture.org/arts/murals.asp and on Facebook.
Rosemary Ponnekanti: 253-597-8568 email@example.com