Gig Harbor artist Nick Goettling has been chosen to create a site-responsive mural on the side of the stormwater collection system underneath Tacoma’s historic Murray Morgan Bridge. A $10,000 City commission selected by competitive process, Goettling’s mural will tell the story of the bridge and its connection to the Thea Foss Waterway. The mural will be completed in October.
Sited along Dock Street below the western side of the bridge, the mural will cover the west and south concrete walls of the stormwater system. It’s part of the recent renovation of the 101-year-old bridge, which was reopened last year after being closed since 2007 due to safety concerns.
Goettling, whose recent work has included a Chicago mural pulling in local migrant and railroad history, a callbox icon project in Washington, D.C. and a mural on a taco truck, was chosen by a panel of Tacoma arts commissioners and community members. His drawing style pulls on cartoon and graphic elements, with detailed texture and shading; he also paints in brush and ink.
“The panel was impressed with Goettling’s bold graphic style of painting and his personal connection to the history of the area,” said Tacoma Arts Commission chair Traci Kelly. “His emphasis on colorful layers and interest in making the work approachable to all viewers fit the needs of our community.”
Goettling will continue researching the history of the bridge, connecting to the local community to develop a design. Painting will begin over the summer.