The “Mural Project” began in the spring of 2020, when 21 local artists began work as part of the !Attention! Artists at Work jobs program created by Open Space for Arts and Community in partnership with Vashon Island Visual Artists (VIVA). The mural will be officially opened to the public on October 24th.
The opening on October 24th will begin at Open Space for Community with a brief unveiling ceremony at 1:00pm, with limited parking in the viewing area available at a first come, first serve basis. Afterwards, from 1:15pm to 4:00pm, guests are invited to drive their vehicles through a viewing area to see the installation. Organizers ask that guests remain in their vehicles during their entire visit. This is a free public event, and the mural will remain open for the enjoyment of island.
“The Mural Project” was inspired by large public art murals of the early 20th century, as well as the AIDS quilt. Rather than one large painting, the Mural Project is a quilt of paintings, each as one-of-a-kind as our community. A collaborative effort among 21 artists and the Open Space for Arts and Community and VIVA organizations, the mural consists of 45 panels that are 32 inches square, forming a collage of island art. The 45 individual panels by 21 artists have been placed together on the entrance to Open Space for Arts and Community, and in total the new mural is over 320 square feet. The theme of the mural is “Backyard Universe.”
Open Space executive director Jiji Saunders spoke to the goal of the project, stating, “Investing in public art now will put food on artists’ tables, create public art for all islanders, and send a message to the future.”
The “Mural Project” was the first project of !Attention! Artists at Work. !Attention! Artists at Work (AAW) is a jobs program led by Open Space for Arts and Community in partnership with local nonprofit organizations. The goal of the program is to hire artists during the challenging economic environment that began this March. So far, Open Space for Arts and Community has invested $40,000 and commissioned 60 Vashon artists and artisans to make free public art since Spring 2020 as part of the !Attention! Artists at Work program thanks to generous donations from the community.
The AAW program is comprised of a series of public arts projects. Other projects of AAW include “Distance Dance”, which is an ongoing series of physically distance pop-up appearances on the island, as well as an upcoming “Winter Writing” project, which will begin taking submissions later next month. All projects sponsored through AAW are for the public and designed to be easily accessible to anyone on the Island.
Donations to continue growing the !Attention! Artists at Work jobs program can be made by visiting OpenSpaceVashon.com/support. More information is available at OpenSpaceVashon.com/attention-artists-at-work/.