Besides the five main mural sites that are undergoing transformation this summer as part of the Tacoma Murals Project, there is one additional smaller-scale mural project you will want to keep an eye on. Cloverdale Park Neighbors submitted an application to have a series of cement Eco-Blocks painted on the East Side. Four artists – Janice Lee Warren, Natalie Oswald, Yvette Simone and Kate Cendejas – volunteered to take on these challenging sites.
In May, the artists met with members of the community to talk about the mural. At that meeting themes began to surface including the diverse multi-cultural make up of the neighborhood, the desire to engage and inspire youth and the hope of conveying ideas such as peace, growth, achievement and leadership.
Oswald, Simone and Cendejas are teaming up to affect 11 Eco-Blocks at East 56th and Pipeline streets and four Eco-Blocks at East 58th and East ‘Q’ streets. Their proposal includes a puzzle-piece pattern merged with imagery depicting the social activities of area residents. Encouraging and inspirational words will be interspersed throughout the design, which will be painted in colors that pull from the track at the adjacent First Creek Middle School.
Warren will be painting five Eco-Blocks at East 57th and East ‘S’ streets. Her proposal revolves around “gift wrapped” blocks, painted with patterns inspired by cloth designs from around the world.
On June 27, the artists presented their mural proposals to the Cloverdale Park Neighbors group. Both proposals were embraced with enthusiasm. The neighbors have prepared the sites, trimmed away overgrowth, pressure washed the blocks and primed. Next step – painting!
Reprinted with permission of Tacoma Arts.