Black Lives Matter Mural to Get New Paint Job

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The Pine Street mural on June 11.

The Pine Street BLM mural on June 11. JK

This Tuesday VividMatterCollective and the City will begin work to remove, recreate, and properly preserve the fading Black Lives Matter mural painted down Pine St between 10th Avenue and 11th Avenue.

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The collective of 16 artists created the piece during the early days of the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP). A few weeks later, in July, the city installed floppy posts around its perimeter to help keep traffic off the paint. They also added a new four-way stop sign to slow eastbound drivers.

Both of those improvements will remain in place, as the City and the artists intend to make the mural “a permanent landmark celebrating progress and change during this unprecedented time in Seattle’s history,” according to a statement from VividMatterCollective’s Kimisha Turner.

Not great.

Not looking very permanent at the moment. City of Seattle

This agreement between the artists, the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, and the Seattle Department of Transportation comes months after Central Area Chamber of Commerce President Lawrence Pitre and an associate named Tanya applied sealant to the paint without first consulting the artists.

Pitre apologized “if [he] offended anybody” for clear coating the mural, which trapped in dirt and grime collected on the surface, and SDOT apologized for allowing him to do it.

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Just an absolute paint nightmare.

Just an absolute paint nightmare. City of Seattle

According to a press release from the City, “The mural has rapidly deteriorated primarily because of paint applied to an unscored surface covered in slippery aggregate.” Pitre’s clear coat “further accelerated” the deterioration, the City added, causing the paint to “separate from the roadway in some areas.”

SDOT plans to remove the mural Tuesday, which will clear the way for artists to come in and repaint it this weekend, weather permitting.

Honestly I sort of like this.

Honestly I sort of like this deterioration. City of Seattle

SDOT said they’ll provide the supplies, and SDOT pavement engineering crew chief Dahvee Encisco, who’s designed some murals of his own over the years, will oversee the project. He’ll advise VividMatterCollective “on how to install a durable on-street mural with the correct primer, number of paint layers, and adding traction material to each coat of paint that can withstand the roadway conditions in this area.”

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