Painters turn Seattle streets into a pandemic-inspired art walk

Apr 16, 2020, 3:55 PM | Updated: 3:55 pm

There are many restaurants and businesses that have had to close their doors during the stay-at-home order, putting up boards to cover the windows for the extended closures. Artists started “tagging” these boards with paint right away, according to muralist and yoga teacher Morgan Zion.

“Some of the artists were like, ‘Oh my God, this is a blank canvas,'” Zion said. “As artists, you’re compelled when you see a wall to want to fill it.”

How to listen to KIRO Radio during stay-at-home order

Zion said businesses wanted artists to fill these spaces with art, and even commissioned the work in some cases. She was approached by several of her yoga clients who own businesses in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Her most high-profile work is on Sam’s Tavern, at 11th Avenue and East Pike Street. It’s a massive mural, standing about 9 feet tall and 20 feet wide, covered in coronavirus-themed cartoons.

“All my characters at Sam’s are burgers and fries, but they’re all at home,” she said. “So, they’re doing what everybody is doing at home now. The fries are taking a ketchup shower, the beer is getting a beer belly, and the burger is learning how to sew.”

Zion has at least six murals in the neighborhood, and she’s not the only one. Almost every business is adorned with some kind of brightly colored artwork.

The door to Oddfellows Cafe + Bar is painted with the words “Love letters here” and an arrow pointing to their mail slot.

On Pike Street, someone wrote “You are essential” and “I can’t wait to see you again” on a wall. Just down the block, there’s a neon portrait of a man with a blonde mullet, holding a tiger. The timeliness on that one may be more subtle, but it’s there.

11-year-old Natalie spreading kindness with chalk in Snohomish County

Zion said she hopes when people see all the artwork as they pass by, they feel a sense of optimism and resilience: That businesses may be closed for now, and the streets may be quiet, but they are filled with hope for a brighter future.

Find more of Zion’s artwork on her Instagram here.

Local News

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)...
Frank Sumrall

Fauci awarded with rare Hutch Award, will throw ceremonial first pitch Aug. 9

Fauci has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for nearly 40 years.
22 hours ago
Follow @http://twitter.com/Mynorthwest...
MyNorthwest Staff

Meet Tucker, the Mariners’ new clubhouse dog

The Mariners went "outside the diamond" to acquire another major roster addition for their late-summer postseason push.
2 days ago
Sue Bird #10 of the Seattle Storm looks on during warm ups before the game against the Los Angeles ...
Tim Booth, Associated Press

Sue Bird at peace for what could be final game in Seattle

Seattle is currently the No. 4 seed ahead of Washington with a week left in the regular season.
2 days ago
Photo from the National Weather Service...
MyNorthwest Staff

Mini heat wave to hit Western Washington this weekend

A second smaller heat wave is set to start Aug. 6 after a record-breaking six days of 90-degree weather last week.
2 days ago
(KIRO 7)...
Nicole Jennings

Wildfire season in full swing in Washington after mild start

Wildfire season started off slowly in Washington this year due to the cool, wet spring, but as of this week, things appear to be fully underway.
3 days ago
Right: Jeremy, the 12-year-old victim of the scam...
Darren Dedo

Boy scammed with counterfeit money at his lemonade stand

Everett Police is looking for a man who officers say used fake money to rip off a 12-year-old boy at his lemonade stand.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
Painters turn Seattle streets into a pandemic-inspired art walk