Judges have picked 30 murals as finalists in the Seattle’s Chinatown-International District (CID)’s “Marvelous Community Art Mural Contest,” the first-ever community mural contest.
Sarah Baker, Becky Chan, Ali Lee, Victoria Moreland, and Henry Wong picked their favorite murals, located in different parts of CID’s storefronts. Some murals have already been taken down and others may soon be taken down as well. Sponsors and judges will vote for the first, second, and third place winners. The community will vote for the People’s Choice online at nwasianweekly.com/events. Voting ends on Aug. 13.
In late May and early June, looters and vandals took advantage of the situation when police were occupied with protesters. Within a week, over 100 artists volunteered their time and lent their talent to paint murals on boarded up businesses with creative themes of unity, love, and Asian-Black multiculturalism.
Vice President of Development at DA LI Development USA, Kevin Hsieh, said, “During this unprecedented time,
art emanates transformation to our community and brings forth unity, hope, and love. Art also transcends cultural, demographic, and economic boundaries, and as such, we can’t be more proud to support our talented and creative CID artists.”
The goal of the mural contest is to recognize all the artists and organizers who contributed to the success of the mural project, to promote CID businesses and artists, to draw visitors to CID, and to educate the Asian immigrant community about Black Lives Matter.
Tim Otani of Union Bank said, “Community art is a critical form of expression, to comment on existing or emerging issues, to celebrate or to mourn, provide energy, context, or joy. The saying a picture is worth a thousand words…that speaks to the impact of art.”
“[Artists] stepped up quickly and generously to cover the boarded establishments with murals and messages of hope and solidarity with BLM,” said Ellen Ferguson. She said the arists pay a vital role “to engage, inspire and soothe us during difficult times.”
All artists will be recognized in a special edition of the Northwest Asian Weekly and Seattle Chinese Post. Winners will be announced in August in a special issue, and a virtual celebration will be held to present plaques and certificates to the artists with sponsors and partners, live-streamed on Facebook on Aug. 29 at 2 p.m. To show appreciation towards the artists, the Asian Weekly will use parts of the sponsorship funds to buy CID restaurant certificates as prizes. Thank you to our sponsors, including Union Bank, DA LI Development USA, Ellen Ferguson, Puget Sound Energy, Washington Federal Bank and Ling Chinn.
Julien Loh from Puget Sound Energy said, “We are committed to supporting small businesses and our customers by continuing to provide affordable and reliable energy. We also recognize that art is a way to bring people together and provide healing even on the most challenging days, so it’s an honor to support community art in this way.”
Cast your vote now at nwasianweekly.com/events!