Edmonds roots: New murals by Andy Eccleshall honor Edmonds' indigenous people

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Andy Eccleshall on an accordion lift painting
the top portion of the mural. 

Andy Eccleshall has created murals in Shoreline including Echo in Time at 1st NE and NE 205th, and the street scene on the Drager's building (soon to be demolished).

Edmonds, WA– Before George Brackett’s canoe landed in Edmonds in 1870, members of the Snohomish, Suquamish, Swinomish and Stillaguamish tribes enjoyed the fertile hunting and fishing this land afforded them. A new pair of murals will soon give viewers a glimpse of what a day on Edmonds’ waterfront may have looked like when it was inhabited by the first residents of the region.

Inspired by the epic style of Sydney Laurence (1865-1940), a renowned American Romantic landscape painter, the pair of murals in the alley between Bop’N Burger and The Papery will be painted by Edmonds muralist Andy Eccleshall. Eccleshall collaborated every step of the way -- from concept to final drawings -- with Native American artist and member of the Tulalip tribes, Ty Juvenil.

“When I first learned of the project, I was excited by the idea but recognized it would be essential for it to be a full and open collaboration with members of the Salish community,” Eccleshall said. 
“All matters relating to the depiction of the history and culture of the Salish people would have to be directed by a tribal representative. With the help of Clayton Moss, I reached out to Ty Juvenil, a renowned Tulalip artist, historian and wood carver who was recently commissioned to carve a piece for the entrance of the Edmonds Historical Museum. 
"Ty agreed to be a paid consultant for this project. All matters relating to how the history and culture of the Coast Salish people are represented have been and will continue to be guided and directed by him. I am honored to be able to be a part of this project and to be able to work alongside Ty to see these murals come to fruition.”

With the traditional name of Zu Waq' Sub Waq'Waq' (Lightning Frog), Tulalip tribes’ artist Ty Juvinel has been submerged in his culture for as long as he can remember. Juvenil established his creative outlet at a young age with drawing and as a graffiti artist. Later in life he discovered Coast Salish art and carving. He became a graphic designer for the Tulalip tribes until earning the spot as an Apprentice Carver. Over time, Juvinel has perfected his craft and expanded his artist reach from children's books which he writes and illustrates, to carvings of paddles, masks, house posts, panels and much more.

“Too many times history is written by people who have no care in telling all sides of the story. Fortunately, this mural will be appropriate to the times, and will reflect regional Coast Salish culture. It will depict how it may have looked during this time period and how encampments would have appeared,” Juvenil said. 
“Again, I cannot be more happy that they (Eccleshall and the MPE) took time to set the record straight, and make it appropriate to the Coast Salish peoples.”

The two murals face each other 
across a narrow alley in Edmonds

The two murals will face each other on the Main St. alley between 4th and 5th Avenues in the Edmonds Bowl. The west facing mural will replace “The Brothers” with a much larger scene, looking west towards the Olympic Mountains at sunset with a fishing party out on the water. The east facing mural will depict the beach before Edmonds existed as a town. The slow slope of trees rising up against the sky with a beach camp by the water. This mural will make use of the full height of the building.

“I am excited to begin work on this project. I hope when completed it will invite people to stop and think about the vast history of this place,” Eccleshall said. “That the history is not only represented by the city we now love, but in the water, the mountains, the wildlife, the nature and the culture which has called this place home forever.”

Artist Andy Eccleshall on the lift and
donor John Osberg standing below

The murals are of made possible this year due in large part to a donation from Edmonds resident John Osberg, who wants to see the Coastal Native American tribes who originally called the area home recognized and honored. The remainder of the costs were covered by a grant from Edmonds Downtown Alliance (Ed!) and money raised by Art Walk Edmonds.

“I’m happy to see this project finally come to fruition, and that the indigenous people of this region are finally recognized in artwork,” Osberg said.

The process to put up a mural is a long and arduous one. Mural Project Edmonds is committed to installing murals that will stand the test of time. This means themes and locations are thoroughly vetted to enhance their surroundings. Then the muralist is chosen based on their style and experience. The artists hired must have a proven track record with outdoor mural experience, must use high-quality paint or other materials that will withstand outdoor exposure, and must adhere to the City’s strict permitting codes.

Eccleshall works his way down the wall
applying the first layer of paint

This pair of murals have been in the works for over 18 months. It took countless volunteer hours to bring it to fruition -- from scouting locations, to consulting with the artist and tribal members, to contracting workers to repair damaged walls, to submitting permit applications, and more.

“This mural was probably our most ambitious to date. While we were able to dial in the design and muralist fairly easily due to Mr. Osberg’s specific wishes after input from a tribal representative, finding a location proved to be more of a challenge. 
"Add to the fact that the two buildings that face the alley have two different owners, and that one of the walls required repair work before a mural could be painted… we’re talking about dozens of hours of volunteer work,” said Denise Cole, owner of Cole Gallery and MPE committee chairperson.

Mural Project Edmonds (MPE), a committee of Art Walk Edmonds, has been responsible for new murals in downtown Edmonds for the past few years. The overall goal of the new MPE is to bring professional-level, well-planned artistry to our community and to fit appropriately into the chosen space.

Usually, to pay for these endeavors, MPE uses funds raised by Art Walk Edmonds’ Summer Wine Walks, as well as donations and sponsorships by building owners and businesses. This year’s Wine Walks -- Art Walk Edmonds’ only fundraisers -- have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, putting next year’s MPE plans in jeopardy.

Anyone interested in donating to the Art Walk Edmonds can do so HERE
Companies or entities interested in sponsoring a new mural should contact Art Walk Edmonds at info@artwalkedmonds.com

--Photos from Art Walk Edmonds


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