305 Harrison St.
Seattle, WA 98109
One of Seattle’s oldest murals is still celebrated today. Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Mural Amphitheatre was designed by Paul Horiuchi and was originally placed over a pool of water, but now serves as a backdrop for many outdoor concerts at the Seattle Center. The giant glass mosaic piece still shimmers with the Space Needle just behind for added effect.
2nd Ave. and Yesler Way
Seattle, WA 98122
“Emerge” was created by Seattle-based artist Jeff Jacobson, aka Weirdo. He received two grants from the Alliance of Pioneer Square and Kickstarter.com to fund the aerosol project. Standing at approximately 17 feet tall and 120 feet wide, this truly magical piece of art took four weeks to complete. Take a walk downtown. You can’t miss it.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mural
Corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Cherry St.
Seattle, WA 98122
Perhaps the most inspirational in Seattle is that of the 17-foot-tall mural of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. located appropriately on Martin Luther King Jr. Way. This 1995 work is from Pacific Northwest artist James Crespinel and rests across the street from Catfish Corner, a soul food restaurant. Crespinel’s work can be seen in other parts of Seattle including the giant Orca mural (located on the walls of the Seattle Steam Co. – 1319 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98101) and the 24,000-square-foot painting on the ceiling of the Tulalip Resort Casino. All of his works are hand painted.
The Boeing Company
W. Casino Road
Everett, WA 98203
Everett not only boasts of having one of the world’s largest buildings in its vicinity (more than 98 acres at The Boeing Company), but in 2006 it was recognized by Guinness World Records for sporting the largest digital graphic ever made. It measures over 10,000 feet and stretches over six bay doors. The record still stands today. The best part? You can see this piece of art for free right from the freeway. You can also see the mural up close and personal if you take the Boeing Tour.
The Market Theater Gum Wall
Under Pike Place Market
1428 Post Alley
Seattle, WA 98101
The ickiest, stickiest mural award goes to the Market Theater Gum Wall located under Pike Place Market. The story goes that the brick alleyway wall began to be covered in used chewing gum in 1993 by guests going to the theater’s Theatresports shows. The staff reportedly scraped off the gunk twice, but finally gave up and recognized it for what is was – an ever-changing tourist attraction. The “art” stands 15 feet high by 50 feet wide. Even Hollywood took notice and included in a scene for 2009’s “Love Happens.”
Related: Best Permanent Exhibits In Seattle
Jeffrey Totey is a freelance writer living in Seattle. He has a love for the arts and is a student of pop culture. He covers stories about the performing arts, theater, museums, cultural events, movies and more in the greater Seattle area. His work can be found at Examiner.com.