May 20

46th Street Mural Project has a winner



The wait is over. We now know which of three designs will grace the portal to both Wallingford and Fremont on N. 46th Street under Aurora Ave. Here’s the announcement from the 46th Street Mural Street Project, with visualizations of how the underpass will look when the mural is completed this summer. See Todd Lown’s submission here.

Todd Lown’s design will brighten the Aurora Avenue underpass at North 46th Street in Seattle, chosen by consensus at the 46th Street Mural Project Steering Committee meeting May 5. Lown was one of three finalists selected by the committee to submit designs this spring.

Todd Lown–mural detail, east of underpass

“This was no snap decision. Quite the contrary,” said Steering Committee member Gerald Diamond.  “Volunteers first set up and conducted an online survey, constructed poster boards and placed them in clubs and schools for voting in both Wallingford and Fremont. They read input from emails to help evaluate each artwork and spent many volunteer hours in comparing the merits of each submission.”

Todd Lown–mural detail, underpass

“We gathered nearly 1000 votes in our advisory polling,” Steering Committee secretary Linda Clifton said, “with over 800 responding to our online survey, and many more on the poster boards at Wallingford Boys and Girls Club, Hamilton Middle School, BF Day Elementary, Kapka, Not A Number, Alphabet Soup and the Fremont Village Fair at Fremont Abbey.”

Todd Lown–mural detail, west wall

Lown’s mural received a majority of advisory votes cast, though all three designs submitted showed significant support. “The choice was difficult, as all three designs were imaginative, colorful and intriguing,” said Craig van den Bosch, Steering Committee Co-Chair. “Finally, we had to consider available budget and timing, as well as design and the advisory vote.”

Lown will be awarded $2000 for his winning design once it is approved in the City of Seattle’s design review process. Kirsten Ramirez and Susan Brown, the other two finalists in the competition, previously received a $300 honorarium for submitting proposals, as did Lown.

Lead artist for Urban ArtWorks, Lown holds a BFA from the University of Washington, and has studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Lown says his work focuses “on perspective, environment, form and color.” His works are “a combination of prints, animation, signage, drawing and painting both illustrative and abstract.”  His public art includes design and direction for the Gates Foundation construction site mural, the Bellevue Indoor Skatepark mural, the external mural for the King Street Station renovation and the West Edge Control Box Project. His work can be seen on line at and

The project seeks community volunteers to help prime the wall and paint the mural beginning in early June, under the direction of Lown and Urban ArtWorks, a nonprofit organization that empowers at-risk youth through employment in the arts. To volunteer and stay updated go to or email the project at

The mural was funded by a Small and Simple grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.

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  1. Since the entire underpass is tagged several times a week, will be a fulltime job for the artist repairing his work!

  2. We got in touch with the mural project representatives, who addressed the tagging issue: “Urban Artworks is responsible for maintenance of the mural for one year August 2010-August 2011, after this initial year, maintenance will be addressed by the 46th Street Mural Project committee with negotiations with Urban Artworks to handle any needed touch-ups. A contingency fund will be set up to address any costs associated with the maintenance. A notification system regarding any tagging or defacement will be set up through local community groups, such as FAWN, that have weekly walks through the neighborhood for just such purposes. A detailed record of all paints used and where within the mural they are used will be kept while the mural is being painted. Through continued coordination of our core members of the steering committee and these aspects of care and handling, we feel we can keep the mural beautiful for the neighborhood.”

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