News Blog for Seattle's Wallingford Neighborhood


Machine gun welded on playground sculpture

July 3rd, 2011 by master

Update: The Seattle Parks Department removed the machine gun tonight after seeing story in the media. “We made the decision to take it out ASAP,” it said. The story began on Wallingford’s neighborhood blogs and quickly spread to KING, KIRO and our partner The Seattle Times.

“I am relieved,” says Jeanne. “I had no idea they would respond so quickly.”

Earlier: Visitors to Meridian Park were surprised to see a mysterious addition welded on one of the child-themed statues ringing the playground: a machine gun. The statue is right at the northeastern entrance — one of several statues, like a train engine and a child on stilts, created by artist Pat Maher.

“I feel so demoralized,” tweeted Jeanne, who helped commission Maher for the original work. “We worked hard on renovating that park and playground and getting input from neighborhood. Sculptures were charming.”

Jeanne says she spoke to Seattle Police, and the officer told her no crime has been committed. “He told me this wasn’t vandalism. That just because I didn’t like it didn’t mean it was a crime,” she said.

We’ve heard from several neighbors, including Charles in comments, that the original arm on the statue was missing.

A letter from a man claiming to be the rogue artist explains a little about his motive. “I’ve re-armed your sailor boy sculpture that has was damaged and disintegrating at Meridian Playground by my house. I thought my addition was great, a bit tongue in cheek but a nice addition.” The rest of the letter goes on to ridicule Jeanne.

We spoke to several neighbors at the playground this morning. “It’s depressing,” said one mom, but others had a different view. “I think rogue art is cool,” said a dad, who joked that someone should write “Seal Team 6” on the sculpture. Another woman pointed out that the sculpture is at adult height. “Are kids going to look up there and say, ‘oh my gosh there’s a gun?'” she asked.

We’ve reached out to Maher for his reaction, and police as well (since it’s a holiday weekend, we may not hear until Tuesday.) In the meantime, here are a few of the tweets from Jeanne (@fourchickens), and please leave your thoughts in comments below. Is it vandalism? Or art?

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Today: 46th St. Mural celebration

August 27th, 2010 by master

Yesterday we saw that mural under N. 46th Street between Wallingford and Fremont was getting some finishing touches. Regardless of whether it’s 100% done, the celebration and dedication is this afternoon/evening.

Come Celebrate Your Mural!

The 46th Street Mural Project would like to welcome the community to a dedication & celebration

Friday, August 27th, 2010, 3pm to 6pm

At 46th Street above the mural on the west side of Aurora

Refreshments, music, dedication and the graduation ceremony for the Urban Artworks youth

A chance to sign up to be involved with stewardship of the mural

We’d like to give hearty thanks to everyone who made the mural possible: our donors and supporters, the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, and our many volunteers.

Funded in part by a Neighborhood Matching Fund award of the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Fiscal Sponsor & Donor: Fremont Neighborhood Council

SUPPORTERS & DONORS: Fremont Chamber of Commerce, Fremont Abbey, Seattle Bank, Verity Credit Union, Wallingford Chamber of Commerce, Fremont Arts Council, Wallingford Boys & Girls Club, Rodda Paint, Stoneway Hardware, Bob Suh Design, Ballard Window Works, Marketime, Essential Bakery, Tullys Coffee, Lighthouse Roasters, Jeff Breitenstein & Skot O’Mahony, Honey Bucket, Cedar Grove Recycling, Miller Paints, Pharmaca, Caffé Appassionato, Solid Ground, QFC/Wallingford, Fainting Goat Gelato, Olympia Pizza, BF Day Elementary School, Hamilton Middle School, KapKa Cooperative School, Alphabet Soup Children’s Books, Not A Number, Fuerte Fitness, American Music, Trophy Cupcakes, & Many Community Volunteers

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Wallingford Walks: Get to know your neighborhood

July 18th, 2010 by master

Once a month in the summer, Mike Ruby organizes Wallingford Walks, each of which has a theme that introduces strollers to an aspect of the neighborhood. Thus far this year, they’ve toured Craftsman architecture and visited Wallinfordians who keep chickens and other fowl and bees.

Yesterday’s walk was a tour of some local art and and a chat with a longtime Wallingford resident and writer, Bharti Kirchner, who has penned four cookbooks and four novels. One novel, “Pastries,” is set in Wallingford. We met Kirchner at University House on Stone Way, which houses a large art collection.

The art tour stopped at the year-old ornate Boys and Girls Club fence that was created by metal artist Mimi Riley and glass artist Rodman Miller.

Next up was a work in progress: the 46th Street Mural, which we viewed from the Wallingford and Fremont sides of Aurora Ave., as well as from Aurora itself.

The tour, which clocked in at under two hours, ended at  Ronald Petty’s “Animal Storm” totem pole in front of Wallingford Center. The 18-foot statue depicts all the animals that call Wallingford home.

See more photos from this walk on Stacey Wedlake’s Flickr page. Many thanks to Stacey for letting us use her photos in this story.

Next month’s Wallingford Walk, on August 21, will focus on solar energy installations in Wallingford; it’s cosponsored by the Wallingford Solar Initiative and the Wallingford Community Senior Center.

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Vote on 46th Street Mural Project

April 27th, 2010 by master

The 46th Street Mural Project invites residents of Wallingford and Fremont and users of the N. 46th Street underpass to help select the final design for the 300-foot mural beneath Aurora Avenue North. On the mural project site you can see slide shows with full details for each of final three designs, then vote.

Todd Lown and Kristin Ramirez are two of the finalists. Here is the selection from the third finalist, Susan Brown:

On May 5, the project’s Steering Committee will make the final selection, subject to the City of Seattle’s design review approval. Construction is scheduled for summer 2010, with a public dedication in August.

Thanks to our sister site Fremont Universe for the article!

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