Anywho, #8

Dearest g.g.-

Hi, I'm back! Last June I headed home, to my beautiful birthplace of Tacoma, after a five month substitute teacher stint in Nome, Alaska. My Nome adventures culminated with a pause in a five year period of living and learning in several different cities, including, besides Nome, also Portland and Seattle.

So what adventures was I involved in between the summer of 2016 and now, summer of 2017?

Let me start with last summer. As I reached the ground in Seatac last June--after leaving the ground in Nome, AK--I, happily, had a project awaiting: I was chosen by the Cedar River Clinic (14th and Martin Luther King, Jr Way in Tacoma), through the Tacoma Murals Project, to design and complete a 16’ x 81’ mural on the exterior of their building. Out-of-my-skin excitement!!!

Cedar River Clinics offer woman-centered health care, along with LGBTQ care, and have a persistent weekly protester presence at their clinic creating neighborhood unease. Grateful for the Hilltop community’s patience, especially with the protesters, and the Hilltop's support, the clinic desired to show their appreciation through this mural.

After meeting with Cedar River Clinics, the Hilltop Business Association, the Hilltop Action Coalition, and surrounding businesses, 3 issues stood out: 1) the desire for more color in their community 2) more of the natural world represented and 3) organic shapes to soften the hard edge of urban structure.

Considering their collective thoughts regarding the mural site’s past, present and future, I designed a mural depicting colorful fabric flowing across the wall, past two sets of painted trompe l'oeil windows, breaking down the rigid lines of urban structure. Its twisting and turning bonds together the different “colors” of the Hilltop neighborhood, representing the LGBTQ community, different religions, ethnicity and gender, until eventually transforming into big, same color filled flowers.

Here is its development:

The different color options:

The final chosen design and color combination by Cedar River Clinics and the surrounding community:

The wall before painting. Photo by Teriscovkya Smith.

Jesse Peterson, my awesome assistant; he was terrific and so much fun! The Tacoma Murals Project assigned him to this project to gain his own experience of mural making.

A view of him, and also the wall after I sketched out the design, while I looked down from the scaffolding:

Scaffolding and the start of painting.

Friends visit. And pose.

Me, while painting. The mornings were cold as August and September advanced.

There are many treasured memories during my time painting this mural, wonderful friends that came to visit me and many friendships that were forged, but Henry's almost daily check-ins were golden. Here he is after giving me a hat on which he crocheted an added blue do-rag. It was even in the colors of the mural! So honored! From then on, that hat joined me on the scaffolding everyday. If you look closely, while in front of the mural, you might find his initials (HDW); I embedded them somewhere in the mural. Can you find them?

Jesse holding flags I made. One day a woman came dancing by and gave me these flags. They had a printed image I was not familiar with so I repainted them to look like my signature. They, along with Henry's hat, became our scaffolding mascots!

The final look!

Will write you with more very soon!

Much love,

mindy jo

 

Anywho, #1

Dearest g.g.-

Hello, my dear! It's been so long since we last corresponded. I've really missed our back-and-forth notes, they brighten my day. I often see things or experience some new/old music, books or thought and I am bursting to tell you about it.

Now I will.

The biggest news is that I have now fully (ok, there may still be SOME reservations) accepted my vagabond ways. I really don't call anywhere home but my heart (and mailing address) is still in Tacoma, WA, the place of my birth and where the glut of my family, friends, and business conspirators reside. This is the town where my business was born and raised, so a majority of my contacts are here and in Seattle. But this hasn't stopped me from riding the rails! I now have fellow art lover contacts in Portland and in Spokane. Actually, if I dive deep into why I have the need to ramble, it's my quest to figure out the unique pulse of each city I take sporadic refuge in that bubbles to the surface. That and, like a Portland friend describes me, I'm akin to the butterfly: I don't land in one spot for long, fluttering here to there, and then back again, unwilling (at least at this point) to settle in one area.

Changing environments also provides me with inspiration. I've been apart of some fantastic projects since we last wrote (some of them are documented on my website-take a look!) and I have met some really wonderfully talented humans along the way...for example, the theatre people in Portland (http://thirdrailrep.org/, http://www.cohoproductions.org/, http://petensemble.org/frontpage/frontpage/, http://www.theatrevertigo.org/) and the people of Terrain, a hearty Spokane based arts event (http://terrainspokane.com/).

I think I will call it a night, but I promise to write more soon.

I'll leave you with a pen design I recently finished:

Please sleep sweet, ok?

Much love,

mindy jo

New photos of the NEW Roosevelt house's mural

The house is finished!

This is the house that replaced the little house; a house I lived in and used as an art installation (see section 'public works' then 'Roosevelt House Mural Project' for the full story). Designed and built by BUILD LLC:    http://www.buildllc.com/

Front view of new house. Photo by Andrew van Leeuwen, BUILD LLC

Front view of new house. Photo by Andrew van Leeuwen, BUILD LLC

Kevin and Erika Eckert, owners and co-owners of BUILD LLC, found a wallpaper design they loved but discovered that it wasn't appropriate for the areas that needed covering: from the roof top on the third floor through to the basement.

So, they asked me to contribute to their new home for several reasons: in honor of the previous house and the art installation I had competed inside and also to custom hand paint this tree image onto the lengthy core wall so as to connect all of the three levels.  Of course, I was delighted to participate!

Kitchen and stairway before I started painting.

Kitchen and stairway before I started painting.

Living room view before I started painting.

Living room view before I started painting.

First, I painted a layer of 'shadow tree' images then another layer of more distinct tree images over the top, finished with several layers of flat sheen, water-based varnish as a protective coat.

Photos of the final look:

Entry on the second floor. The image continues below these stairs to the basement and above through the kitchen to the top of the rooftop staircase. Photo by Andrew van Leeuwen, BUILD LLC

Entry on the second floor. The image continues below these stairs to the basement and above through the kitchen to the top of the rooftop staircase. Photo by Andrew van Leeuwen, BUILD LLC

Photo by Andrew van Leeuwen, BUILD LLC

Photo by Andrew van Leeuwen, BUILD LLC

Up to the rooftop. Photo by Andrew van Leeuwen, BUILD LLC

Up to the rooftop. Photo by Andrew van Leeuwen, BUILD LLC

Image continues into living room. Photo by Andrew van Leeuwen, BUILD LLC

Image continues into living room. Photo by Andrew van Leeuwen, BUILD LLC

Open house!!!

Still working on completing the artwork I am creating on some of its walls and ceilings, but Erika and Kevin Eckert, Build LLC and I would like to invite all of our friends, family and colleagues to join us for an open house on Sunday, July 20th between 3-6 PM.

Address: 1027 NE 72nd St, Seattle, WA 98115

Detail on one ceiling

Detail on one ceiling

More photos to come!!

House project

Alright. It's official. The tear down date of my little temporary house in Seattle is next Monday, July 21st!

Oh really, what house, you might ask.

Well, I've been living in a cozy little un-level house in the Roosevelt district of Seattle for the past couple of months. Yes, I have. It's true.

Everyday I have had the pleasure of rolling out of bed and immediately drawing and painting on  some of the walls and ceilings. Which walls and ceilings? After entering the house I noticed there were small holes punched here and there on some of the walls and ceilings, all produced by construction workers looking for asbestos, a no-no in demolition. These holes, at first, became my inspiration-my creations would be in an attempt to connect them all.

As the project has developed, I'm additionally thinking of these little holes as small wounds, with the house's insides/ spirits/ history spilling out onto the surface-animals, reptiles, sea life, pipes, plants, shapes and objects, all making themselves known.

How did I come to live here? Friends of mine, Erika Eckert and Kevin Eckert, own it. Their life's work is to build beautiful custom designed modern homes under the company name Build LLC. Recently they bought the property with this house living on it.

Since they have been urging me to move up to Seattle, they offered this little house as a home space so I could see if I like it up here. A tester pad! They bought the property knowing they would tear down the house and build their new family home in its place.

I love this house! I feel so happy here. What amazes me is that I had an idea a year ago for an art installation that involved a white room where I could freely draw all over the walls and ceiling, but since that might be not appreciated by the wall/ceiling's owner, I pondered all other kinds of rooms I could create; all in response to my self imposed vagabond existence. Even thought about buying a Sprinter and converting it into a mobile studio. Alas, all of these ideas were too complicated so I dropped the idea. Then, a year later Erika and Kevin DROPPED this house into my lap. Couldn't say no.

And before you scrunch up your face in confusion (I get a lot of questions such as, "Why would you want to put that much energy towards something that will be quickly destroyed?"), I'll have you know I have been documenting the progress. Photos and film, with dreams of editing it all together to create a small visual story, is all that will be left of this project. Then I will move on to my next home..wherever that may be.

I think it is beautiful that me, this house and my artwork will be gone in a few weeks.