Head under the freeway for a new take on sunrise, sunset | KUOW News and Information

Head under the freeway for a new take on sunrise, sunset

Aug 31, 2017

It may be cloudy, but if you're downtown you can still see a sunset tonight thanks to a new public mural.

Below Interstate 5 between Cherry and James Streets, 68 pillars have been painted as part of a project between Urban ArtWorks and the First Hill Improvement Association.

The design for the pillars comes from 22-year-old artist and recent Seattle University graduate Nathan Watkins.

Watkins designed the mural to reflect First Hill's architecture and sunset view. 

“It’s supposed to be a transition between sunlight and sundown, sunlight being on First Hill and then the sunset being towards downtown,” Watkins said.

The mural measures 20,000 square feet total and took over 100 hundred volunteers to complete. 

Watkins said this is his first time relying on strangers to complete a project.

“That was a really interesting part of the process because it really did have to be designed in a way that you could have a hundred hands on it and if someone messes up, it’s still gonna look fine. So it really had to be simple enough that you could paint 68 of these things in such a short amount of time, but also with so many different people,” Watkins said.

The finishing touches are being put on the pillars now and should be completed within a month.

Nathan Watkins designed the mural to reflect First Hill's architecture and sunset view.
Credit KUOW Photo/Casey Martin

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