If you’ve been to the U-District in Seattle lately, you’ve probably seen a building covered with all sorts of graffiti on the corner of Roosevelt Ave. and 50th Ave. This is the handiwork of Seattle’s art collective, The Free Sheep Foundation, and dozens of Seattle artists, including Kinoko, No Touching Ground, Baldman, Ego, Shade, Angel 179, Boz, and Weirdo (just to name a few).
The TUBS Memorial Mural Project is a project that temporarily affixes art to a building that is slated to be demolished. Here’s a beautiful statement of purpose from the Free Sheep Foundation itself:
Currently on view, Free Sheep Foundation is proud to host an exhibition memorializing the forthcoming demolition of the former TUBS building in Seattle’s U-District. Highlighting graffiti-style murals by over 20 artists (please scroll down for list of artists) and window installations, FSF would like to invite the public to view this artistic intervention with the same heart as viewing cherry blossoms in Spring. This temporary project is meant to serve as a beautiful display of color in the waning days of a building’s demise, as well as a re-interpretation of site and celebration of the City. In partnership with the property owners, we offer this gift to the neighborhood and the world, embracing our rapidly transforming urban landscape.
Historical records of the site are available since 1905, when it was developed as a residence and small commercial space. In 1923, the building was redeveloped as a grocery store, eventually becoming the Big Bear Store, then the Lucky Store, and in the early ’60’s, the P&C Serve U Grocery. During this time, the site was also shared by a car dealership. In the mid-70’s, the building became renovated and housed The District Tavern (one of the earliest rock music venues in Seattle) and Fotomat Drive-thru. In 1982, TUBS took over the building as its most recent tenant-to-date; operating a spa with rental rooms of hot tubs and saunas, and offering tanning and massage services. Soon the site will be developed into a 60 unit apartment building with ground floor retail.
Free Sheep Foundation thanks Handsome Murals, Art Primo, and University Volkswagen/Audi for their generous support, without which this project would not be possible.
King 5 News also did a recent segment on this project, which can be viewed as a negative view on the work of artists who have donated their time and energy to this project. You can view it here.
Head on over to the U-District on April 26th from 2:00pm to 6:00pm for what is bound to be an amazing, amazing art opening which will never be repeated again.