Mural-in-progress to depict spirit of Port Townsend

Posted 9/30/22

A massive wall on the Benton Street side of Port Townsend High School is in the process of a colorful makeover.

The 220-foot-long mural has built a level of intrigue from many a passerby, watching …

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Mural-in-progress to depict spirit of Port Townsend

Charolette Falge, Emma Kane, Sidda Hayes, and Nick Mann pose while adding a new coat of paint to the 222-foot mural wall
Charolette Falge, Emma Kane, Sidda Hayes, and Nick Mann pose while adding a new coat of paint to the 222-foot mural wall
Photo courtesy of Nick Mann
Posted

A massive wall on the Benton Street side of Port Townsend High School is in the process of a colorful makeover.

The 220-foot-long mural has built a level of intrigue from many a passerby, watching the artwork slowly grow in size each week for the past half-year or so.

“It’s a celebration of the beauty, splendor, and spirit of Port Townsend and the Peninsula,” said Nick Mann, the lead artist for the project. “I worked with three high school students in the spring and summer to basically create this mural.”

Recent high-school graduates Charolette Falge, Emma Kane, and Sidda Hayes — along with Mann — first started on the piece in spring of this year.

As an artist with 15-plus years of experience painting murals around the country and internationally, Mann made sure to focus on shaping a mural that’s high quality and built to last.

“We wanted to make sure that we were creating a finished product that reflects a professional public art project as opposed to just doing a kids mural that’s up for a little bit and has maybe a short life,” he said. “[It will be] a high-quality piece of public art, and give the youth a more tangible experience.”

The three graduates got involved with the mural as part of their senior projects last school year.

Stacked with a broad range of flora, fauna, and other features native to the Olympic Peninsula and Port Townsend, the project reflects the natural world while bringing vibrant colors and patterns throughout.

Woven throughout the piece are elk, a waterfall, paintings of fish, and so much more.

“The Columbian blacktail deer, we had to include that,” Mann said laughing.

The mural project has come a long way since springtime, with the project around two-thirds of the way done, but the biggest thing holding Mann and company from the finish line is fundraising.

“It’s been a while and with a project like this, the funding has been self-initiated from our little group,” he said. “So we’re looking for Port Townsend art patrons to help out generously if they can.”

The painters set up a GoFundMe page back in August, and so far they’ve eclipsed $5,000 of the $20,000 needed to complete the mural.

The money will be used for paint, brushes, lift rental costs, rollers, anti-graffiti clear coat paint, and other needs.

The webpage can be found at gofundme.com/f/port-townsend-mural-project.

“It would be nice to get it done if not by the winter, by early next year,” Mann said.

The final step before wrapping up will involve the application of anti-graffiti clear coat paint to the artwork, which will safeguard it from anything from heavy rain to graffiti.

“What’s cool about that is basically you can cover a wall with a clear coating and that anti-graffiti clear coat protects the wall from graffiti … it preserves it and simultaneously prevents scratches and things like spray paint, which can be wiped off with a solvent,” Mann said.

Those interested can follow along with the group’s progress by checking the mural wall, located northwest of Port Townsend High on Benton Street.

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with dozens of people stopping by to inquire about the mural or admire it every day that he and the others are out painting, Mann said.

“This is the largest mural in Port Townsend. We want to create a legacy piece, and with the kids that I’ve worked with, they care about giving something back to local landscape and environment that hopefully stands the test of time,” Mann said.

“Community art is great, and it’s been beautiful seeing the positive feedback and intrigue from people of all generations and walks of life.”

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  • Snowball_InHawaii

    Glad that these taggers were caught in the very act! Looks like a dangerous gang - see how they use their paint rollers to menace the person who took the photo?! Yeah! And they even plan to gloss it over.......

    Monday, October 3 Report this