Photographs by Amy Vaughn

 

They started popping up during the city's darkest hours. As the coronavirus pandemic shuttered restaurants and other small businesses around Seattle, shop owners began commissioning artists to paint vibrant murals on the plywood boards covering their stores. Some pieces were born from necessity, after vandals knocked out windows. Others emerged more intentionally. In either case, their creativity has been infectious. Walk down Pike Street in Capitol Hill and you'll now encounter entire blocks of vivid images and inspiring messages, a tableau for our times. They don't mask the hardship that prompted their appearance; hopefully, they'll soon be moved elsewhere as businesses reopen. But it's worth checking out these works in their natural habitats before they disappear. Or, you can just keep scrolling.

Lucca Great Finds by Dozfy (@dozfy).

Conor Byrne Pub by Andrew Miller (@mantisart77).

Kathy Casey Food Studios by Glynn Rosenberg (@glynnrosenberg).

Kathy Casey Food Studios by @saint.jermain.

Kathy Casey Food Studios by Carolyn Wassmer (@hello.carolyn).

Kathy Casey Food Studios by Bekah Malover (@bmals).

Tractor Tavern by Andrew Miller (@mantisart77).

Tractor Tavern by Kate Blackstock (@kateblackstock) and Frida Clements (@fridaclements).

King's Hardware by @parkerdotstudio.

Rudy’s Barbershop by @guido_oner.

StudioRA Boutique (@studio.ra.boutique).

Ballard Avenue by Maryam Rouhfar (@marrouhfar).

Kavu by Taylor Reed (@tay__reed).

a&bé bridal shop by Tori Shao (@torikinn).

Ballard Avenue doorway and Ballard Smoke Shop by Ryan Henry Ward (@henry_beyond_museums).

Ballard Smoke Shop by @marithelenaart.

Skål Beer Hall by @marithelenaart.

ReStyle for Ryther by Amanda Rose (@amandaroseart).

Anchor Tattoo by Stevie Shao (@stepfrae).

Hazlewood by Stevie Shao (@stepfrae).

Pho Big Bowl by @escot_mexcal and Erin Shigaki (@purplegatedesign).

Sonic Boom Records by @singingsoftly.

Secret Savory by Ryan Henry Ward (@henry_beyond_museums).

Rudy's Barbershop by Bailee Hiatt (@baileehiatt).

Urban Outfitters by Sam Trout (@thesamtrout).

Urban Outfitters by Sam Trout (@thesamtrout).

Urban Outfitters by Sam Trout (@thesamtrout).

Urban Outfitters by Kalee Bly Choiniere (@barelyawakekalee).

Urban Outfitters by Jake Millett (@bubzini) and VK (@vk.signs).

Via Tribunali.

Emerson Salon by Glynn Rosenberg (@glynnrosenberg).

Capitol Coffee Works by Paint 2 Change (@paint_2_Change).

Retail Therapy.

Frame Central by @saint.jermain.

Frame Central by @theydrift and Malt Bizney (@ksra_ksra).

Cinnaholic and Capitol Cider by Josephine Rice (@josephinerice.flower).

Life on Mars Seattle by Zach Rockstad.

Life on Mars Seattle by Anne Siems (@anne_siems_art).

Life on Mars Seattle by EZRA (@blackinsondickwell) with @overallcreative.

Life on Mars Seattle by Casey Weldon (@caseyweldon), Crystal Barbre (@crystalbarbre), and Zach Takasawa (@ztakasawa) with @overallcreative.

Oddfellows Cafe and Bar: left by Bella Pham (@sadgrrlz), center by Benjamin Hubbard (@ben_busy), right by Stacy Milrany (@milrany_art).

Oddfellows Cafe and Bar: left by Bella Pham (@sadgrrlz), right by Benjamin Hubbard (@ben_busy).

Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream by Morgan Zion (@morgansmile_).

Le Labo by Mari Shibuya (@mari.shibuya) and VK (@vk.signs) with @overallcreative.

Le Labo by Mari Shibuya (@mari.shibuya) and VK (@vk.signs) with @overallcreative.

Lost Lake Cafe and Lounge by Ariel Parrow (@thechaoticaquatic).

Lost Lake Cafe and Lounge by Genevieve St. Charles-Monet (@goldsuit).

Big Mario's by Elisa Maelen Law (@elisa.maelen).

Sam's Tavern by Morgan Zion (@morgansmile_).

Sam's Tavern by Morgan Zion (@morgansmile_).

Sam's Tavern by Jillian Chong (@thechongsta).

Quinn’s Pub by Morgan Zion (@morgansmile_).

The Runaway by Rob Z (@zaeos). 

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