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Seattle artists restore Black Lives Matter street mural on Capitol Hill with help from city

The Seattle Department of Transportation is helping artists preserve a giant Black Lives Matter mural on a street in the former CHOP/CHAZ zone of Capitol Hill.

A group of local artists known as the Vivid Matter Collective are giving a new look to the mural that made them known around the country. These are the artists responsible for the Black Lives Matter Mural on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. 

The mural is currently being completely redone because a few unaffiliated artists took it upon themselves to add some sealer to protect the image, but it actually damaged the work and began to deteriorate. 

The collective began discussions with the City of Seattle, and ultimately, it was determined that it was best to completely remove the mural and implement a more permanent design process. 

Seattle business owner Joe Nix organized the effort and this week, the Vivid Matter Collective is working alongside Seattle Department of Transportation to scrape the mural and even use grinders to carve the letters in to the concrete. 

Lead mural artist Takiya Ward said, “It’s a huge statement for us because now it’s like even more permanent than before. Now a shadow of the letter will be there regardless of what the paint does.” 

More than a dozen artists make up the collective and are in the process of painting their designs with the expertise of SDOT in their corner. 

Ward explained, “They’re professional traffic painters, so they’re giving us tips on how to make this more long-lasting.” 

The process includes the addition of adding traction through aluminum oxide synthetic crystals that gives the surface traction and make it a non-slip mural.

This rendition of the Black Lives Matter mural is designed to be a permanent fixture in the city and a symbol for the future. 

Ward hopes the artists will be done this weekend and is anxious for the community to see the finished product. 

“We had a lot of folks that reached out to us and said they came from all over the country to see this thing, you know, the first time around. So we’re hoping that this time around it garners the same kind of love and community engagement.” 

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