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Murals in the ID

Our very own visual journalist, Jordan Somers, has made local mural artists’ labors of love his mission to document for posterity during the COVID-19 shutdown and the Black Lives Matter protests. We have previously presented some of his chronicles, and we have the pleasure of sharing more of his work with you below with more to follow soon.

These murals are all part of an inspired project in the Chinatown-International District (CID) to beautify boarded-up storefronts in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Over 200 artists volunteered their time, and over $10,000 worth of paint, brushes, and other art supplies were donated to the cause. Over 100 stores in the CID offered their facades as canvases. The project served as an impressive, vibrant, and visually impactful way to create community and connection, and make some damn fine art in the process. Enjoy.

Jordan Somers and Astro Pittman | The Seattle Collegian  Although the majority of the murals in Chinatown are BLM-focused, there was a shared collaboration between artists and business owners alike to keep their respective shops afloat with simple, vibrant colors and store information.
Jordan Somers Other artists had free reign with their assigned wall spaces as long as they contributed a positive energy to the project’s underlying objectives to beautify and protect the neighborhood.
Jordan Somers and Astro Pittman | The Seattle Collegian Artist @barelyawakekalee makes full use of her assigned wall space with lyrics relevant to the largest civil rights movement in America’s history.
Jordan Somers and Astro Pittman | The Seattle Collegian Artist @openairdance specializes in stencil painting and devoted this restaurant’s space to a recurring, colorful, iconic image of George Floyd, who was murdered by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25th, 2020.
Jordan Somers and Astro Pittman | The Seattle Collegian A poignant and reverberating cry from protestors country-wide:  “Hands up, don’t shoot.”  The artist also framed the mural with names of individuals who were gunned down by police over the last decade.
Jordan Somers and Astro Pittman | The Seattle Collegian Here, artists paint murals of several black mathematicians, doctors and engineers, including Katherine Johnson and Dr. Gladys West, who were leading contributors and pioneers in their field over the last century.
Jordan Somers and Astro Pittman | The Seattle Collegian Artist @jude_jing_da was one of 200+ contributors to the Chinatown beautification project supported by the Black community and various donors and residents.
Jordan Somers and Astro Pittman | The Seattle Collegian A volunteer briefly poses for the camera while organizing thousands of dollars worth of paint and supplies for contributing artists.
Jordan Somers Muralists, residents and community leaders converse at the centralized supply and meeting spot, Hing Hay Park, where the city’s first protest began in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.
Jordan Somers and Astro Pittman | The Seattle Collegian A mural that encapsulates the layers of tragedy, grief, growth and uprising in the midst of the country’s revolution and demand for deep systematic change.
Jordan Somers and Astro Pittman | The Seattle Collegian A mural painted by artist @devinmidorisour showing an older man and child walking through Hing Hay Park.
Jordan Somers and Astro Pittman | The Seattle Collegian The intersection of South Jackson Street and Maynard Avenue South, where two BLM-inspired murals converge at a shop corner.
Jordan Somers and Astro Pittman | The Seattle Collegian A mural highlighting the BLM movement through various pertinent imagery, including an eye-less black woman and raised fists.
Jordan Somers and Astro Pittman | The Seattle Collegian A mural blending the name of the boarded up shop with subtle undertones of the BLM movement, expressed through the iconic black raised fist.
Jordan Somers and Astro Pittman | The Seattle Collegian  A BLM-themed mural completed by artist @vksigns.
Jordan Somers and Astro Pittman | The Seattle Collegian A mural created by artists @dozfy and @sharapaints, bringing together two legendary figures, Bruce Lee and Kareem Abdul-Jabar.
Jordan Somers and Astro Pittman | The Seattle Collegian Artist @sharapaints posing with her completed mural.
Jordan Somers

Jordan Somers is currently in his second year of Visual Media at Seattle Central College. He specializes in photojournalism and documentary work, with a particular emphasis on social movements happening throughout the city. His 2020 documentary, Hope is Not Cancelled, was an official selection at the Local Sightings Film Festival, and won an award for best editing at the Oregon Documentary Film Festival. Jordan is an avid traveler when granted the opportunity, and has a keen interest in psychology and existential philosophy.

Astro Pittman

Astro is the Editor-in-Chief at The Seattle Collegian, the President of Seattle Central's Queer Cooperative club, a fully-professed Guard with the Sisters of the Mother House of Washington, and a self-identified Queer-Alien-Person-Of-Color. He has won awards for his journalism and community service work as well as for innovation in leadership and academic excellence, and is an active and outspoken advocate and activist for both the LGBTQ+ and recovery communities. He speaks regularly at events relevant to these causes, and works closely with his fellows to support these communities. Social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion are his banners, and his belief in the strength and resilience of all marginalized communities is the driving motivation behind his work and his mission: using the powers of journalism, self-expression, creativity, conversation and connection to uplift and foster acceptance for all peoples.

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