By Alec Dietz | Lynnwood Times Staff
Local artist and muralist Andy Eccleshall and the Mural Project Edmonds (MPE) have begun a mural honoring indigenous coast tribes that once inhabited Edmonds, with the organization calling it their “most ambitious” project to date.
Eccleshall, sponsor John Osberg, consultant Ty Juvinel, and a large group of volunteers have been working through the concepts, designs, and potential locations for the mural for well over 18 months. After scouting out every available location in Edmonds, the group have finally begun the process of putting up the mural in the alleyway between Bop N Burger and The Papery on Main Street.
While Eccleshall is responsible for designing and painting the murals, he has been helped every step of the way by Native American artist and member of the Tulalip tribes, Juvinel. Both Osberg and Eccleshall recognized that they would not be able to paint the mural without the help of Juvenil.
“All matters relating to how the history and culture of the Coast Salish people are represented have been and will continue to be guided and directed by [Juvinel],” Eccleshall said. “I am honored to be able to be a part of this project and to be able to work alongside Ty to see these murals come to fruition.”
As a consultant for the project, Juvinel said it was important that Mural Project Edmonds and Eccleshall reached out to help tell all sides of the story.
“Fortunately, this mural will be appropriate to the times, and will reflect regional Coast Salish culture,” Juvinel said. “It will depict how it may have looked during this time period and how encampments would have appeared. Again, I cannot be more happy that they took time to set the record straight, and make it appropriate to the Coast Salish peoples.”
The west-facing mural will depict a large scene looking west toward the Olympic Mountains at sunset with a fishing party on the water. The east-facing mural, which will make use of the full height of the building, will depict the beach before the town of Edmonds was established, with a beach camp by the water.
Citing that he wanted to see indigenous people honored in artwork in the Edmonds community, sponsor Osberg funded the majority of the project and consulted with Eccleshall and Juvinel throughout the entirety of the project.
After running into several challenges throughout the preliminary process, including repairing damage to one of the proposed wall’s and working to get the right permits and permissions to paint the murals, Eccleshall has finally begun the final stages of the long process.
“I am excited to begin work on this project,” Eccleshall said. “I hope when completed it will invite people to stop and think about the vast history of this place, that the history is not only represented by the city we now love, but in the water, the mountains, the wildlife, the nature and the culture which has called this place home forever.”
Art Walk Edmonds and Mural Project Edmonds have designed, helped raised money for and coordinated several murals in the Lynnwood area, with this being the latest. Usually, MPE uses funds raised by Art Walk Edmonds’ Summer Wine Walks, as well as sponsors and donations to fund projects, but with this year’s events being cancelled due to COVID-19, future plans are unknown.