Mural project brightening Spokane railroad underpasses

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by BREANNA ROY & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on June 9, 2014 at 6:44 AM

Updated Monday, Jun 9 at 12:47 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. – Local artists are painting some of their biggest works of art yet for their biggest audience.  The Spokane Arts Commission is reviving its mural project under four railroad underpasses in Downtown.

The goal is to make art a more recognized part of Spokane’s landscape. Spokane Arts Commission executive director Shannon Halberstadt said the murals will also help reduce graffiti because people who do graffiti usually seek out empty spaces.

Halberstadt also said the project will make the spaces more appealing to passersby.

“Spokane is a really beautiful train city and I think it’s unexpected that you would come across a beautiful piece of artwork in this location,” she said.

Local artists Lisa Soranaka and Eric-Alain Parker applied and were selected to be a part of the program, painting the underpass at Cedar and Second. They said creating public art of this magnitude is the project they have been waiting for.

“Art is something I sort of feel should be accessible to everyone and sometimes when it’s in a museum space or a gallery space, it feels more closed off, like exclusive,” Soranaka said.

“Honestly, I mean, this is more accessible than any gallery or museum,” Parker said. “For me, it’s important for the regular person, the city-goer to engage with art daily.”

Murals generally fade over time, but this time Spokane Arts Commission will add a coat of varnish to help protect the art from the elements and any graffiti.

The artists are paid a stipend for their work, which comes from community sponsors and grants given to the Spokane Arts Commission.

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