Olympia has so much art work around the city that it’s often easy to just drive right past. We see it every day and don’t always think about it. I encourage you to talk a walk around Olympia and spend some time looking at the beautiful creations that decorate the city.
Traffic Box Wraps
There are currently 20 traffic boxes wrapped in beautiful artwork around Olympia. Local artists submitted designs that the public voted on. You can see the winning art on these boxes around town. My favorite can be found on Cooper Point and Carriage Drive. This bright illustration is called “Seasonal Reflections” and was created by Dave Sanders. It catches my eye every time I see it. Head downtown to 5th and Washington to see “Persist” by Nikki McClure. The detail is incredible for a papercut piece.
The City of Olympia plans to cover 10 more of these traffic boxes with art in the coming months. To read a full story about visiting the traffic boxes, click here.
You can find the Olympia-Rafah Mural on the corner of State and Capital in downtown Olympia. International, national, and local artists participated in this mural. This project celebrates and mourns the life of Rachel Corrie, an Olympia activist who was run over by a bulldozer in Gaza in 2003. This mural also recognizes the lives of all those who work towards justice. To read more about the history of the mural, click here.
South Sound Estuary Mural
Local artist Carrie Ziegler, along with many volunteers, created the mural on the exterior of the South Sound Estuary Association. You will see a pigeon guillemot, a lion’s mane jellyfish, an ochre star, among more in this piece. This mural is located at the South Sound Estuary Association on State Avenue downtown. Ziegler has worked on several other pieces around Olympia, including the Rafah Mural and the Woodland Trail mural.
Percival Plinth Project
The Percival Plinth Project is a highlight on a tour of Olympia art. If you have ever walked around Percival Landing, you have seen plinths, or platforms, sculptures rest upon. Each year, the city displays new sculptures on each of these plinths. At the end of the year, the public votes on which piece they liked best and the winning sculpture is purchased for permanent display in another location around town. This year’s pieces include Serpentine Progression by Ken Turner, Leaf Totem by Lin McJunkin, Cabarillo Amarillo by Paul Kuniholm Pauper, among more.
Park of the Seven Oars
Take a walk down Harrison Avenue toward downtown Olympia and you will pass by the Park of the Seven Oars. The oars remind us of Olympia’s strong native roots. In fact, the patterns you will see on the benches in this park were designed by members of the Chehalis Tribe.
Artesian Well Mosaic
What used to be just a spout is now a full-fledged urban park located on 4th Avenue. The Artesian Well Mosaic was created by Jennifer Kuhns with help of the community. Small pieces of glass and tile were placed together to create a gorgeous fish design. With the help of 200 community members, this project took just six weeks to finish.