Ballard News Tribune

(Photograph by Daytona Strong/Taproot Theatre) Kevin "Sensei23" Sullivan of Seattle Mural Art works on a mural commissioned by Taproot Theatre Company to be installed at the site of the Oct. 23 Greenwood arson attack.

“Mural created as memorial for Greenwood arson damage”
By Robinson Newspapers Staff
December 15, 2009

Artists from Seattle Mural Art, an affiliate of Greenwood’s Bherd Studios, are creating an 89-foot by 8-foot mural to commemorate the businesses damaged and destroyed by the string of arsons this past summer and fall.
The mural will be installed on the temporary wall along North 85th Street where the Eleanor Roosevelt Building once stood.

The Eleanor Roosevelt Building, which Taproot Theatre rented out to four businesses, was destroyed in the Oct. 23 arson.

Concerned about leaving a hole in the core of the Greenwood business district, and seeing an opportunity to facilitate more art in Greenwood, Taproot Theatre Company commissioned the mural.

“Downtown Greenwood is full of entrepreneurs who have put their all into making this such a thriving business district, full of creativity and artistry,” Scott Nolte, Taproot Theatre’s producing artistic director, said in a press release. “While we’re working on a long-term plan for the property, we want to give back to our community by creating something of beauty for them, something to remind them that this is a special place to live and work.”

In the weeks after the fire, Nolte asked Taproot Theatre’s facilities manager, Marty Gordon, who is also an artist, to look into the possibility of installing a mural.

Gordon immediately thought of John Osgood, owner of Bherd Studios and a co-founder of the Art Up Greenwood-Phinney Second Friday Art Walk.

Capturing Greenwood’s resilience and the assurance that the community will rebound, the mural’s centerpiece is a phoenix rising from the flames.

The mural also depicts firefighters’ rescue of the cats at the nearby Cat City the morning of the fire, Taproot Theatre Company, icons of the neighborhood, such as the Greenwood Car Show and the art walk, and more.

The mural, being created offsite by John Osgood, Zachary Bohnenkamp and Kevin “Sensei23” Sullivan, will be installed soon.