Underneath Northeast 85th Street along the Cross Kirkland Corridor, there’s a wall that Jake “DKoy” Wagoner has had his eye on for three or four years.
Now, Wagoner, 38, finally has his chance to create something on this wall, thanks to a City of Kirkland public art project that began Aug. 2.
The interactive mural, titled “What is…”, involves community involvement and asks the public to add their thoughts to the wall, prompted by questions like “What is love?”, “What is happiness?”, “What is family?” and “What is beauty?”
“I would think that people think about happiness, love and family on a regular basis, at least I do,” Wagoner said. “Who doesn’t want to fall in love or be happy?”
He said he wanted to create something that tries to “get people to kind of just stop” and enjoy, he said.
The public will be able to add their answers to the interactive community mural displayed along the corridor through Aug. 16.
Though space is running out — over the weekend of Aug. 4, community members filled about 75 percent of the space provided. So Wagoner said people better come out quick.
Wagoner said he knows the mural has made people feel good.
“I see smiles on their faces when they’re writing,” he said. “It’s been a really positive experience.”
The portion where community members can add their answers to the various prompts makes up about a third of the mural. A large American Goldfinch, the state’s bird, perched on a branch with flowers underneath takes up most of the right side of the wall. Graphic designs fill the surrounding spaces.
“We’re seeking to make this a true reflection of Kirkland,” Wagoner said in a press release. “By involving the community and memorializing their expressions in the artwork, we believe we can do that.”
The Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission selected Wagoner and Mike Lucero during a call to artists to install the large format mural and “to create an ephemeral, community art project that celebrated the CKC, reflected Kirkland as a community and engaged the community throughout the project,” according to a city press release.
“In 2016 the City approved the Cross Kirkland Corridor Art Integration plan, and we are delighted to see it start to come to life,” commission chair Ryan James said in the release. “This is a great opportunity for the public to participate in art that celebrates the interim trail.”
Painting supplies are available at the mural for people to add their words to the prompts.
The mural, made possible with funding from 4Culture, will be officially unveiled Sept. 9 during the “Crossing Kirkland” event, where “Kirkland’s neighborhoods will come together for the first city-wide block party,” according to the event website.
The Cross Kirkland Corridor is a 10-foot-wide, 5.75-mile trail through the heart of Kirkland. It is the first improved section of the Eastside Rail Corridor.
For more information on the Cross Kirkland Corridor, visit www.kirklandwa.gov/Residents/Community/Cross_Kirkland_Corridor.htm.