The Arts are Alive in Bellevue!
The Bellevue Mural Arts Program is a creative placemaking program that incorporates murals designed by local artists into vacant wall spaces of the main business district of Bellevue.
It started in 2019 when local residents RJ Thompson and Kent Kerr initiated the “Bellevue Believes” research project. Community members and stakeholders shared their visions for Bellevue’s growth, including the introduction of the visual arts in Bellevue’s business corridor. Thus, the Bellevue Mural Arts Program was born!
The pair recruited local artist Jennie Denton to design what would become Bellevue’s first two murals of the Mural Arts Program. But where to install them? John King and Christopher Driscoll, co-owners of Revival on Lincoln, and Scott Streit, co-owner of 411 Lincoln Avenue with King, agreed to donate spaces on their properties to Bona Fide Bellevue as the homes of Bellevue’s inaugural murals.
Over a series of community painting sessions, residents of the 202 gathered together to help create the first paint-by-numbers style mural, which was completed and installed in Fall 2021 at 411 Lincoln Avenue. Bright, colorful, and vibrant, the mural reflects our community’s unique and quirky character as well as the exciting future of Bellevue.
As Bellevue continues to grow and enjoy economic development and revitalization, Bona Fide Bellevue works to ensure visitors know we have a lively and home-grown culture that makes Bellevue worth returning to time and time again. The inaugural murals reinforce what so many already understand about Bellevue – that it’s a place for everyone. A place of all colors and walks of life, for creating new lives, friendships, families, and lasting memories.
The following work is courtesy of Jennie Denton, Lamplight Creative. Artwork subject to change.
Special Thanks to our Donors who helped raise $4,919 for the Murals!
Revival on Lincoln
The Pease Family
Greg ‘Ta-Da’ Tadda
Grant and Lisa Saylor
Em & PJ Kemerer
RJ & Becky Startzenbach
Scott and Trina Streit
Susan Stabnau & Roger Powell
Amy Joy Robinson
Michael Domian and Andrea Contes
Christine & John King
Kim and Andrew Uccellini
The Murray-Marcum Family
Kaela Speicher Photography
Jean L Dennison
PROJECT UPDATE 11/6/21
The Mural is finished and installed!
PROJECT UPDATE 9/20/21
We completed the tracing of the mural and are doing touch-ups the week of 9/20. Stay tuned for more information on the community painting day. Here’s a video of our first workday session.
PROJECT UPDATE 9/10/21
We’ve successfully moved into the Cove art space at Greenstone church. We will be having open studio sessions Thursday from 6-8pm and Sundays from 1-6pm. Please join the Facebook group for more updates!
PROJECT UPDATE 5/18/21
We will begin production on the mural in late May with a schedule 8-12 week production schedule. Volunteers are absolutely needed. Production dates and locations will be made available as soon as possible.
PROJECT UPDATE 12/17/20
It’s almost been one year since the intended completion of the Bellevue Mural Arts Program. The COVID-19 pandemic has sent our world, personal lives, and even this project in all kinds of directions. I want to thank all of you who have donated, supported, cheered us on, and perhaps most important of all, remained patient with us as we navigated the chaos of the year. I am pleased to say that despite the setbacks related to the pandemic, the Bellevue Mural Arts Program continues to progress forward!
We finished the fundraiser strong and raised significantly more funds than originally requested – all thanks to YOU. Our fundraising goal was met and then doubled through a matching grant from IOBY and Artplace America. Not only do we have the necessary budget to produce two murals, but potentially more!
There are many updates to share!!
You all should have received an e-mail from me (RJ Thompson / firstname.lastname@example.org) requesting your home address. If I received a response from you, then you should have received your donation rewards. I either hand-delivered it to you in-person or left them on your porch or mailbox. If you did not receive an e-mail from me, please contact me at the e-mail listed above and I will deliver the donation rewards to you after getting your address. If you did respond to me but did not receive your donation rewards yet, please let me know and I’ll deliver the donation rewards to you as soon as possible.
Due to the generosity of +Public and Process Reproductions, Inc., all of you should have received two pins. If you donated over the $10 level, you should have also received a framed print. If any of the items were damaged, please let me know and I will do my best to replace them.
Purchasing Additional Mural Merch
Pins, postcards, prints, and t-shirts are available for purchase.
Each of these items, except t-shirts, can be purchased directly from Bona Fide Bellevue.
Please e-mail me and I can arrange an order for you and/or provide you with a link to shop the t-shirt merchandise.
All proceeds benefit the Bellevue Mural Arts Program!
Donate Your Spaces
Due to the huge success of the fundraiser, we have an opportunity to impact more areas than just the walls of buildings! We can transform common spaces into meaningful and memorable creative places throughout our community. If you have areas of your property that you think would offer a creative opportunity for a mural, three-dimensional art, or something else, please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/UfPQxx9p1PWMhLxN9
Some examples of creative placemaking include painting exterior walls of garages, steps, and retaining walls. If you have the space for it, we may even be able to feature three-dimensional pieces such as free-standing sculptures, frames to hang paintings, and more.
Right now we are only considering private properties with spaces that can be visible in public spaces like the sidewalk, streets, or alleyways.
Join our Community Arts Committee!
Because of the continued success of this program, we’ve received multiple inquiries about developing a broader initiative for the arts in Bellevue (and the North Boroughs!)
I am seeking to build the Community Arts Committee (a sub-committee of Bona Fide Bellevue) composed of artists, musicians, teachers, and creatives of all types to advocate for public art, promote public art opportunities, assess artwork submissions, facilitate community engagement in the arts, and ultimately lead the production and implementation of public art in Bellevue. Additionally, as a member of this newly minted committee, you will have a voice in crafting the mission of this committee and how it completes its work.
If you are interested in participating, please submit your information below and I will be in contact with you.
Join Us: https://forms.gle/2Ubx6Yb9aJWTDoGg9
We are back on track to implement the mural in late April/early May, depending on the status of the pandemic and any municipal, county, or state mandates that prohibit groups of people from gathering.
411 Lincoln Avenue will still be the place where the mural (featured in the print with the “Bellevue” typography) will be implemented. While the exterior of the building is undergoing some light construction, it should not prohibit full implementation. The only present issue we won’t be able to resolve until the construction is complete is what the true scale of the mural will be.
The Little House at Revival on Lincoln, which was the intended destination for the second mural, is no longer available to us. We are seeking an alternative space to feature the second mural seen on the IOBY page with the Live Worship Shop sign in the bottom corner. We do have the funding to produce this mural, so if you have recommendations on available spaces, please fill out the “Donate Your Spaces” form linked above or contact me via e-mail.
The community-centric nature of how these murals would be implemented has been completely shut down because of the pandemic. We made the decision to delay implementation because the public could not truly be involved in its creation. These murals must be created by and for the community. We’re optimistic that gathering restrictions will be lifted to some degree by the end of April/early May. If this is not the case, we will have to proceed with implementation as best as we possibly can.
At present, the plan is to trace the mural designs on the wall at 411 Lincoln by using a projector. Within the tracing, we’ll list a number within specific shapes to correspond with specific colors. For example, 1 is Red, 2 is green, etc. We want residents and stakeholders of all ages and walks of life to contribute, even if it is just filling in a shape with a single color. Once the base artwork is done, the project team (RJ and Jennie primarily, other volunteers will be enlisted) will apply the fine and finishing details. Upon completion, we’ll have a small event where folks can visit the mural space and get their picture taken in front of it.
In addition to these activities, I am planning on hosting a few Zoom webinars on the history of the Bellevue Mural Arts Program and the action plan for the mural implementation featuring a few notable area mural artists.
Please stay tuned for these details as they won’t be finalized closer to the intended implementation date.
I want to thank you all again for your generous support and patience with the development of this project. I’m very excited to build this project with you. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or IDEAS! I’d love to hear them.
RJ Thompson, MFA
Board Member, Bona Fide Bellevue
Chair, Community Arts Committee
NOTE: not built to scale.
Being able to use my illustration and design skills to create impressive murals in the center of our business district has been such an incredible experience.
Feature Art on Your Property
Do you have long fences, exterior garage walls, retaining walls, or even just open spots in your yard to feature public art? Let us know! Follow the link to the form below and a member of the Community Arts Committee will be in touch!
CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR PROPERTY (opens in new window)
Join the Community Arts Committee
Are you an artist, patron of the arts, or just a creative person? Consider joining our Community Arts Committee. This group helps create public art opportunities, advocates for the arts, and mentor artists through the process of identifying spaces and implementation – all in Bellevue!
CLICK HERE TO APPLY TO THE COMMITTEE (opens in new window)