CHOP's "Black Lives Matter" Mural Gets an Unwanted Layer of Sealant

"I personally apologize if I offended anybody, if they felt like I disrespected them as artists," said the rogue sealer.



It's on public property, the city/state owns it now. What will be sad is when there is some utility work needed and parts of concrete are torn up and replaced. Will the blank spots be able to be filled in?


It's on public property, the state/city owns it now. What will be sad is when some utility work is needed and parts of the street get torn up and replaced. Will the blank parts of the mural be able to be replaced? Maybe an idea to raise funds for the BLM movement is for the mural to be cut up and pieces sold off, like they did with the Berlin Wall.


Boo-hoo. "You didn't consult us about this, so we're upset." As a commenter on a similar story said the other day, this is the apotheosis of the Seattle Way. It's tiresome and needs to stop.


Too bad the artists didn't paint variations of the Confederate battle flag on the street - our resident trolls would have laid down in traffic to protect those...


I think the wear and tear was part of the performance of the work is now part of the art, permanently documenting the experience of CHOP. I think the artists should be pleased. If they want pristine art to last forever, they should paint on canvas and keep it on a wall. Better yet, hide it in an attic so no one can ever dirty it by looking at it.


I like this sort of art as much as the next person. But I also consider it fleeting -- like sand Mandala. On the hand, if someone builds a large, impressive, symbolic and generally bad-ass sculpture, I want it to stick around. I have no problem if it moves, but I want to know where it is, and know that it won't be sold for scrap. Where is the Black Power Fist?


Impressive invitation into a Hobbsian world, if you are actually more than one person. I guess art, from concept to curation, is a foreign concept.
Best of luck on your human growth.


It's clear the guy meant well. Did he not know who to contact but wanted to act quickly? Can we assume positive intent? We have so many shitty things going on right now, I'm not feeling the need to attack a well-meaning member of the community.


"... turning what would have been a few hours of touch-ups into a much larger endeavor that could permanently change the piece for good."

plus. concrete needs to breathe
and if there's any Moisture sealed in the concrete -- trapped, like those supervillains from 'Superman' -- the moisture'll be trapped between the sealer and the artwork which may well turn milky /hazy. Oops.

But I could be wrong.

"Cry us a river, you self-
privileged arrogant little shits...."

Sumbuddy did not have their widdle nappy-poo.
Why do you (like Clockwork) bother?
I'm sorry you were dropped on
your head -- we all are -- but
please -- can we move on?

"... the apotheosis of the Seattle Way.
It's tiresome and needs to stop."

Let Strong Daddy take
care of Everything.
It'll all be Fine.
Trust Us.


Exactly what @12 said. Why was this even written?


"History" they call it


@12: I agree. It's all a happy accident that embellishes unauthorized municipal art.


CHS ran a more comprehensive piece yesterday morning. The sealing happened two days ago. SDOT released a statement yesterday about how they were working with the artists and the reason why they didn’t seal it.

SDOT statement
“For the past few weeks, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and Seattle Department of Transportation have been engaging community, businesses, residents, artists, and protest leaders to develop a plan to preserve the public art around Cal Anderson Park and Pine Street. We have worked with several individuals who were on site daily during the protests and who had been designated as responsible for decisions related to art produced on site. This included contacting several individuals who helped coordinate the artists who painted the Black Lives Matter street mural on Pine Street. Our overall goal has been to work with the artists to preserve and/or provide temporary storage of the artwork while the artists determine the long-term future of the artwork on their own.

SDOT has committed to finding the best way to preserve the Black Lives Matter street mural and has been working directly with the artists to create a preservation plan. We remain committed to the long-term preservation of this mural, and quickly worked last week to install posts to keep vehicles from driving on the mural when the street was reopened to traffic. We have also installed a new 4-way stop sign at 10th Ave E and E Pine St to help eastbound drivers transition onto the block with the mural at a slower speed.

SDOT had previously notified some of the artists that we did not plan to apply weather sealant to the mural due to concerns that this would bind to the pigments in the paint and potentially cause the paint to fade faster. This was largely due to concerns that sealant would accelerate the wear due to cars driving on the mural, which has been addressed by our changes to the street design. This Sunday SDOT dispatch received a phone call notifying us that some individuals on site were attempting to apply weather sealant to the mural. SDOT was not available to immediately dispatch crews and the individuals added sealant without City involvement.”


'Black Lives Matter' (TM.) has been a phrase used since about 2013. It's all over the world now. It, unfortunately, will be used for decades to come as justice can be slow. Nevertheless, this street 'art' is graffiti, may be prettier than the usual but is still graffiti and illegal at that. If someone spray paints my home, garage or fence I'm required by law to remove it quickly or face increasing fines. This not some last bastion of reminding us that BLM in this City. It may have started out well intentioned by Mob rule but very soon turned into CHAZ, CHOP to CHUMP. Because it's a block long or in front of a Police Station doesn't make it worthy of being memorialized especially since it also represents what those 6 blocks turned into in just 3 weeks. People died as a direct result. Needlessly. It's something most people want to move on from, including many Politicians. It's part of our history now and that's enough. This is hardly sacred ground.


Lesson learned "rogue sealer" - stick your neck out for nobody.


... or, b, know wtf you're doing
before you might fuck shit up.

Sure his Sentiment was Correct
but his execution, far from flawless.

Perhaps he'll volunteer in the Clean-up
(or be made to volunteer time or cash) which
now seems a no-win situation for all concerned.

Perhaps the patina may become a fixed part of the saga -- let's hope it isn't irreparable. And why not keep the cars away, forever? Why must cars make all the Rules?

Look what they did to Detroit.


@8 -- there you go (@23).

What about the bathroom? Now that's something that needs to stay.


@8. The city had ample opportunity to eliminate the mural yet chose to keep it to memorialize the cause of fighting against the murder of young black men. Many more have died in police custody and intentionally murdered than died in the CHOP. That’s not to minimize those that were killed in the CHOP but rather to highlight the absurd nature of your argument using dead black men as tokens against the mural. The point is you use the murders as a way to somehow justify removing the mural while ignoring the bigger cause that led to the mural in the first place.

It’s not as if they’re leaving “fuck 13” messages scrawled in the area. The mural is a considered piece of art executed by talented artisans. You may not care for the art or the message but your opinion of the piece makes it no less art than Hammering Man or the Fremont trolls.


Apologies, that was @ 20, Jack not the Prof @8.



The artists ARE citizens, fucktard.



The called SPD because preventing someone from fucking up a piece of art is about SPD's level of competence - I mean, it's not like they called them to not investigate a burglary or car prowl or any of the scores of other crimes they've proven time and again to be completely incapable of handling...


@25, You forgot to bring the Battle of Waterloo into your argument. You missed my point. It's illegal graffiti and should be treated as such.


@5 Pot, meet kettle.


Really? Pitre actually busted out the George W. Bush "I'm sorry if you were offended" non-apology apology? why didn't he just send the artists a "Kiss My Ass!" balloon bouquet?


I'm thinking a nice muriatic acid wash. We don't want any pedestrians slipping on slick paint.


FWIW, Seattle's BLACK LIVES MATTER mural has gone beyond a viral infection event, and expanded to a larger civil protest.
New York City had shut down 5th Ave. with the expressed purpose of a BLM Mural to be painted.
Haters be aware, as much as you may hate Seattle's event, it has kindled an idea that caught fire and you may have more similar events to put that spevial twist in your knickers. Gird yourselves.


Those who attack street art adopted by the city as worthy of preservation as being mere graffiti ought to at least make their comments themselves rise above the level of electronic graffiti. Because they fail to do that, their lowbrow criticisms both legitimize graffiti as contemporary expression in electronic form, and also completely undermine their own critique all in the same key strokes on The Stranger's comments section.

Or are these commenters actually CHOP activists doing performance art by posing as rightwing trolls?


It has been a few days boys and girls, have we all learned to spell "hypocrisy" yet?



Spare me. You're the sort who asks why black people don't all follow MLK's tactics-and then sort who, if you'd been around when Dr. King was using those tactics, would have denounced him as a dangerous "Commie" for coming out against the war on Vietnam and then working to create an alliance of people of color and the white. Latino/a/x poor for social and economic justice.

The CHAZ/CHOP HAD to happen. Nothing short of that would make any difference on the issues BLM raises.


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The issues are excessive police against people of color and institutional racism against people of color.


And here is the list of the demands Black Lives Matter, Seattle King County, as listed in a previous Stranger article:

They weren't involved with the CHAZ/CHOP, but clearly there was no alternative to CHAZ/CHOP being done if the demands were to be furthered.