SODO Track Credit: Lizz Giordano

The SODO Track mural nears completions as 26 artists add to the 2-mile art experience this month.

Artist Paola Delfin Credit: Lizz Giordano

Last year eight murals were completed along the light rail track (also known as the SODO busway and trail), between the SODO and Stadium stations. This year the murals have expanded south to Spokane Street.

“We want to enhance the transit experience,” said Tamar Benzikry, art project manager for 4Culture. “Take an ordinary bus experience and make it extraordinary.”

4Culture is producing the project in partnership with the SODO BIA, King County Metro, and Sound Transit and collaborating with curator Gage Hamilton and Urban ArtWorks.

Hamilton said with 50,000 people passing through the corridor each day, the project brings art to the people as they travel one of the busiest transit routes in the city.

working in the heat on SODO Track Credit: Lizz Giordano
Sneke, Hews and Apaul Credit: Lizz Giordano

Murals range from graffiti-style to more painterly, abstract to realism, all reflecting on the theme of movement and motion.

Paying respect to Seattle’s past, artist Addison Karl searched and found descendants of Chief Seattle incorporating their portraits in his mural amongst a mix of green flora. Nearby artists Sneke, Hews and Apaul stencil out multicolored triangles and fill in their piece paying homage to the graffiti that has long decorated this corridor.

The murals begin a few blocks before the light rail track connects and travels along the SODO busway into downtown. A brightly colored warehouse greets train riders as they turn north. For the full viewing experience, bus routes along the entire mural path include the 21, 131, 132  50, 101, 102, 150, 177, 178, 190, 590, 594 and 595.

Artists are wrapping up their mural this week, but another round of painting will begin in September. Next summer additional murals will fill in gaps to complete the project.

SODO track seen from the train Credit: Lizz Giordano
Artist Addison Karl Credit: Lizz Giordano
SODO Track Credit: Lizz Giordano
Artist Addison Karl Credit: Lizz Giordano

The post has been updated to correctly identify the bus routes along the SODO Busway, which are routes 50, 101, 102, 150, 177, 178, 190, 590, 594 and 595.

9 Replies to “New Murals Added to SODO Track”

  1. Everybody involved: Pray that your work is as pioneering as it deserves. I think there should be a city ordinance that every blank boring wall in Seattle feature at least one mural. I think this would discourage graffiti- what’s the experience so far?

    Curious as to whether it’s necessary that the artist who painted the mural be the one to correct spray painted amateur alterations.Or if the perpetrators have to be tracked down to do this. No real evidence that Michaelangelo had no gang connections. Renaissance Italy did have the Medicis on the loose, not to mention the Montagues and the Capulets.

    Especially Juliet’s cousin John Leguizamo. Fair number of whom were doubtless found all over the marble floor of the Sistine Chapel two hundred feet under the ceiling every morning still clutching the large hand-pump spray cans invented by Leonardo da Vinci to paint his helicopter.

    We should also have as much as possible beaded. I think they did this with a utility pole on Eastlake some years ago. Would definitely let that wonderful antique Columbia Center out-show the proliferation of blinding vertical solar mirrors with much nicer buildings for basements in succeeding years.

    But greatest of all Seattle could definitely outshine Venice in art history (King Street Station already looks like St. Mark’s Basilica!) as brave artists struggle to get an Arts-Commission-protected mural stuck onto every single inch of transit vehicle surface in the region before they can be “Wrapped” with Washington State Lottery ads.

    Might need another equipment purchase to replace all the buses on loan to Contemporary Art museums, I mean transit systems, worldwide. True lost ad money would require that every King County office window offer the view out a prison-bus window or through a billboard from the inside.

    Greatest coup in world art history would be to avenge Nature herself by artistically removing the mesh from the windows of all the buses you wrapped, while through sheer force of beauty tripling the advertising revenue from each bus. Too bad it wouldn’t work for the King County offices. Though future centuries will deliver more than one Andy Warhol.

    Main thing: These murals join the World-Outclassing transit-related public art begun by Jack Mackie and his associates 27 years ago. With miles of track yet to go. Thanks to the privilege of representing ATU Local 587 on an advisory committee, I can verity that our artists and sculptors dropped more sweat into their work than any other laborers on the Downtown Seattle Transit Project. As they’d all agree.

    Can I have a window-scraper?

    Mark Dublin

  2. For the full viewing experience, bus routes along the entire mural path include the 21, 131, 132.

    You’re off by one block.
    Bus routes 101, 102, 150, 177, 178, 190, 590, 594, 595 travel along the SODO Busway.

      1. Hey Lizz,
        The 50 does travel along the Busway, but only the southern part between Lander and Spokane.

  3. In 1982, the original Metro, the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle, was desperate for amateur drivers so grateful for a part-time job they’d be history’s most pathetically manageable workforce. Bad “read” on who-all was out of work.

    Hence depressing number of people that thought its public art-work worth one percent of the DSTT project budget. Let alone going berserk when the fountain at CPS spent its working life as a garbage can. And, believing that since tourists pay a lot for a ticket to see Mount Rainier, passenger view shouldn’t bet through a dirty billboard. Or who actually thought the dual-power tunnel idea was either advisable or survivable.

    Still can’t believe, however, that I’m the only one who thinks we should earn advertising dollars by wrapping both Second and Jackson and the King County Courthouse roof to basement with State lottery ads. And assuming that officials will be glad to have their cars wrapped to rescue ST-3. Maybe last State money we’ll ever get.

    Really bad manners that I really wrote my comment to the artists themselves, who belong to a trade that works harder than anybody in a quarry. Or Routes 41 and 550 at rush hour. Except if, as occasionally happens, they’re the same people. Though very likely Personnel’s multiple-choice personality tests, designed to save normal people from full-time driving, hoover in people who make Vincent Van Gogh look normal.


    The LINK art program is one of the best in the world.

    And has gotten some of the worse disrespect by its client,whichever agency ran the DSTT when the Waterfall Fountain got turned off a couple of weeks after opening and has been left an open garbage bin ever since.

    Those two clocks at Pioneer Square are dark, filthy, and invisible again.

      1. Three guesses: broken water pump, broken water pump or broken water pump. That and the station is going to close in a few years anyway.

  4. The murals are a highlight during my light rail trip. Looking forward to seeing the new ones.

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