The latest installation of murals brightening empty Tacoma streets is now up at Market and 11th Streets downtown. Sponsored by “Downtown on the Go,” a collaboration between the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, the City of Tacoma, Pierce Transit and downtown businesses which promotes public transport and downtown living, the mural on the empty red brick building invites participation from passers-by about why they’d want to live downtown.
Inspired by the “Before I Die” walls, a global public art project begun by New Orleans artist Candy Chang which gives space for passers-by to chalk in what they’d most like to do before they die, the “On the Go” mural covers the building’s half-dozen boarded-up doorways with gray-painted plywood stenciled with the lines “I’d live downtown if…” followed by writing space.
The mural is opening to the public tonight at the First Night New Year’s Eve celebrations.
From the press release: “The exhibit is meant to improve downtown, gather input and raise awareness of Downtown On the Go’s Live Downtown program, which incentivizes downtown employees to live close to work.”
Visually, the mural is more like a bland billboard than the graffiti-based murals that dot the rest of downtown Tacoma. But populated with enough scrawled comments the look may change, even though the concept is less about the possibility , hope and human connection of “Before I Die” and more a complaint sheet about what’s necessary in downtown to convince people to actually live there.
What are you going to write on there?