Edmonds Art Beat: New murals will honor Edmonds’ indigenous people

Andy Eccleshall begins preparing the wall for a new mural. (Photos courtesy Rachel Dobbins)

 Mural Projects Edmonds, a committee of Art Walk Edmonds, has announced new murals focused on honoring Edmonds’ indigenous people, giving passersby a glance into Edmonds’ roots.

Art Walk Edmonds has put significant time and effort into this new project and its historical data. The pair of murals are meant to give viewers a glimpse of what a day on Edmonds’ waterfront may have looked like when it was inhabited by the first residents of the region. Before 1870, when George Brackett’s canoe landed in Edmonds, those living here included members of the Snohomish, Suquamish, Swinomish and Stillaguamish tribes.

The murals will be placed on facing walls in the Main Street alley between 4th and 5th avenues.

The mural artwork is inspired by the style of Sydney Laurence (1865-1940), a renowned American Romantic landscape painter. They will be painted by Edmonds muralist Andy Eccleshall, who collaborated throughout the process with Ty Juvenil, a Native American artist, a member of the Tulalip tribes, and a paid consultant for this project.

Juvinel, whose traditional name is Zu Waq’ Sub Waq’Waq’ (Lightning Frog), is an artist who has spent his life submerged in his culture. He started at a young age with drawing and graffiti and later discovered Coast Salish art and carving. He became a graphic designer for the Tulalip tribes until earning the spot as an Apprentice Carver. Over time, Juvinel perfected his craft and expanded his reach to children’s books, which he writes and illustrates, and to carvings of paddles, masks, house posts, panels and more.

“Too many times history is written by people who have no care in telling all sides of the story,” Juvenil said in a Mural Project Edmonds announcement. “Fortunately, this mural will be appropriate to the times, and will reflect regional Coast Salish culture. It will depict how it may have looked during this time period and how encampments would have appeared. Again, I cannot be more happy that they (Eccleshall and the Mural Project Edmonds) took time to set the record straight, and make it appropriate to the Coast Salish peoples.”

You can already see the start of the murals, which face each other on the Main Street alley between 4th and 5th avenues. The west-facing mural will replace The Brothers with a much larger scene featuring a fishing party out on the water. The east-facing mural will show the beach before Edmonds existed.

The murals were made possible in large part to a donation from Edmonds resident John Osberg, shown here with Eccleshall.

The murals are made possible due in a large part to a donation from Edmonds resident John Osberg, who wants to ensure that the Coastal Native American tribes who originally called the area home are recognized and honored. The remaining costs were covered by a grant from Edmonds Downtown Alliance (Ed!) and money raised by Art Walk Edmonds.

Mural Project Edmonds puts a significant amount of time into new murals in town. Their commitment to installing murals that will last means going through a long process of vetting locations and surroundings and the theme of the mural. The muralist is then chosen based on style, experience, proven track record with outdoor murals, their material choices, and their adherence to the city’s strict permitting codes. These newest murals have been in the work for over 18 months. Denise Cole, owner of Cole Gallery and MPE committee chairperson, shared that “this mural was probably our most ambitious to date.”

Mural Project Edmonds usually pays for murals through funds raised by Art Walk Edmonds’ Summer Wine Walks and through donations and sponsorships by building owners and businesses. With the cancellation of this year’s Wine Walks, the only fundraiser that Art Walk Edmonds holds, future plans for Mural Project Edmnds are at stake. Now is the time to donate to Art Walk Edmonds and continue the work of showcasing art in our community.

You can donate here to Art Walk Edmonds. If you would like to learn about sponsoring a mural, contact Art Walk Edmonds here

— By Rachel Gardner

Rachel Gardner has a heartfelt appreciation for art in all forms and believes everyone is an artist, some just don’t know it yet. A dedicated and involved Edmonds resident, she can often be spotted onstage cracking jokes between sets or in the audience enjoying local live performances. She enjoys being playful with her art and finding unique ways of expression, like forming a boho-grunge-folk ukulele trio with local Edmonds moms.


  1. So wonderful to see that we’ll be honoring the first people’s here! Thank you to Mr. Osberg and Ed! for the funding and to the wonderful artists for bringing it into being.

  2. A wonderful way to celebrate the completion of this mural would be to invite our local Native American tribes to the mural completion celebration in recognition and thanksgiving
    for their care of this earth, both prior to the arrival of white settlers, and continuing on thru the century. We all owe them a debt of gratitude and justice.

  3. It is nice to paint about NA tribes. It is also nice to read or have posted words about our local NA tribes at all public city meetings. With the whole “justice” idea, maybe we should give public lands back to people who used them before they were taken away. The 22 acre former Unocal site will revert to state ownership soon. The state has no plans for it, lets give it back to our local NA tribes. “Justice” in this case would go beyond paint and words.

  4. The Unocal site could be tricky, there might be a number of environmental issues involved also you would be granting them the right to put up a mega casino which likely most people are going to oppose. Plus who exactly would the state give it to, the last tribe to occupy the site or one of the previous ones that were pushed out? I suppose the most current justice solution would be to find any former slaves of the tribe and call it reparations but most people want to forget that NA’s had slaves. From what I remember was not that prevalent in the Edmonds area tribes but it would be kind of ironic if they spent 1,000’s of dollars to study it and the land went to some white descendant.

  5. As an outsider you may not have the same research that those of us who live in Edmonds have. My research shows comes from discussions with City Staff and Council members over the years and suggests the environmental issues are well in hand and transfer from UC to SoW will be completed only after all is complete. Likewise, discussions with Council members and reviewing city code, a casino could not be built without council action to change the code. You may recall that the casino that is now on the NE corner of Hwy 99 and 220th was originally wishing to be build in Edmonds had to find the current site in MLT. The nearly $1m annual revenue to MLT would have gone to Edmonds. Your community would suffer revenue losses if that casino outside of MLT.

    Finally to the who would get the land question the Edmonds Council with their “acknowledgment” actions seems to have already suggested that they would favor the Tulalip.

    If your research or science shows a flaw in my research please let me know.

    The whole story was about “Indigenous People” and my point was as we sort out “justice” for groups of people we may have a unique opportunity to “think about” and have an informed discussion about all the implications of how we want to respond to the notion of “justice”.

    Just trying to add to the dialog with ideas for us to consider. In no way would I every want to take the position that my way and study is right. I would hope to have an useful conversation.

  6. To be an act of justice Edmonds would have to return the land without restriction. It should also be returned to the first identified peoples not a later tribe.

    If the land is returned and becomes tribal land why would the city of Edmonds have jurisdiction over land they no longer own? If the tribe wants to build a casino, sell fireworks or whatever that should be their call not Edmonds.

  7. Justice for all this racial new stuff we are discussing is not yet really defined that I can find so I will keep open that as a people we will create a working definition that may be different for different circumstances. I do not accept at this time your definition for justice or for who you would say would have to be the recipients.

    I am going to guess here but buildings on the tribal land near Marysville probably did follow local building codes.

    Deeding property can come with restrictions and that would be part of the whole discussion.

    My goal of bringing this idea to the discussion is for us to have a discussion and see what if anything may come from and creative discussion. Since no one else has commented, others may not be interested. When the SoW does take deed to the land they can decide if they have a use for it or if they want to declare it surplus. If surplus then what’s next. Off topic and I apologize but at some point we may indeed have to decide as a people what we want to do with this property.

  8. “Justice for all this racial new stuff we are discussing is not yet really defined that I can find so I will keep open that as a people we will create a working definition that may be different for different circumstances. I do not accept at this time your definition for justice or for who you would say would have to be the recipients.”

    Would it be justice to give the land to descendants of people that pushed other people off the land? If so then why not find some descendants of Brackett?

    How much of a presence did the Tulalip tribe have on the land in question before it was taken and when did it occur? Correct me if I’m wrong but the tribe never resided there, the Tulalip was created by white government power by combining some but not all members of a number of local tribes when the reservation by Marysville was created.

    Giving land back to a tribe that never “owned” it seems like a feel good move, especially if you are going to include restrictions on its use. What gives “us” the right to decide what “they” do with their land?

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