On Friday morning our group met some very hospitable “Whiteakerians” who helped us find art in the neighborhood. On the corner of 4th and Monroe, which is very close to the Wandering Goat Cafe, we found a large mural painted on the side of a building. The mural depicted “green anarchy” as Tim Lewis, a man who was on the front cover of the Seattle Times standing beside the mural in the 90’s, said that the artist’s intent was to represent a future that has roots with a traditional livelihood instead of industrialization. The artist’s name is Kari Johnson, and she has many murals painted all over city, including the one found in a car lot on 3rd and VanBuren. The first mural has a picture of a woman working with string to literally show a “cat’s cradle,” and another woman laying on her side looking at tarot cards to understand the crisis the world faces with the environment and a group of figures, who according to Lewis, probably includes a portrait of Johnson.
Lewis asked us if we wanted to visit Johnson in her home which wasn’t too far away from the mural. As a group we decided to venture with him down the street towards an orange house that screamed “Eugenian Artist,” but it turned out that she wasn’t home. We plan on giving her a call later to further understand her artwork.
Lewis pointed us off in the right direction of the second mural that is located on VanBuren. The mural shows a scene of what the Eugene area probably looked like before it became industrialized. I thought that the mural’s location was somewhat bizarre and sad because the parking lot did not set off it’s best features. Of course, the meaning behind the mural makes its intent even more obvious with the cars surrounding the painted wall.