When it comes to embracing street art, Olympia is of the mind that you go big or go home. We use it to make political statements. We use it to commemorate local historical heroes and welcome people to the town. We use them to celebrate comic book heroes and Star Wars characters. Don’t even get me started on how many downtown businesses turn their storefronts into murals. (I swear, just about every word in that sentence could have been hyperlinked to a different mural.) Most recently graffiti artists have popped up two separate murals along the parking lot wall of our Indian restaurant, Great Cuisine of India, on 4th Avenue. First came Ganesha:
Then, over the course of a few weeks, Kali joined him:
Given how popular it is for businesses here to sport street art on their walls, I assumed the restaurant’s owners had commissioned the pieces, which are amazing. But no, as Niki Whiting of A Witch’s Ashram discovered, the murals just began appearing not long after they had painted over a long-standing palimpsest of random tags and images. I guess after Ganesha went up, the creator(s) of Kali saw it as a challenge and popped up their art. I rather love the call-and-response thing our local street artists have going on here, and I hope they add more members of the Hindu pantheon to the wall–there’s lots of white space left!
Where else in America can you have street artists battling it out to create representations of deity? Olympia is so cool.