Latine Mural unveiled on North Seattle College campus

Latine art mural north seattle college

An inspiring new mural was recently unveiled during a June 14 celebration at North Seattle College (NSC). Designed by Seattle-based Mexican-American artist and illustrator Grace Gonzalez, the mural, Blooms of Change, was painted by art students and is located on the Opportunity Center building on the south end of the NSC campus.

On her website, Gonzalez writes that the design she created was based in motifs from indigenous mythology and focused on creating a narrative on change, transformation and community support.

“As someone from the Mexican diaspora, I am aware of the complicated nature of the identity of being an immigrant or the child of immigrants, something many in the greater Latine community experience,” Gonzalez wrote in her statement of interest for doing the mural.  

Gonzalez said she began the process for the mural by reflecting on the common experience Latine folks have in the United States – that of coming here. “Of having to leave home behind, for a multitude of different reasons, and ending up in a new place. Or of being born here, aware of a different home that you could have had, and uncertain of which one you truly belong to. It can be a difficult process to go through, but in every story I have heard, the way through is with other people,” she said.

“Other people who have gone through that journey before, literally or metaphorically, and can offer you guidance and community.”

Gonzalez uses several symbols in the piece, including Arbol de Vida inspired by Central Mexican pottery; Xoloitzcuintli, a dog native to Central America; butterflies signifying transformation and change; flora native to Latin America; and shooting stars, symbolic of hope and optimism.

Kelda Martensen, NSC Visual Art faculty and co-chair of the college’s art council, credited the student muralists with bringing Gonalez’s vision to life.

“The students did a stunning job painting this amazing mural.” Martensen said. “They not only painted it, but they also rendered, budgeted and drew up their own mural proposals as part of the course. This experience will serve them well going forward.”

Student muralists included Martin (Ryan) Agnew, Carolina (Fania) Burmudez, Ella Blanchard, Mallika Bubb, Michelle Carranza Velasco, Kai (Lorenzo) Castro, Inez Chiapella, Jasmine Cordova, Henry Cross, Sofia Gomez, Kelsey Long, Tatiana Martinez, ET Paine, Chloe Rotenberg and Quan Wang.

Latine mural North Seattle College

In addition to the student painters, Martensen credited Tania Hino, NSC Parent Education faculty, with bringing the mural theme forward. NSC Arts Council members were also heavily involved, including Desirae Beedle, Cristobal Borges, Abel Briant, Rose Buchanon, D’Andre Fisher, Jillian Fisher, Amanda Knowles, Zola Mumford, Zuleica Olvera, Brian Palmer, Rakhee Phelps, Paula Rebsom, Arbor Sol, Toni Stankovic and Karen Stuhldreher.

This mural is the latest in many wonderful murals that beautify the NSC campus. Four other murals have been painted on campus in the past decade. For more information, visit the NSC website.

(A timelapse video of the mural painting is available here.)