Opinion: Indian artist Andrew Morrison creates powerful murals

The Great Walls of Indian Heritage in Seattle, Washington. Photo from ziplok30 / Instagram

Praise for the work of Andrew Morrison, an artist of Apache and Haida descent:
It wasn’t until I stood in front of Native American artist Andrew Morrison’s murals on a cold December morning that I really grasped how powerful — and valuable — they are.

Morrison’s towering paintings on the Wilson-Pacific School campus in North Seattle are among just a few notable examples of local public art honoring Native Americans that come to mind. Though pleasing in their own way, totem poles and the sculpture of Chief Seattle at Tilikum Place park can’t compare to the sheer size and impact of Morrison’s 25-foot-high murals.

The largest of the eight portraits depict such historic figures as Chief Seattle and Sitting Bull. Others include family and friends from local Native American communities. It took Morrison 12 years and lots of spray paint to finish the works of art.

It’s hard to believe that two years ago, the larger-than-life creations seemed destined for destruction when Seattle Public Schools announced plans to demolish the buildings to make way for a new campus. The school district proposed taking photographs of the murals and displaying them in the new school so the artwork could be remembered.

Morrison was devastated. “Imagine how Michelangelo would have felt if they wanted to tear down the Sistine Chapel,” he told me the day I came to see the murals. “The 25-foot Chief Seattle is the largest commemoration of the city’s namesake in the country. Why would they want to destroy it?”

Get the Story:
Gabriel Campanario / Seattle Sketcher: Artist stands tall as murals survive (The Seattle Times 1/17)

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