Trades of the Duwamish mural on Union Street

Image by Nicole Dansereau

  • Artwork

Mural: Trades of the Duwamish

Katherine Chilcote

Union Street Staircase between Western Avenue & Alaskan Way

Trades of the Duwamish is a richly colored temporary mural of a panoramic view of the Duwamish River, with circular vignettes of fishermen, cannery workers, longshoremen, and loggers shown in magnification-like viewpoints.

Installed in November 2017, Trades of the Duwamish offers a panoramic view of the Duwamish River with circular vignettes of fishermen, cannery workers, longshoremen, and loggers painted from the viewpoint of a ship’s portholes, looking into the trades of the past across the sacred land of the Duwamish peoples.

Artist Katherine Chilcote with Building Bridges Arts Collaborative drew inspiration from the history of trade along the Duwamish River, a view she sees on her commute to and from West Seattle. Commissioned by Friends of Waterfront Seattle with support from Office of the Waterfront, the mural was designed to be easily reinstalled elsewhere once Norie Sato’s permanent commission is placed at the same site as part of the future Waterfront Park.

Seattle’s central waterfront has many past and present uses, with labor and industry intertwined throughout its history. To both enliven the Union Street entry to the waterfront and highlight our working waterfront’s legacy, Friends engaged Katherine, who had recently completed a mural at the Washington State Labor Council’s new location in Seattle’s Central District.

Building Bridges Arts Collaborative is a public arts nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting artists in community-based public art. Working toward creating large-scale murals in its Summer Mural Institute each year, Building Bridges Arts Collaborative employs artists, teen apprentices, and designers in the process of beautifying their neighborhoods.