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The Owl Project – Community Mural at Carco Theatre

The Cedar River Salmon Journey is a program sponsored each year by the Seattle Aquarium, Seattle Public Utilities, City of Renton, King County Flood Control District, the Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish (WRIA 8) Salmon Recovery Council, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Experienced volunteer naturalists make themselves available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each weekend day in October at the Renton Library and Cedar River Park (behind Renton Community Center). The public is invited to witness the salmon migration and learn about the epic journey that takes place every year as salmon swim from the ocean, through the Ballard Locks, into Lake Washington, and up the river to spawn.

In celebration of the Cedar River Salmon Journey, local arts organization the Owl Project prepared a project to join artists and the community through the collaborative process of mural-making to create powerful artwork that will honor the salmon journey and Renton’s connection to the monumental migration.  The mural is located at Carco Theatre on the southwest wall of the building facing the river.

Professional artist, Scott Douwes, worked with members of the community to design and implement a high quality mural that reflects the history and impact of the salmon journey on the community surrounding the river.  In addition to honoring the role of the salmon in the community, the mural is designed to fight blight and combat vandalism in this select public location on the river.

With support from Renton Municipal Arts Commission and Renton Downtown Partnership, the Owl Project managed the projected, convinced Douwes to implement the idea, provided technical assistance, and general promotion of the project.  The organizations worked collaboratively to assist the artist team through community coordination, input of content, preparation of the wall, and maintenance of the mural after its completion.

More than 100 community members participated  in the creation of the mural at the celebration of the River Days Celebration on Friday, July 26, 2019.

The initial concept for the mural is below:

The image is intended to celebrate the salmon journey along the Cedar River and the hands in the middle represent a “diversity wheel.”