Artist Henry Ward carries his spray paints back to his car after finishing a mural entitled “Table of Diversity” on the west side of the Everett United Church of Christ. The spray paint and acrylic mural took four days to complete. He volunteered his time in support of the Interfaith Association of Western Washington, which runs a family homeless shelter in Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Artist Henry Ward carries his spray paints back to his car after finishing a mural entitled “Table of Diversity” on the west side of the Everett United Church of Christ. The spray paint and acrylic mural took four days to complete. He volunteered his time in support of the Interfaith Association of Western Washington, which runs a family homeless shelter in Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Mural reflects organization’s goal of helping the homeless

EVERETT — It’s not what you’d expect to see on the back wall of a church.

Brightly painted whimsical animal characters — including a bear, dolphin, cat, penguin, deer and squirrels — are gathered around a dining table.

The table is decorated with a bowl of yellow sunflowers displayed in a bright red vase. The table is filled with food, including cinnamon rolls, a bowl of fruit, and pies.

The new mural, “Table of Diversity,” is displayed on a wall of Everett’s United Church of Christ at 2624 Rockefeller Ave. It was created by Seattle artist Henry Ward, one of 222 of his murals displayed in the Puget Sound area.

Ward designed and painted the scene in honor of Everett’s shelter for homeless families, run by the Interfaith Association of Northwest Washington, and to draw attention to its recently launched fund drive.

The goal is to raise $35,000 to support the shelter in the next eight weeks — 8 percent of its annual budget. The money will be used for maintenance and emergency repairs at the shelter and to help pay the salaries of its staff.

The tie between the mural and the fund drive is explained on one brick in the mural, which says the artwork is dedicated to the Interfaith Association of Northwest Washington.

David Zaworski, interim minister at the United Church of Christ, said it didn’t take long for people to begin noticing the city’s newest mural.

“Someone who can see it from his apartment was very happy about it,” saying, ‘This is great — murals in Everett,’ ” Zaworski said.

The church is among Everett’s oldest, founded in 1893. Its governing board took a look at a preliminary sketch for the mural and gave quick approval to the project.

“I’m glad we’re getting the word out for the family shelter,” he said. “We just got to be the lucky beneficiaries.”

The project began when the Interfaith Association was looking for a way to promote its online fund drive. A volunteer who was helping with social media who knew Ward asked: “Want a mural?”

The artist said his idea for the mural came in part from the shape of space on which the mural would be painted. “It’s kind of an A-frame structure,” he said. He wanted to use that shape to reflect the values of the interfaith organization, including diversity.

“I just came up with a metaphor of people sharing a meal,” he said. “That’s their mission, feeding the homeless.

“I went with animals and critters because it’s my style and what I do,” Ward said. “I love painting animals.”

It took Ward four days to complete the mural, even with the assistance of a friend who helped fill in some colors.

Ward said once or twice a year he donates his time, as he did in Everett, to paint murals. “It’s good to give back,” he said. “That’s what this was about — giving back to the world that gives me a lot.”

Mary Ellen Wood, the Interfaith Association’s executive director, said the shelter serves about 150 people a year, about half of whom are children.

Wood said she checked on the mural’s progress as it was being completed early last week. While there, a man paused to take a look.

“What did you think?” Wood asked him.

“Oh my gosh, you can’t look at this and not smile,” he said.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com.

More info

More information on the family shelter run by the Interfaith Association of Northwest Washington, and its fund drive, is available online at www.interfaithwa.org.

Talk to us

More in Local News

A portion of the Redistricting Commission-approved legislative map showing the 12th District, which would span the Cascade Range. (Washington State Redistricting Commission) 20211124
Proposed political map links cities from Monroe to Wenatchee

Highway 2 would unite communities on both sides of the Cascades in one legislative district. Here’s what else could change.

Money seized during an investigation into a Snohomish County fentanyl ring. (U.S. Attorney's Office)
Snohomish County men get federal prison for major fentanyl ring

They got drugs from China and ran an operation that could press 2.5 million pills. They must serve mandatory minimum sentences.

The Monroe Correctional Complex on Thursday, April 9, 2020. Inmates held a demonstration on Wednesday night after six inmates tested positive for COVID-19. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Another outbreak sends 60 to isolation at Monroe prison unit

One worker and one prisoner tested positive Monday. Then more cases were found throughout the Twin Rivers Unit.

Resident escapes burning trailer near Gold Bar

Nobody was injured in the fire Saturday, but the home was destroyed.

A fatal crash prompted closure of West Mukilteo Boulevard between Forest Park and Dogwood Drive Friday afternoon. (Everett Police Department) 20211126
2 dead, 1 injured in T-bone crash in Everett

The two people who died are believed to be in their 80s. Police don’t suspect alcohol, drugs or speed played a role.

1 dead, 3 injured in 5-car crash east of Stanwood

Katrina Kakalecik, 27, of Granite Falls, was a passenger in an SUV that was rear-ended on Thanksgiving.

Top (L-R): Brian Holtzclaw, Eric Cooke, Judy Williams, Tim Schmitt. Bottom (L-R): Patrick Leonetti, Donna Cross, Dani Gaumond, Rob Johnson.
Recounts in Mill Creek, Stanwood as 2021 election is certified

Another tally is required to settle races for seats on city councils, as well as the Alderwood water district.

The Washington State House of Representatives convenes for floor session, Feb. 21, 2019.
Granite Falls representative joins lawsuit over House vax rule

Rep. Robert Sutherland objects to the COVID-19 vaccine because he had a severe reaction to a flu shot.

Stillaguamish tribal members hold flags during a powwow. (Contributed)
Arlington formally recognizes homeland of Stillaguamish people

A newly adopted acknowledgement is intended to show respect to native ancestors and their descendants.

Most Read