EDMONDS — He’s the guy in a ball cap, armed with 70 cans of spray paint and a mind-blowing imagination.
Not exactly what people expect to see in broad daylight on the streets of Edmonds.
Jake Wagoner’s graffiti-style performance is the first installation of Mural Project Edmonds, a public effort by Art Walk Edmonds. The mural, started last week, is on the south-facing Main Street wall of Sound Styles at the corner of 5th Avenue N.
More than 20 muralists from Washington and Oregon applied for the project, spokesperson Rachel Dobbins said.
“We just loved the intricacies of his design,” Dobbins said. “You look at it from far away and see one thing, and the closer you get you see more and more pop out.”
A tapestry of stenciled patterns fill in the bold outlines of orcas and mountains on the 13-by-75-foot brick canvas.
Wagoner, 38, lived in Tacoma and Seattle before moving to Gig Harbor to raise a family. His background in graphic design shows in his bold style and imagery. His street art emblazons skate parks, businesses, signs and walls around Western Washington.
The Edmonds mural was inspired by the grieving orca whale who carried the corpse of her dead calf for 17 days this summer along the Pacific Northwest coast.
“As this was going on, I was coming up with the design for this. I had wanted to paint an orca for quite a while,” Wagoner said. “It was a ‘meant-to-be’ moment.”
He won’t disclose how the final mural will look. He likes to keep the mystique going until the end, which should be in about a week.
A second mural by another artist will start soon on a nearby building. The project is funded by events, donations and sponsorships. Art Walk Edmonds is held on the third Thursday of each month at downtown galleries and businesses.
Unlike most other artists, street muralists work under the watchful eyes of passersby.
“The best part is the interaction with the people,” Wagoner said. “You get a lot of good conversations with people you wouldn’t normally talk to. You are doing it for the community. There’s no price tag to seeing a mural on the side of the street.”
Miranda Collins is studio manager at Glazed & Amazed, where people with ordinary artistic talent paint pre-formed pieces of pottery.
“It has been so fun to see it going up. I’ve been running Instagrams on it,” Collins said of the mural. “It’s so eye-catching. People can sit here and see it out the window.”
Renditions will likely end up on plates and platters.
The mural project: www.artwalkedmonds.com.
Follow the artist at www.instagram.com/dkoy1.