South Sound Together is working together with local communities and nonprofits who want to show off and promote their idea of what #LiveLikeTheMountain means. In the past year, you can find murals and large building artwork that feature this message on the University of Washington Tacoma campus, the Washington State History Museum and at American Lake Park in Lakewood.
And make sure you tag us on social media at @south_sound_proud when you take a pic with one of these murals!
University of Washington Tacoma
Credit: Liz Wishaw
As the University of Washington Tacoma resides on tribal land, the university’s arts committee wanted to recognize and honor the language and its people.
On the side of the Walsh Gardner building (look to the left near the staircases heading up the hill from Pacific Avenue), you’ll see a sustainable “cling” featuring the Puyallup Tribal Language of twulshotseed honoring Live Like the Mountain is Out. UW Tacoma worked closely with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians Language Program and South Sound Proud to make this happen. It is meant to honor the fact that we were not here first and that humans have had a relationship with what many call Mount Rainier since time immemorial.
As an educational institution, UWT works to incorporate regional pride as one of the community partners in South Sound Together. “We are blessed by showing a region in which our public university is in its downtown,” says Joshua Knudson, UWT’s Vice Chancellor for Advancement. “And if it is a sunny day, it is looking right at us.”
UWT funded the image, made of a special vinyl material developed by 3M, and it was installed by PrintNW in February 2020. Because the portion of Walsh Gardner fronting on Pacific Avenue is historic, UWT also worked with the City of Tacoma Historic Preservation Office to make sure the installation respected the historic structure.
Washington State History Museum
Courtesy of Washington State Historical Society
Washington State Historical Society decided to go for a ‘retro’ look with its “Make History Like the Mountain is Out” mural at the Washington State History Museum in downtown Tacoma, featuring imagery based on historic Washington State tourism postcards from the WSHS collections.
The mural, which was hung in late December 2020 to face commuters on I-705, uses images from the collections and museum exhibitions to fill the letters comprising the word, history. The images represent a range of historical topics related to our state, says Julianna Verboort, WSHS marketing and communications director. “‘Make History Like the Mountain is Out’ relates to our mission of partnering with our communities to explore how history connects us all. The mountain represents strength, endurance, and fortitude – qualities that were essential as our communities experienced major historic events including COVID-19, the death of George Floyd and a national reckoning with systemic racism, and climate change as exhibited through the massive fires in the summer of 2020.”
“Our communities are connected through those historic experiences, and through the tremendous landscape of Mount Rainier. We’re united by that tremendous snow-capped peak! And when the mountain is out we feel hopeful, inspired, and resilient. That’s what we needed to keep moving forward in 2020 and that’s what will help us continue to restore our communities in 2021,” Verboort says.
South Sound Together partnered with WSHS to fund the project.
American Lake Park
Courtesy of City of Lakewood
Lakewood added the most recent painted mural at American Lake Park. Completed in July, artist Phil Jensen’s rendering reminds viewers to “live like the mountain is out.” You’ll find it on the back wall of the lakefront beach.
Jensen, a muralist and art teacher, created large sketches on multiple pieces of paper then transferred it to the wall, where he treats it like an oil painting. He painted a bold silhouette of Mount Rainier flanked by cascading waterfalls on either side, and “LIVE LIKE THE MOUNTAIN IS OUT” is proclaimed in bold letters above.
“It looks like you are walking through the woods and you have these cascading waters coming down around you,” he says, about the wall’s presence. “That’s the essence of it.”
The City of Lakewood funded the project in partnership with South Sound Together.
And don’t forget our original: The Live Like the Mountain’s Out mural on the side of Craft 19 at 1201 Main St. in Sumner. It is still Instagramable!
Do you know of another great spot that would benefit from our Live Like the Mountain’s Out messaging? Think about the blank walls you pass frequently. Any hidden spots or undiscovered areas? South Sound Together has set aside funds for a few more. Where would you like to see a mural in this region? Let us know by emailing the location, coordinates and photos to [email protected], and we’ll check out all your suggestions.