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Murals popping up around Ballard, Fremont

Posted by Geeky Swedes on August 12th, 2008

You may have seen one of the new murals appearing around the neighborhood over the last three weeks, like this one on 45th and Leary.

There’s also one at 15th and Holman Road. On the Triangle Lounge in Fremont. At the Episcopal Bookstore along Stone Way. At Walt’s Automotive on 45th in Wallingford. One in Sodo. And this one on 49th, just east of the Ballard Bridge.

It’s all the work of talented artist Ryan Henry Ward, who took a quick break from his work to pose in front of his latest mural. He said he would whip up a mural for just about any business that asked for one. And in many cases, he’s doing it for free. (Although he said the Triangle paid him in beer.) “We think it looks terrific and brightens the commercial portion of our street,” writes John from the Episcopal Bookstore. (See photos of that mural here.)

When we caught up with Ward, he was even painting a mural on this truck. He said he’s doing it to get his name out there, as well as discourage graffiti. If you like Ward’s work, you can see his paintings at the Orange Splot Gallery in Fremont. And if you’d like to contact him about a mural, email him at ryan@lucibelle.com. After all, Ward says his goal is to paint 50 murals in different neighborhoods across Seattle. (Thanks John for the tip!)

Tags: Ballard · Fremont   Share

17 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 dylandylan // Aug 16, 2009 at 7:29 am

    Ryan Henry Ward is not talented, sorry. I hate seeing this ugly crap everywhere. Bring on the graffiti. Could you make your name any bigger? it might as well be an enigmatic ad campaign for a soft drink, or graffiti for fuck's sake. If I see another one of these paintings driving around on a car, truck or bus, or covering another wall, I'm going to puke. And all you yuppie/hippie Seattlite assholes (yes, you're all every one of those things, posers) with no taste need to stop glorifying it. grow a brain, please. Oh i forgot, you can't :-/ I'm not saying the guy is a bad person, or what he's doing isn't totally, mundanely normal, I'm just saying it sucks and everyone who likes it so much has bad taste. If any asshole can grab a can of cheap paint and draw on everybody's shit, why don't you all do it so we can at least see a little less Henry.

  • 2 ballardmike // Aug 28, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    You are a dick.

  • 3 dylandylan // Aug 29, 2009 at 6:02 am

    I won't dispute that here. Gotta balance out the sappy brown-nosing sheep somehow. There are 3 types of people. Best to be the one you described me as.

  • 4 anon1234 // Sep 12, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    I'm also tired of seeing that shit everywhere. I have lived here all my life so I don't appreciate the generalization that we're all hippie yuppie assholes. Most of those dicks (Ryan Henry Ward is from somewhere up north I think) moved here from someplace else, as I'm assuming you did, and brought their bullshit with them in much the same way you have.
    I do agree that it doesn't take a whole lot of talent to create some of that stuff and I don't see how people can dismiss even the best graff art out of hand while they fall all over themselves to have this douche paint his doodles on their houses.
    If I walked into any elementary school anywhere in the city at any time of day I bet I could find similar crayon drawings in the garbage.
    Henry, please stop already.

  • 5 dylandylan // Sep 12, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    sorry, i only meant the ones brown-nosing henry :) word up.

  • 6 dylandylan // Sep 12, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    I tried saying this out loud in a way more constructive way, (yes, i know this was rude. Social experiement, sry for the offensive language) and I actually got shot down way more… people either dismiss it or dont say shit when you rant. but if you have something constructive to say they try to tear you apart, and they make shit up to make you feel wrong about your opinion. this first guy certainly doesn't have 2 phd's (he can't form sentences, uses very obvious, general descriptions…) and the other is certainly smokin' something… i mean, he assumes many many things about who I am, and is completely off target.

    check it out:

    http://www.phinneywood.com/2008/08/23/by-henry-

    apparently we are bad people for not liking someone who is less than average at what he does… and somehow henry is this hero painter, on the cutting edge… of suck…….

  • 7 Nathan // Sep 15, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Well I dont like henry's stuff either, but to say he sucks and has no talent is very uninformed and reactionary. He is great at what he does. He has style and captures something no one else is in seattle. My father who is an art proffessor absolutely loves it. I just like the historical murals better, ones that actually capture the history of our forfathers. I would suggest to people that critisize to be very well educated and have a body of their own work that is superior to who they obviously hate. I dont like Dale Chihuley either, but to say he has no talent and sucks is a very uninteresting point of view.

  • 8 Name // Sep 30, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    I gotta agree – without a doubt this is bad art. Big, bad art. Poor seattle!

  • 9 mike // Oct 8, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    dylan sucks. I know him personally and hes just an ignorant hick.

  • 10 Heather // May 12, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I love Henry’s work. You are all taking this to seriously! This art is meant to bring out your inner child which I m sad that you have all lost! Use your time more constructivly and start praising people instead of trying to tear them down. This is a free country so you have the right to look away when you don’t like an individuals viewpoint. Give the guy some credit! He devotes himself to volunteering much of his time for free! If you can do better than that then let’s see your work on display for free! I doubt you would give such a gift to your city for Free!!!

  • 11 Nathan // Jun 22, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Today I spotted Henry painting yet another mural on someone’s fence on 8th Avenue. I am sorry but this whole thing is awful. technically as a painter Henry is not at all good. In fact he is downright bad. He cannot paint worth a spit. And to counter the guy whose Dad the art professor loves him I will up the ante by stating that I have a PhD in Art History and am a professional photographer. So he can’t paint. I’ve said it. And in his feeble attempts to paint these murals his work is simplistic, repetitive, and just boring. It is not child like or even outsider art. It is just the spewing forth of the same tired crap again and again. Finally, to those people who have had him work in their space shame on you. Where is your sense of community and aesthetic pride. Not only are these monstrosities simplistic crap painted badly but their presence completely counters the rest of the aesthetic of the larger spaces they are found in. This has got to stop. As a Ballard resident and one who unfortunately lives on a street that sports four murals now and two cars I feel insulted and aesthetically traumatized every time I leave my house. Please for god sake someone tell this guy he really truly cannot paint. Or else at least ship him off to Capital Hill or something. I think he has done damage here on the north end.

  • 12 Heather // Jun 24, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Get a life people. Ryan is a jewel! Obviously you don’t realize what an amazing being he is. And for the record I am an artist as well. Stop being so damn serious. The art is playful and fun. It brings out you inner child. Sto being a curmudgeon!!!

  • 13 SeattleLibrarian // Jul 5, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Modern art is subjective. I may only have a minor in Art History but even I understand that.
    I find people who call a piece of work terrible or badly painted (or says someone can’t paint) to be simplistic. Your opinion is not fact.

    You can say you don’t like something but that doesn’t mean that because you don’t like it the work is bad.

  • 14 pam // Jul 9, 2010 at 11:26 am

    I like his art work. I like graffiti. I appreciate people’s expressions in creative formats. I am glad you can express yourselves openly here. I’d rather see art work of some format on the fences, buildings and other places instead of the drab colors and textures they normally are. Please, all of you, go out and express yourselves on the canvasses this city provides us during our minuscule existence on this planet.

  • 15 patrick // Dec 27, 2010 at 5:53 am

    henrys paintings arnt supposed to be like the damn mona lisa. there suposed to be fun. so calm down and look at his funny, enjoying art. thanks ryan.

  • 16 patrick // Dec 27, 2010 at 5:54 am

    oh and the tombstone at ballard bowl would be sick, i skate myself

  • 17 Alyssa // Dec 1, 2016 at 10:36 am

    I too hate seeing this shit everywhere. It’s cartoon-y junk. His cartoon ‘art’ is so out of place in such a beautiful, historical city abundant in antique architecture, charm, and lush greenery. To have art that is ‘playful’ and ‘fun’ on a building that has weathered the burdens of time simply does not ‘flow.’
    I feel anything but inspired when I stare at a cartoon octopus painting on an otherwise gorgeous Victorian home.

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