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Disappearing Ballard is focus of artist’s collection

Posted by Geeky Swedes on June 9th, 2010

As pieces of Ballard’s history began slipping away, artist Lina Raymond had to paint them. “I painted it because ‘it’ wouldn’t let me be until I did,” she tells us.

Acrylic & pencil on wood. Published with permission.

In her art, Raymond shows the closing or changing of many Ballard establishments including Denny’s, Ballard Camera and Epilogue Books. Edith Macefield, the woman who refused to sell her home to developers, is also honored in Raymonds work with several pieces showing the construction of the Ballard Blocks building going up around her home.

Acrylic & pencil on wood. Published with permission.

“Years ago I lost a beloved business and it was devastating,” she says, “It was going back to painting that finally got me through it. But witnessing as an observer (of changing Ballard), is very different. I had to paint-it-out to get my head around it. And, I think it felt like an affectionate remembrance and farewell. Just had to do it.” Raymond’s artwork is on display and for sale at Portalis Wines (5205 Ballard Ave) through the month of July.

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21 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 The Norwegian // Jun 9, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Yup, it aint my grandmas Ballard any longer. But hey, somebody has to cater to the wonderful condo inhabitants. Just imagine what can happen when/if this eceonomy picks up a bit. Yeesh. Do we really want to resemble the bay area? Really? Nice that she can hopefully cut a check doing this now.

  • 2 ElizabethElaine // Jun 9, 2010 at 11:24 am

    They are beautiful paintings! Will she be selling prints?

  • 3 anonymous // Jun 9, 2010 at 11:24 am

    @The Norwegian: I don’t know of anywhere that is unaffected by time.

  • 4 Avatar of Geeky Swedes // Jun 9, 2010 at 11:37 am

    ElizabethElaine – Yes, her prints are for sale. I’ve updated the post to reflect that. -Kate

  • 5 Steve // Jun 9, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Ballard, apart from all the new condos, is a much better place now than when I moved here years ago.

    Everything changes Norwegian dude, even memory….

  • 6 gurple // Jun 9, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Matt Bazemore (mattbazemore.com) is another local artist who does a lot of paintings of Ballard buildings. We’ve got a lovely Ballard Ave painting of his in our living room.

  • 7 The Mayor // Jun 9, 2010 at 11:54 am

    never thought i would be a wine bar but im gonna have to go and pick one of these paintings up! nice work

  • 8 Name // Jun 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Steve says Ballard “is a much better place now than when I moved here years ago.”

    This astonishes me, and I could not disagree more.

    The only things that I see that anyone could possibly point to as an “improvement” in Ballard – lots and lots of new bars and some generally expensive restaurants – don’t interest or impress me much. But what we’ve lost is so much more valuable than a few places to go get hammered – Ballard was a nice, safe, quiet, pleasant place to live up until a few years ago. Not anymore.

    Ballard as the new Belltown is not what I want, but it seems to be what we’re being forced to accept.

    I’ve lived here roughly a generation. I bought my house here because of the kind of neighborhood that Ballard was 10 or even just 5 years ago. Now it seems completely different. Yes, things change. But they do not have to change for the worse, which is what has happened.

    Ballard is no longer a neighborhood that I would choose to live in – far from it, it’s exactly the kind of neighborhood I wanted to avoid wen I moved here.

    I am heartbroken over what has been done to Ballard. It makes me very sad to see myself starting to think about moving somewhere else.

  • 9 elle // Jun 9, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    name: how does this astonish you? you are entitled to your opinion and so is steve. i could think of some opinions that are astonishing and liking ballard is not one of them. i find going on neighborhood websites to talk about how much you hate the neighborhood astonishing. move on already!

  • 10 Edog // Jun 9, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Name – There are many much much much much worse land use atrocities than what has happened to Ballard. I appreciate your perspective, but I so sick and tired of this old vs. new thing. Really I am. Its time to either move on, or move out. Your lament is starting to remind me of the old southerner who romantically remembers the northern invasion. Its not like someone tore up an old farm with acres and acres of fertile land, paved it, and turned it into a strip mall. For what its worth, there is no neighborhoods this close to a prosperous city that has not faced these kinds of pressure anywhere in the country. Granted, Ballard has endured more intense change than some other areas, but what has happened here is not so bad. Maybe its not they way it was five, ten, or twenty years ago, but if you sit in that mindset for two long, you’ll end up one of those bitter boring old people who does nothing but sit in their rocker and remind everyone else how great it used to be. Next stop OLD CODGERS HOME!

  • 11 Steve // Jun 9, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Ballard when I moved roughly a generation ago
    did not resembe the above remarks. Lots of run down houses. Plenty of bars with lots of drunks. Even homeless people(remember that flop house over Jones Meat?).

    It was a dull place. That is my remembrance of course, but I am not alone.

    I do miss a few things like Olsen’s deli, but I’ve learned to adapt to change….

  • 12 Chirpy // Jun 9, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I love “new” Ballard. And apparently so do all the people who flock to our commercial district on the weekends.
    I moved to Ballard from the U-District in 2001 and was (and still am) impressed by the sense of community and pride.
    I also keep my door locked and don’t walk alone late at night. I live in a city after-all!

  • 13 Sparkle // Jun 9, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Change is the only constant. Saw that on a tee shirt the other day.

  • 14 zipper // Jun 9, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    I don’t know what Name is talking about, Ballard is far safer than it used to be in my estimation. I go back 20+ years and I remember more creeps than now.

    Does any one remember the “Ballard cat Murderer” circa 1990ish? It was quite the media frenzy…a story on the local news almost every night for a bit…

  • 15 name // Jun 9, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    I agree. It seems safe to me too.

    Just because people bought houses and condos here, dont expect us all to suddenly dress in REI outfits, so we are not accused of being homeless by you.

    Ballards fine. If you dont like it, go back to Kirkland. Your real estate agent sold a bill of goods about what Ballard was. Not our problem. Its not Kirkland, never was, and never will be.

  • 16 Bark more, Wag less // Jun 9, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    “expensive restaurants”

    Expensive to who, you? I find them very reasonable. I guess everything is relative.

  • 17 mamaC // Jun 9, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    I love this neighborhood. Great sense of community compared to the ‘burbs from whence I hail.

  • 18 snoopy // Jun 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    hey name, no one is forcing you to accept anything. fight for change or pack up and hit the road.

    I love ballard. the sushi, the bars, the bums, and the yuppies!

  • 19 ballardsucka#275 // Jun 10, 2010 at 11:30 am

    what’s ballard?

  • 20 Tomas // Jun 11, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Rarely do I have art “speak” to me, but these did. I bought the Epilogue painting last night, I’m thrilled!!!

    (It’ll stay on display thru the duration of the exhibit so you’ll be able to see it in person, if you head over)

  • 21 no meato burrito // Jun 15, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    I find it curious how the artist didn’t also do a painting showing the disappearing bombed out vacant lot surrounding Edith’s house before Ballard Blocks went up. I bet a lot of people miss all the trash, rubble and abandoned cars that littered that block for upwards of ten years. Ballard will never be the same without all that blight.

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