News and Features

Artist creates crowd-sourced mural along Kirkland trail

Jake “DKoy” Wagoner works on the mural Monday. The mural Wagoner is creating is titled “What is…” and prompts the community to answer questions such as, “What is life?” or “What is love?”  - Megan Campbell/staff photo
Jake “DKoy” Wagoner works on the mural Monday. The mural Wagoner is creating is titled “What is…” and prompts the community to answer questions such as, “What is life?” or “What is love?”
— image credit: Megan Campbell/staff photo

Underneath Northeast 85th Street along the Cross Kirkland Corridor, there’s a wall that Jake “DKoy” Wagoner has had his eye on for three or four years.

Now, Wagoner, 38, finally had his chance to create something on this wall, thanks to a city of Kirkland public art project that will be unveiled Sept. 9.

The interactive mural, titled “What is…,” involves community involvement and asks the public to add their thoughts to the wall, prompted by questions like, “What is love?,” “What is happiness?,” “What is family?” and “What is beauty?”

“I would think that people think about happiness, love and family on a regular basis, at least I do,” Wagoner said. “Who doesn’t want to fall in love or be happy?”

He said he wanted to create something that tries to “get people to kind of just stop” and enjoy, he said.

The public also added their answers to the interactive community mural displayed along the corridor earlier in August.

Wagoner said he knows the mural has made people feel good.

“I see smiles on their faces when they’re writing,” he said. “It’s been a really positive experience.”

The portion where community members added their answers to the various prompts makes up about a third of the mural. A large American Goldfinch, the state’s bird, perched on a branch with flowers underneath takes up most of the right side of the wall. Graphic designs fill the surrounding spaces.

“We’re seeking to make this a true reflection of Kirkland,” Wagoner said in a news release. “By involving the community and memorializing their expressions in the artwork, we believe we can do that.”

The Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission selected Wagoner and Mike Lucero during a call to artists to install the large format mural and “to create an ephemeral, community art project that celebrated the CKC, reflected Kirkland as a community and engaged the community throughout the project,” according to a city press release.

“In 2016 the city approved the Cross Kirkland Corridor Art Integration plan, and we are delighted to see it start to come to life,” commission chair Ryan James said in the release. “This is a great opportunity for the public to participate in art that celebrates the interim trail.”

The mural, made possible with funding from 4Culture, unveiled during the “Crossing Kirkland” event, where neighborhoods will come together for the first city-wide block party. The Cross Kirkland Corridor is a 10-foot-wide, 5.75-mile trail through the heart of Kirkland. It is the first improved section of the Eastside Rail Corridor.


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