Artists beautifying downtown underpasses

Artists beautifying downtown underpasses

SPOKANE, Wash. - Downtown Spokane should look a little brighter after this summer after several teams of local artists finish beautifying four railroad underpasses.

One downtown mural was painted back in 2000 and it has made it 14 years without really being defaced by vandals. That's the hope with the Wall Street railroad underpass, one of four downtown that will look completely different after the summer.

"We kind of wanted to have nature re-infiltrating this industrial area," Eric Parker said.

Parker is part of a two-person team taking on the Cedar Street underpass. His mission is simple: "Beautify, deter graffiti and generate a drawing that really responds to the pre-existing space."

"This is our community too, so we want to keep it nice," Todd Benson said.

The Maple Street underpass is the biggest project brothers Todd and Cain Benson have ever signed up for

"We are going to be here for at least a month, we got the other side of the street to do too and there is color to come but we should have her done in a month or so," Todd Benson said.

They love the fact something they're doing is making the community a prettier place and understand what filling this blank walls will mean to fight graffiti.

"It does, it reduces the people that want to tag it if they do they come along the sides of it and not really on the piece," Cain Benson said.

"We have found that respect is shown in a way and in general they leave it alone," his brother Todd added.

Shannon Halberstadt of Spokane Arts said the downtown murals project is an all around win.

"An amazing opportunity for the artists to showcase their work and for us as the public to really see what is happening in the art world in Spokane," she said.

"We consider it an honor and we are just thankful that we have had the opportunity to partake in this whole thing," Todd Benson said.

And while artists like the Benson brothers admit that sharing their entire process with drivers by can be a little unnerving, they couldn't be happier to be a part of this.

"It is cool. It's fun to share it with them all and it is a little intimidating to do it but it's a blast a lot of people support you and a lot of honks," Cain Benson said.