The large, striking Native American murals at Seattle’s Wilson-Pacific campus will be preserved even though the buildings will be demolished to make way for a new elementary and middle school at the site, School Superintendent Jose Banda announced today.
Banda said he met with artist Andrew Morrison a week ago, and the two talked about the murals and the Indian Heritage Middle College, an alternative school that has operated at the Wilson-Pacific site for decades. Morrison, who volunteered at the school, painted the murals over the course of a number of years.
Earlier this year, Morrison said he wouldn’t give the district permission to reproduce the murals, in part because he was upset with how he was treated by school district officials. But Banda said today that Morrison now has agreed to work with the district to figure out a way to reproduce or preserve the murals, which have become a touchstone for the neighborhood and a treasured part of the Indian Heritage program.
Morrison also asked for permission to paint two additional murals, Banda said, and has already completed them.
Banda also displayed a painting that Morrison has donated to the school district — a portrait of the late Robert Eaglestaff, who worked as Indian Heritage’s principal for seven years and was credited with transforming it into a successful academic program.
Morrison was unable to make the school board meeting where Banda made his announcement and displayed Morrison’s donated painting, but Banda passed on a message from Morrison that the painting was from his heart, and was a “peace treaty forever.”