West Seattle scene: New Junction-area mural

June 16, 2014 at 10:48 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 18 Comments

Thanks to Chris at West Side Music Academy on the north end of The Junction for sharing a photo of the new art on their wall at 42nd and Dakota:

I thought people might get a kick out of this mural that local artist Andrew Miller painted for us last week. Note the “WS Junction Loves You” on the right side… Andrew does this in all his WS murals.

If anyone is still looking for summer activities for their kids, we still have room in some of our music camps and rock band classes.

WSMA is at 42nd/Dakota.

18 Comments

  1. This makes my heart smile. Thank you!

    Comment by Garden _nymph — 11:49 am June 16, 2014 #

  2. GN, I agree…love this :)

    Comment by JanS — 1:31 pm June 16, 2014 #

  3. I love all the murals! They add so much personality to WS. And some tell the history of the area.

    Are there any plans to renovate the existing ones in the Alaska Junction neighborhood? Many (all?) are starting to fade into oblivion.

    Comment by wssz — 1:52 pm June 16, 2014 #

  4. But you do know that someone else owns the licensing rights for Muppets? I am surprised to see an artist who isn’t aware (or doesn’t care about) such issues. Why not make original art?
    .
    I do love public art, and murals. And the Muppets are one of my most favorite things in the world. But loving the Muppets doesn’t give me the right to use them to promote my business.

    Comment by Community Member — 3:52 pm June 16, 2014 #

  5. CM, I unfortunately don’t have time at the moment to try to contact Jim Henson’s estate or anyone else to ask. Googling around, I see a number of well-publicized Muppet murals, and I would hope that if they minded, they would have pursued legal action. As a fervent defender of copyright protection – and a writer/publisher who goes rabidly against thieves, even of simple things we publish – I am not saying that makes it right or condoned, but I am guessing that question might have been settled long ago. I’ll take another look around later; first we have to go see (I’m not making this up) about some goats … TR

    Comment by WSB — 4:33 pm June 16, 2014 #

  6. Makes me feel happy, I see it as more of a tribute to something awesome (kinda like the rock-afire explosion.. ahem) and hopefully the Henson’s would be happy to know their work spread happiness and maybe even encouraged a kid to engage in art/music.
    .
    Community Buzzkill! (I kid, but still).

    Comment by Jason — 4:58 pm June 16, 2014 #

  7. I thought of the Rockafire mural immediately.

    Comment by WSB — 5:16 pm June 16, 2014 #

  8. Community Member: I wondered the same thing and I’m grateful to see someone else articulating a concern for intellectual property rights. What’s a buzzkill is any artist squandering an opportunity to do something new and original. Personally, I’d feel better knowing that this was done with the approval of the studio that developed and owns the rights to these characters.

    Comment by cjboffoli — 6:27 pm June 16, 2014 #

  9. Honestly I’d agree with you cjboffoli and community member if we were talking about maybe Disney Frozen characters or something or even more if we were talking about some unknown operation where there was some confusion about who the original artist was. It just seems like a nice little tribute to the love of music to me, it’s not like the guy is out building a puppet theater with kermit the frog – but I see where you’re coming from, mainly because they are using these characters on the side of a business but it seems innocent and without bad intentions.
    .
    I’m not sure why painting characters is considered so unoriginal though. While the subject may be the work of someone else, the painting of them is original and artistic. It’s like saying Andy Warhol shouldn’t have painted a can of soup because campbell’s originally designed the label.

    Comment by Jason — 8:16 pm June 16, 2014 #

  10. It’s a fun and energetic mural on private property where most of us will never see it. I’m glad they shared it.

    Comment by A — 6:27 am June 17, 2014 #

  11. fair use – parody – art

    odd that some people first response to seeing this art is copyright

    nobody needs the approval of anybody to paint a picture of puppets.

    did campbell soup sue andy warhol. Boffoli, was warhol a hack because he didn’t make up his own original can brand name?

    smh

    Comment by steve — 12:07 pm June 17, 2014 #

  12. I make my living through visual art and have my own copyrights constantly infringed, so I don’t find it odd to be concerned when so-called “artists” are reproducing (and potentially profiting from) the intellectual property of others. And intention doesn’t have anything to do with it.
    .
    There is a difference between an artist creating a new or derivative work of art that includes objects from the real world (such as Warhol’s soup cans or even his use of the iconic Mobilgas Pegasus) and a muralist reproducing copyrighted characters. The mural is certainly not a parody and it is not protected under Fair Use.
    .
    National brands have already done so much to aesthetically dumb down this country and to take away the uniqueness inherent to different places. There are so many talented artists who live in West Seattle and such an infinite number of fresh ideas that I think it is always better to support something new and original.

    Comment by cjboffoli — 1:05 pm June 17, 2014 #

  13. This is a small business dedicating their own wall to beautifying the community. I love and appreciate it. What parent doesn’t see Animal and think of their own kid at the drums banging away? This is adorably playful.

    Comment by evergreen — 1:13 pm June 17, 2014 #

  14. cjboffoli remember me not to invite you to anything fun.

    someone paint a joint onto the mural, then its a legal parody right? Perhaps if they added ‘f the police’ to one of the shirts, or put 666 mark of the beast on the main character’s head.

    other than animal, can anybody give us the name of these oh-so-copyright protected characters?

    you say national brands are dumbing down the country, therefore this folk arty mural is a travesty?

    its a mural of bad puppets from the 70s. infinite number of fresh ideas? “uniqueness of special places?”

    Its the backside of an ugly building. The mind boggles.

    Comment by steve — 3:47 pm June 17, 2014 #

  15. Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. Dr Teeth, Janice, Animal, Lips, Janice, Sgt Floyd Pepper, and of course Zoot.
    .
    I understand that many people view the mural as charming or delightful, and don’t see anything wrong with it. That’s not an unreasonable point of view, and If you feel that way you don’t need to change your views. But the charm doesn’t change whether or not the characters are copyrighted. A million people could love the mural, and it wouldn’t alter the characters’ copyright status or change whether or not the mural is infringing.
    .
    It would be different if the mural showed something derivative, like showing the band watching the Hi-Yu parade, or kids watching the band on TV. Instead it’s just a scene of a music group.
    .
    Jason says he’d see it differently if they were Disney Frozen characters. I don’t understand why that would be different? These muppets are in a popular movie currently showing at the Admiral, and Disney owns the rights. Seems pretty similar, actually.
    .
    Evergreen points out that it is a small business, and that is true, but courts haven’t generally recognized a different set of copyright rules for small businesses. Generally, courts say that if it wouldn’t be okay for a big company to use the characters without a license, then it also isn’t okay for a small business. And it IS a business – this isn’t art beautifying a park-and-ride or something, it is musical picture on the side of a music business, promoting music business.
    .

    Comment by Community Member — 5:42 pm June 17, 2014 #

  16. Oh puh-leeez. Is this really how the conversation should go? Lighten up, people! Appreciate the good side of human nature rather than looking for petty violations all the time. These are your neighbors. They aren’t making animal their logo, it’s just a mural!

    Comment by evergreen — 8:27 pm June 17, 2014 #

  17. evergreen: If they had painted that wall with stolen paint would you still insist we focus on congratulating them for improving the wall? The end doesn’t justify the means. The fact is that the Muppets characters are a registered trademark of The Muppets Studio and are protected under federal copyright laws. This isn’t a petty matter for anyone who respects another artist’s copyrights. Anytime someone takes and replicates someone else’s idea without permission, it cheapens the value of visual art and deprives us all of new, original ideas. The fact that our laws take copyright matters seriously is one of the main reasons that the US is a creative powerhouse. I’m sorry to harsh anyone’s vibe but welcome to the adult world.

    Comment by cjboffoli — 2:34 pm June 18, 2014 #

  18. Adults should be developmentally capable of seeing the various shades of grey of a situation and don’t interpret every minor issue in terms of black and white. Seriously, take a step back and gain some perspective here. And have a lovely day.

    Comment by evergreen — 9:20 pm June 18, 2014 #

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