WEST SEATTLE ART: The story behind a new mural on Alki Point

That new mural on Alki Point is on private property, but publicly visible, and today we got to meet the artist. We found out about Elise Waelder‘s project from her uncle, Danny McMillin (who has shared some wonderful bird photos with WSB over the years). She’s painting it on the west-facing side of his garage in memory of her mom, Danny’s sister Mitzi McMillin, who had been planning to move from San Diego to Seattle before cancer took her life.

While you can see most of the mural if you’re biking, walking, skating, driving eastbound on Alki Avenue in the 3100 block, you won’t see the part above, which wraps around the garage’s southwest corner into a small private courtyard. Elise is an accomplished artist but this is the biggest mural she’s done, and she’s been visiting from California the past week-plus to paint it:

She’s on deadline to finish the mural – Saturday she heads back to San Diego, and not long after that, she’s moving cross-country to Long Island to pursue an art career full-time. You can see more of her work on Instagram.

P.S. Her mom had deep West Seattle roots, as does Danny, who tells us Mitzi was a 1974 West Seattle High School graduate “who almost singlehandedly led the WSHS girls’ Track and Field team to a state championship” that year, and later won a national pentathlon championship while studying at the University of Southern California.

10 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE ART: The story behind a new mural on Alki Point"

  • Danny McMillin August 10, 2019 (12:59 am)

    Thank you WSB!! And thanks to all who stopped by and gave words of encouragement to Elise. Lastly, thank you to the Benham Paint Company of West Seattle for  putting on the base coat and the gear they loaned us.Sincerely,Danny McMillin

  • Steve and Mary August 10, 2019 (6:58 am)

    This is an awesome mural Elise. Thanks for sharing Uncle Danny!

  • Mark Won August 10, 2019 (7:44 am)

    It’s simply brilliant.  As a neighbor who walks by daily it exudes good energy and warmth.  I briefly complimented and thanked the artist as the mural evolved.  Thank you for contributing to the good neighborhood vibes of Alki!

  • Randy Ambrozic August 10, 2019 (8:52 am)

    Mitzi is hands down the greatest woman athlete in West Seattle High School history. A fitting memorial. Awesome!

  • Leo August 10, 2019 (9:03 am)

    This is a beautiful gift to the neighborhood!

  • LK August 10, 2019 (12:06 pm)

    Fantastic mural, what a beautiful way to commemorate your loved one…well done!

  • Jaci Smith Patman August 10, 2019 (5:32 pm)

    Lovely and moving. I can’t wait to see it. Benham paint, what a wonderful community contribution. Elise – what a wonderful tribute. Jaci Smith Patman

  • Colleen Nohl August 11, 2019 (9:27 am)

    A lovely tribute!

  • Jo David August 12, 2019 (2:39 am)

    Kudos and blessings to all who shared their art and reporting here. This makes me so proud to be a member of of our supportive West Seattle arts community here. Cheers! <3 

  • Paul Cozens August 20, 2019 (4:10 pm)

    Great tribute to a great athlete and friend.

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