Local artist brings life to Seattle home office

Mural 2

The Seattle home office got a bit brighter thanks to the creativity of local artist Erin Shigaki.

During a special celebration, the Beacon Development Group (BDG) team unveiled a new mural design located on the concrete entryway of the Seattle home office at the Plaza Roberto Maestas. The mural design, titled Energia de la Comunidid | Community Energy, is a welcoming addition and is indicative of how the Plaza Roberto has become a lively community for all to work and live.

“This project wasn’t about prettying up a concrete wall. It was about where we work and why,” said Lucy Zappone, BDG’s construction technician.

Mural 1The team recently celebrated the unveiling of the new design with local children, who participate in the after-school program held at El Centro de la Raza. The children’s artwork had inspired the final design created by Shigaki, who was commissioned by BDG last summer to create the final design.

“We love that mural; so to meet the kids who helped create the images that inspired the artist made the mural even more special to us,” said Brian Lloyd, vice president of BDG. “It helps keep us connected to this community and to the neighborhood.”

Each child received Crayola art kits in hopes that they would continue to brighten blank canvas with their creativity.

Known as the “Beloved Community,” the Plaza Roberto was designed to be a multicultural hub with affordable housing, retail and office space, classrooms and a center for community events. The Plaza has been home to BDG since 2017.

Last summer, the BDG team decided to revamp the office’s entryway—a blank concrete wall. They wanted it to reflect the work BDG does and highlight the liveliness of the surrounding community. From the start, the team wanted the children in the community and local artists to be involved. BDG teamed up with Beacon Arts to put a call out for local artists.

BDG chose Seattle-native Shigaki, who runs her own design studio Purple Gate Design, based on her experience working with youth on public art projects. As an artist, her focus is creating designs that illustrate belonging, safety and healing; and in 2018, she was selected for the City of Seattle Public Art Boot Camp and Ethnic Art Roster.

Mural 3For the BDG project, Shigaki spent a day working with the children from El Centro and having them illustrate how they show and feel love in their community. She began by leading a thoughtful lesson on community that transitioned into a brainstorming session. The discussion ranged from tacos and gardens to the Seattle Seahawks. The children transformed their ideas into individual pieces of art using magazines, colored pencils and a lot of creativity.

“They were attentive and not afraid to dive in and give expression to their drawings and collages about their communities,” said Shigaki who utilized the children’s artwork as inspiration to create a unique and colorful design for the entryway mural. 

“I hope the mural will provide an opportunity for folks to stop and take a few seconds to really look at colors, shapes, forms and small details,” Shigaki said upon completing the design. “I also hope that folks will get a sense of how vibrant the community is, and how important the El Centro programs are.”


Topics: Affordable Housing, Beacon Development Group, Plaza Roberto Maestas

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