Nearly every major city in America has a Black High School rivalry of some kind. In Seattle, you are either a Garfield Bulldog or a Franklin Quaker. Even though we believe the Quaker tag may have been deemed politically incorrect years ago, we’re going to go ahead and make people mad by saying BULLDOGS REIGN! Fight me.
But that’s just an aside to the point we are here to make...the big news is that after years of planning, organizing, lots of cajoling, and fundraising, the Garfield Super Block is taking off! And "what is art-related about that?" you might ask—plenty!
The Super Block encompasses the entire area surrounding the legendary Garfield High School: Medgar Evers Pool, the Quincy Jones Performing Arts Center, Garfield Community Center, the Teen-Life Center, the Tennis Courts, and Garfield Ball Fields. Included in the project is the creation of a pathway entitled "Legacy and Promise Promenade." According to the Garfield Super Block website, the pathway will "integrate art and amenities reflecting the immense cultural diversity and rich history of the Central Area."
Three accomplished Seattle artists will lead the art component for this major improvement project, each bringing a unique perspective and dedication to the history and legacy of the area. Their job over the next few months involves creating a comprehensive plan for the arts at GSB, managing the selection process for individual artists, and ensuring that the community voice is included in this process.
Esther Ervin, MFA, is the project Arts Curator. She is a contemporary visual artist and jeweler having curated over 60 art exhibitions.
Takiyah Ward is an Arts Consultant on the project. She is a noted local painter and performer.
Breyahna “Breeze” Coston also joins the team as an Arts Consultant. Breyahna's artistic background includes work as a muralist, canvas artist, and mixed media.
We’re excited to see these artists leading the charge for the Garfield Super Block improvement project and invite you to learn more about them and the plans by visiting the website and getting involved.
Before we go, we have to include a Super Shout-Out to Robert Stephens, Jr. who has championed this cause for years. Thank you Robert for holding fast to your dream and inviting us all to work toward making this super dream a reality!