Three 4’x8′ community art murals will be available for painting by all who wish to paint in a FREE event this weekend – July 14-16, 2023 – during Kent Cornucopia Days in downtown Kent.
Organized by the Community and Friends of Seattle-Tacoma Pet Cemetery, the mural project is designed to engage the community and celebrate the landmarking of the 2-acre historic Seattle-Tacoma Pet Cemetery est. 1950, a new King County Landmark (2022).
The Pop Art-inspired mural design concept was created by Susan Bagrationoff, Owner and Artist at Artsy Fartsy Art Lessons. Six unique and beloved animals will be featured on the murals. Those who would like to paint just need to stop by their booth during Kent Cornucopia Days. Artsy Fartsy Art Lessons (Studio) is located at 218 West Meeker Street. Painting hours are Friday–Saturday, 7/14-15 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and on Sunday, 7/16 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The historic Seattle-Tacoma Pet Cemetery (aka Pet Haven Cemetery, Seattle Pet Cemetery) is located at 23646 Military Road South in urban unincorporated South King County on Kent’s West Hill. Humans, pets, K-9 Officers and other service animals including Guide Dogs for the Blind and Visually Impaired are all interred here, some as whole families, coming from King County and beyond. In addition to King County Landmark designation, the historic cemetery was deemed officially eligible for entry in the National Register of Historic Places (2022). One of their significant beloved interments is internationally famous “Little Tyke”, a gentle vegetarian lioness who was born at Tacoma’s Pt. Defiance Zoo and lived her life on an Auburn Ranch. She refused to eat meat and ate grains, milk, and eggs.
The intercultural community of cemetery patrons, residents and the community at large, together with their Architectural and Public Historian Sarah Martin at SJM Cultural Resource Services, received a prestigious award this Spring for their successful landmarking efforts last year to preserve and protect this significant cultural resource, the Association of King County Historical Organizations‘ (AKCHO) “Charles Payton Award for Heritage Advocacy”. The group is in good company for their diligent advocacy. The previous year’s award was given to WA State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and his office for saving the National Archives facility in Seattle from an illegal land use sale.
The landmarking effort was funded by a 4Culture “Preservations Special Project Grant” in 2021 for the project, “King County Landmark Nomination for Historic Seattle Pet Cemetery.”
The Community and Friends of Seattle-Tacoma Pet Cemetery has also been awarded the King County Local Services “Alan M. Painter Community Engagement Grant” in 2022 and 2023, the Kent Community Foundation “Arts and Education Grant” in 2023, and the City of Kent Arts Commission “Give Me Culture Grant” in 2022, as well as generous donations from local businesses to fund their community art mural project: Miller Paint Burien, Alki Lumber, Stewart Lumber, REI Tukwila (Southcenter), A-K Printing, Home Depot Federal Way, and others.
The final murals will be displayed right next to the historic Seattle-Tacoma Pet Cemetery on Kent’s West Hill with easy viewing from Military Road South just a hop off I-5.
Following the painting event, the Community and Friends of Seattle-Tacoma Pet Cemetery are hosting a FREE mural dedication party event on Wed 8/9 at 4:30p-6:30p right next to the historic pet cemetery. All are invited to view the final murals on display first at the dedication party. The event celebrates the community’s successful landmarking efforts and the new King County Landmark in urban unincorporated South King County. This will be a happy hour open house! Food and live music are planned – you won’t want to miss. For more information and updates, please see the Community and Friends of Seattle-Tacoma Pet Cemetery Facebook Page.
This community art mural project with two FREE events will be a fun and unique way to support historic and cultural preservation and the arts and connect with fellow community members, animal lovers, and artists in King County and beyond.
“Animals are a gift from above for they truly define the words unconditional love.”
― Heather Wolf, Kipnuk Has a Birthday
Julie Seitz is the Team Contact for this project organized by the Community and Friends of Seattle-Tacoma Pet Cemetery.