Artists Beautify Downtown Olympia with Murals on Boarded Up Storefronts

Artists on Board

The Olympia Artspace Alliance and the Olympia Downtown Alliance, in partnership with the City, will roll out a plan called “Artists on Board” in the coming weeks for artists to beautify the boarded up exteriors of some downtown businesses. Exile Tattoo on Legion Way, Olympia Tattoo on Capitol Way, the former Mills & Mills Funeral Home location on Franklin Street, Cryptatropa on Fourth Avenue and a space in the 700 block of Fourth Avenue that was once a cafe will all receive some creative upgrades using the talent of local artists!

We’ll be featuring “Meet the Artist” profiles over the next several weeks to introduce you to the talented and creative local artists who are helping beautify downtown with this unique project!

Carrie Ziegler Art

An expert at guiding and implementing large-scale participatory art installations and murals, Carrie Ziegler’s focus is empowerment and science education through the lens of collaborative art projects. As a speaker, Carrie brings collaborative art projects directly to conferences and workshops, sharing inspiring and educational stories while engaging participants in the creation process. She is also commissioned for interior and exterior murals and sculptures for homes, businesses, government agencies, non-profits, and educational institutions, using various styles, from decorative to whimsical to sophisticated. Carrie specializes in environmental, nature-oriented, and social justice art. Learn more about Carrie here.

"Transforming Together" mural is located at Sizisis at 707 4th Ave E.

Daniel Lovre, Resident Artist - Exile Tatoo

Daniel is a classical painter, sculptor and tattoo artist who recently moved to Olympia after calling Seattle home for 15 years. He has fallen in love with the culture and landscape of Olympia and his love for classical technique informs his still life paintings, charcoal portraits, marble sculptures and black and grey realism tattoo work. “I know from personal experience that art heals and unites. It’s important now as in any time of struggle to show the beauty in our community. Art can remind us that in the time of isolation and great loss that we still have so much to appreciate. For part of the mural, I chose animals specific to our region that possess great strength and calm dispositions. I’m very grateful to be part of this project and to help brighten up a beautiful, historic building downtown,” says Lovre.

Lovre's mural will be hanging at the corner of 525 Washington St. SE and Legion facing the park at the Exile Tattoo shop and Olympian barber shop.
Lovre can be reached through Instagram at @daniellovre or for art requests.

Mimi Williams Art

“I was delighted to be asked to participate in “Artists On Board” for a couple of reasons. I am a huge fan of Downtown Olympia and love public art. The murals and sculptures in Olympia elevate the cityscape adding color and an artistic dimension. Also, the decision to paint on the boarded up windows was brilliant because we want to support the businesses during the temporary closures.

I chose to create an image inspired by Corita Kent, a contemporary of Andy Warhol, who used inspiring words and images in her public art. The title of my piece is, “Flowers Grow Out of the Dark.” Primarily I work in printmaking so this project of painting two eight foot pieces of plywood was really challenging and very fun!” See more artwork here.

"Flowers Grow Out of the Dark" is located at: Cheeky Martini Bar in the Security Building 203 E 4th Ave

Julie Simpson - Artist

“As a textile artist and mixed media painter, I was inspired to create a bright, abstract mural capturing the beauty of spring and summer in the Pacific Northwest – a giant hummingbird to welcome brighter days ahead. I hope the colors in this piece titled “NECTAR” bring you joy and wonder, as well as inspiration to cultivate creativity during this time.


Thanks to Northwest Paint and Supply (4th and Eastside) for the donation of recycled paint for this mural!”

"Nectar" is located at: Olympia Hotel 116 Legion Way across from Sylvester Park

Carl Smool - Artist and Artists on Board Project Manager

“As the manager for the Artists on Board project I was deeply immersed in mural artwork. As the project drew to a close, it was suggested that I paint a mural. After considerable thought, I came up with an idea based upon a mosaic that I had made in 2014 at Seattle Mosaic Arts. The mosaic was inspired by a textile motif that I had included in a public art project for Sound Transit at the Beacon Hill Light Rail Station in Seattle titled “Common Threads ~ Community Patterns,” representing the diverse community in South East Seattle.

I represented 55 cultures from around the world by using traditional textile motifs that would be sand blasted into 2’x2’ granite paving stones. For the mosaic I selected an embroidery motif from Ethiopia. I modified the mosaic to fit the boarded storefront at Sorry Mom Ink on 4th Avenue in downtown Olympia. Painting on OSB boards took a little over a week.

Now I am working on the original project that I was hired for, the Coordinator for Art in Olympia Storefronts that includes four installations at the old Olympia Fed building at 4th and Capitol; the installations should be completed by the 1st week of July. Over the course of a lengthy career I have worked on numerous similar projects.” For more information visit:

"Mosaic Mural", Sorry Mom Ink, 307 4th Ave E

Yelizaveta Bakhtina (Liza) - Artist

“My inspiration comes from the things that I hold dear and that help me make it day to day in this place. They say to wear the textiles of your culture, or to have objects around your home or in your pocket that are dear to you is good karmically. Art is so important. Art nurtures our souls as our minds and bodies. The parameters for this project were only that it should be “upbeat.” I am fortunate and thankful that the City of Olympia and its organizers had faith in me as an artist as well so that my content could have a venue.

The triptych on the facade of 414 Franklin from right to left represents Nature, Protector of the Female Outsider, and Home. As my late friend Micah Langston would say “Nature must be brought into the city by hand.”On the right, the Dogwood in bloom is Spring 2020, it is the spirit of Nature in all, with its many secret lessons if we are paying attention to where it points. In the center Coatlicue the fierce earth-mother is represented with a birth scene, to watch over the most vulnerable of our Olympia streets. On the left is a little representation of coziness and home, purely selfish imagery that I hope also makes other people happy.

Thanks so much to the organizers for putting together this beautification project. It goes a long way to get inspired by all of the participating murals in town.”

Published work by Bakhtina includes the children’s book “The Magic Traveling Bunk Bed” as well as “The Creatures’ Secrets Animal Divination Card Deck.”

Ongoing work as well as a link to the book can be found on Instagram @continuedproductions.

Mural: 414 Franklin St.

Vince Ryland - Artist

Vince Ryland is an Olympia treasure and knows what its citizens love. The Artist on Boards mural he created is filled with Pacific Northwest favorites including a colorful sunset, sparkling water, wildlife, whales and a mermaid.

Vince is responsible for contributing to over 15 of Olympia’s murals to include Respect and Love Olympia, Olympia Film Society, and Rainy Day Records. Vince is a sign, door and boat name painter as well as a respected mentor to several of the city’s muralists.

Mural: Cryptatropa Bar 421 4th Ave E

Heidi Zarghami - Artist

Heidi’s mural is a collaboration with artist Carrie Ziegler. The mural represents the artists’ vision for what was, is, and will be; a future where we will not only survive, but thrive. It was inspired by Carrie’s current Art in Action project, “The Chrysalis Project: Transforming Together. “In this project, we recognize the current situation (in our homes, in the midst of this pandemic) and imagine ourselves as if we are inside of a butterfly chrysalis undergoing our own transformation. It asks the question, how can we emerge from our homes into a world that is healthier, happier, and more life sustaining for all? What are we willing to do to make that vision a reality?”

Heidi Zarghami works in trans-disciplinary mixed media focused on environmental topics. Heidi worked as the Studio Director of the Harrison Studio, managing the Stanford University Archive of the last 45 years of the Helen and Newton Harrisons’ work and assisting The Force Majeure; a 50 year project that aims to lower the entropy of the planet, and assist the migration of plant species in areas of glacial melt due to global warming. She completed her Master of Environmental Studies program in 2020 in Olympia WA, and now resides in the Pacific Northwest where she continues to creatively engage audiences in conversations about the health of the environment and the processes of the natural world. 

Learn more at

"The Crysalis Mural Project: Transforming Together", Sizisis at 707 4th Ave E