A few slides show a chipped "Free Wall" with about an inch of graffiti paint! The wall has been painted over so many times that you can find layers of paint dating back 15 years. The walls you see have been painted more than once in the last month.
Graffiti art has been painted on the “Free Walls” of Redmond’s downtown Edge Skate Park from the day it was dedicated, over 15 years ago. Anyone is free to paint graffiti on the walls. These walls are special not only for their art, but for mitigating unwanted graffiti tags from migrating into the skate arena itself.
The skate board and BMX community and neighborhoods have great pride in Edge Park. Skaters say the creative graffiti art usually lasts on the Free Walls for 2-4 weeks before it has to be painted over again. An unidentified community of passionate graffiti artists re-paint the walls. According to Ken Wong of the Teen Center, the graffiti artists aren't managed by the City.
Redmond's one-of-a kind Edge Skate Park is located a stone's throw from the downtown Fire station and Metro Bus Park & Ride on 8420 161st Ave. NE. The Free Walls facing the Park & Ride usually have the best graffiti art. Their tags are probably painted over more often owing to their visibility to commuters. The paint thickness shows it.
Redmond Parks Operations Manager, Dave Tuchek, says the Park was conceptualized in the mid-1995's by Nick Lovell of the Redmond Police Department. It was built during the Rosemarie Ives Administration. Dave says, periodically - less than 5-6 times/year - obscenities or graffiti are tagged in the concrete skating arena by outsiders. Dave says, if the tags aren't removed within about 24 hours it gets worse and spreads. He takes pictures of the tags for the police report. Police and Fire have presence too; their refueling station is next door.
By Bob Yoder
Seattle Times Communities Partner
Photos by Yoder (35 photos)
The Seattle Times graffiti story (4/26) is here