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New Mural Celebrating Global Connections Comes to Downtown Spokane


A new mural is being painted this summer on the 100 North block alley between Howard and Wall streets in downtown Spokane. Jiemei Lin is a Pullman, Washington-based artist and graphic designer, originally from China. Her new mural consists of two panels, each showing a child diving into a swimming pool. One scene takes place at night and the other during a bright summer day. The design is meant to celebrate global connections.

“This piece is actually from a series of work I’ve been working on. It’s called ‘Daniel and Dink.’ This scene is a made up story about two kids who grew up on two sides of the world, the U.S. and China, and the things they do similarly and differently. Like such as how they celebrate holidays, how they pursue their own dreams, how they enjoy summer at the same time but in different time zones.”

Jiemei Lin's mural design

This particular design also has a personal resonance. Lin’s husband, whom she met in art school, is originally from Ohio, and she’s often imagined the two of them growing up on opposite sides of the world. 

“When I think of that, it happened! Because when I was young, my parents always took me to the pool at night because they had to work during the day. And for my husband, he grew up with like a swimming team, early summer days. So I thought, there were moments when we were both in the water that day, that moment, that second. And when I saw the opportunity for making my art into public art, immediately I thought of this piece because I think there are many moments in our lives that we share with people we don’t know at all. And those are beautiful moments for everyone.”

The new mural is part of the Spokane Arts Alleyways Mural project, a larger initiative to install public art in alleys throughout the city. Lin, who is also a graphic designer and aspiring children’s book illustrator, hopes her artwork can do more than just reinvigorate a bare alleyway.

“I want people to feel the positive energy of the art they can have in public. It’s completely free. It’s storytelling. They can take it as their own story. And also because in this piece I actually put an Asian girl’s face in it. So I want all the Asian American girls who are from underrepresented groups, when they walk by they can see someone who looks like them on the wall in a huge piece of public art.”

Jiemei Lin hopes to complete her mural by the end of July, at which point it will be visible to anyone driving or walking through downtown Spokane.

Chris Maccini previously worked at SPR as Morning Edition host and producing arts and special programming such as The Bookshelf, Poetry Moment, Northwest Arts Review, special features and more.
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