Travel Blog

Sip, Stroll and Get a Glimpse of Downtown Kent’s Wall Murals

Aug. 10 is the Downtown Kent Wine Walk. With warm temps and sunny skies, it’s the perfect time to taste and tour wall art in historic downtown Kent, Washington.

A warm August night is an ideal occasion to visit Kent, especially when it involves wine and art.

You might just find your new favorite red or white at the Downtown Kent Wine Walk, 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10. It’s the second of three 2018 wine walks offered by the Kent Downtown Partnership. (Mark your calendar for the last wine walk of the year on October 12.)

For $30 you’ll get 12 tasting tokens and a glass. During the self-guided event, retailers will offer tastings, and you’ll also have a chance to snap up a few bottles at the event storefront.

Between tasting stops, take a stroll and discover some creative, and sometimes unexpected, wall art along Kent’s historic streets:

  • Danny Pierce outdoor murals. The late Danny Pierce was a renowned artist whose works have been included in collections at the Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian and Seattle Art Museum. He was also a native of Kent and longtime resident who paid homage to the city through a series of colorful depictions charting the region’s early network of transportation and industry. Four works were reproduced as outdoor murals in downtown Kent.
  • “Transitions” (2nd Ave. S. and W. Gowe St.) shows the shift from horse and buggy to the automobile. The mural features the Rasmussen family business evolving from blacksmithing to machinery repair to car sales.
  • “The Lily” (1st S. and W. Gowe St.) captures the loading of hops onto the steamer The Lily, docked along the White River.
  • “Ezra Meeker” (1st Ave S. near W. Meeker Ave.) spotlights the most prominent entrepreneur behind the hops boom. The mural depicts Meeker later in life when he drove his team of oxen over the Oregon Trail.
  • “Fire at Fred’s Place” (W. Meeker St. near 1st S.) illustrates a Kent business that burned to the ground at the turn of the century and pays tribute to the community’s ability to unite in the face of challenge.
  • “The Middle Garden” (200 block of 1st Ave. S.). This dramatic monochrome mural covers two building walls that frame a tiny pocket park. The murals were created by artist Donald Barrie (a descendant of Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie) and borrow images of European gardens to depict the Green River’s journey through the Kent Valley.
  • Titus Railroad Park mural (216 1st S.). Distinct, colorful and a little mind-bending, this wall of 3-D blocks was created by Seattle artist Mary Iverson.

Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for other outdoor art installations, including The Guardian at the corner of W. Meeker St. and 2nd Ave. S. The mythical metal creature is Kent’s latest public art addition.

Learn more about things to do in Kent.