WENATCHEE — Artists Heather Dappen and Ellen Smith teamed up in August to paint a mural on the 115-foot long, 8-foot high retaining wall overlooking the parking lot at the Wenatchee YMCA.
“We always wanted to do this wall,” Smith said. They wrote grant proposals and won grants from the Icicle Fund and Woods Family Music and Art totaling $10,000.
Smith teaches art at Pioneer Middle School and Dappen is a freelance graphic designer. They met while working on the Collapse Gallery mural last summer. They maintain the Instagram account @fightthebeige.
A phrase fills the length of the wall in English and Spanish: “Better Together Mejor Juntos.” They see the wording as two aspects of Wenatchee but in one community. “I hope it brings out some feelings of empathy,” said Smith.
They say their favorite part of the project so far is listening to people’s comments as they walk by. Many try to pronounce the saying all in English. They think it will help the community’s white and Latino population come together.