Popular local muralist Ryan Henry Ward is busy putting the finishing touches on his latest work – a wrap-around mural in the kids play space at Queen Anne’s Twirl Cafe – this afternoon.
True to the unique flavor that can be seen in all of Henry’s works around town, the Twirl mural features a big red bird, some colorful frogs, and a whole bunch of lemurs – a perfect fit for the jungle-gym apparatus the mural surrounds.
Henry first started painting murals in Seattle in the summer of 2008 after he was injured and could no longer work at his landscaping construction business. Since then the popularity of his paintings have soared. When he first started, Henry had a goal: He wanted to paint 50 murals around town. Now, three years later, that milestone has come and gone. This Twirl mural is Henry’s 119th in Seattle alone. He also has works in Olympia, Tacoma, Bellevue, Bellingham, and the Dominican Republic.
“I never planned on being a professional artist – it’s just something that happened,” he said. “It’s the best! I don’t have to have a real job.”
Drop by to see Henry’s brand new mural at Twirl, or catch his work along walls and in storefronts around town. If you haven’t caught one yet, you’ll have plenty of chances – Henry says he plans to keep painting his whimsical characters wherever he can until he either can’t paint anymore, or he runs out of free wall space.
Henry will be having a show of his canvas work later this week, on Saturday, June 11 from 6 to 10 p.m., at Kristos in Eastlake (during the art walk).
If you’d like to catch more of Henry’s work around town this summer, visit his studio at Short Stop Coffee in Fremont (336 NW 40th Street), swing by one of his upcoming shows, and keep on the lookout for his latest project, “The Little Cupcake Gallery,” a mobile gallery featuring works from other local artists (as well as Henry) located in a refurbished blue school bus that parks around town.