A series of artworks honoring Suquamish and S’Klallam Elders are now appearing in bus shelters in downtown Seattle, some of the first of 108 new photomurals selected for installation in shelters throughout King County.

The photomurals of indigenous peoples were created by Kim Hawk, who was inspired by a Christmas gift she gave to her husband, a Suquamish Tribal Elder. It was a framed portrait of his grandfather, and Hawk said: “As he was holding it, I was deeply moved by his joy and inspiration. The Suquamish tribe, as with all indigenous communities, holds a deep reverence for their ancestors. My husband speaks his grandfather into existence every day.”

Hawk said the photo display represents the bond her husband had with his grandfather and “the pride that all indigenous people take in their sacred lineage.”

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“We are very honored to include Kim’s Suquamish and S’Klallam Elder portraits in our King County Metro’s bus shelters,” said Metro Program Manager, Dale Cummings. “They are strong reminders of the gratitude we have for our parents, grandparents and those who came before and the important life skills they shared with us, as we strive to live in peace with, and with respect for all life.”

Last summer, we asked photographers and artists to submit images that celebrated the theme “Show Us Your World—Cultural Heritage,” images that showed the beauty of their world as well as images that represent their interpretation of cultural heritage. Working in collaboration with Photographic Center Northwest (PCNW), our call for artists received more than 500 submissions, which were reviewed by a panel of jurors from King County Metro and PCNW. The murals selected are being installed in Metro bus shelters this year.

Metro and PCNW have collaborated in the City Panorama Project for over a decade. The focus of the project is to incorporate art into everyday life throughout King County, to increase the visibility of the photographic arts, and to make new perspectives and ideas available to all. More than 1,000 photo murals have been installed in Metro bus shelters since the launch of the project in 2010.