Ty Swenson
On the left, students from the Evergreen Campus Key Club create a mural on the south-facing wall of Meat the Live Butcher near the White Center/Seattle line on June 22. The project is part of the White Center Community Development Association's Spring Clean. On the right, butcher shop owner Tom Salle talks with customers.

Mural-makeover of White Center continues at Meat the Live Butcher

The White Center Community Development Association is taking a different approach to their Spring Clean program over the summer of 2013, spreading their cleanup and goodwill projects over the course of several months instead of having one big community service day, as they've done in the past.

On June 22, WCCDA Community Builder Marquise Roberson-Bester and a group of helpful teens from the Evergreen Campus Key Club kicked off their latest spring clean project with a wall-wide mural on the side of Tom Salle’s Meat the Live Butcher shop at 9432 16th Ave. S.W.

Roberson-Bester said breaking Spring Clean into several events provides the opportunity for more area youth to get involved in the beautification of their neighborhood, from trash cleanup days to the creation of art. He said murals in particular are valuable because walls that used to be a canvas for unsightly graffiti are generally left along once someone’s artwork has gone up. Instead of waiting for city or county officials to find the time and money to cover up graffiti, Roberson-Bester said the mural projects provide youth with the opportunity to solve a problem on their own.

Fittingly, the mural at Meat the Live Butcher will be of a pastoral scene complete with rolling green hills, baby-blue skies, a barn and, of course, “a happy cow,” as Salle put it.

Salle approached the WCCDA (a non-profit focused on the betterment of White Center) a while back with the mural idea and Roberson-Bester said he took care of the rest, hiring a professional artist to put down the finishing touches and gathering donated paint from Novo Paint out of Ballard.

“This is such a good thing,” Salle said while serving up custom meat cuts to his customers. “It helps keep graffiti off the walls, gives kids pride in their neighborhood and brings life back to the city. Instead of sitting inside playing video games, (the kids) are out helping their community.”

The WCCDA recently completed a mural just north of the butcher shop on the TAM Industries building and has plans to put more up on walls near DK Café and the Crawfish House to the south, all along 16th Ave. S.W. in the heart of White Center.

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