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Beyond Museums: Missed out on Museum Month in Seattle?

Beyond Museums: Missed out on Museum Month in Seattle?

Tuesday, March 12, 2024 experience art

By Nova Berger

Local muralist Henry has got you covered- he’s on a mission to make everyday places ensue the same awe that a high tea and a stroll through New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art brings. 

We all have a personal brand, how we want the world to perceive us. Whether it be a personal mantra or brand identity it’s awfully grounding to have a mission statement- something to fall back on or ground us in tough times. Henry lives and breathes his- he is beyond museums. 

It’s quintessential to him that the conversations that explore the awes of art, which are often restricted to organized artistic institutions, are made public. He lives and breathes his craft, and is insistent that it is, and should be, something that is shared and accessible to all. If art is something humans all enjoy, then shouldn't we all be able to? 

Museums typically require a process in which the artists build up a collection over time, while being critiqued on their work step by step. Other ways to get their art to be featured include some sort of analysis of artistic worth by a higher entity in the art world,  whether that be a curator or prominent collector. Henry isn’t against museums, with his work at the Museum of Flight. He simply recognizes and wants to emphasize that you don’t have to have certain qualifications to enter a space where you can discuss art, and that that access to an expressive emotional outlet is a universal experience and practice. 

In this way, Henry doesn‘t have to wait for justification that his work fits the parameters of artistic expression. He is completely in control of his art, and where and who to share it with. He compares his approach to art to a construction worker's path to work, following where he saw work, or art, as necessary. His prices are even comparable to those of a construction worker, and with the city as his canvas, he began his work at Gasworks Park. Utilizing the roof lights and facilities, he created his first piece in a style that would become distinctly his own in a place that was distinctly Seattle. The public access to Gasworks, as well as the broad array of people who visit the park make his art that much easier to access, with a clientele of both locals and tourists. 

Thus Henry’s art is unique in a variety of ways. He stands against the exclusionary aspects of the art world and highlights art for all- regardless of age, background or prior experience. Such is exemplified by his use of inclusive storytelling with characters that are recognizable and iconically Pacific North West, that anyone can build their own narratives around, as well as a variety of creatures that are distinctly part of the Henry universe. These characters are his very own, and represent aspects of his complex personality. Use of these elements is Henry’s way to show that art is multifaceted, both a communal experience, demonstrated by Sasquatch characters, as a story we can all relate to and as an individual experience, shown by his own personal creations. 

Locally, Henry art can be found in educational hubs, specifically in areas with younger children.  Meant to inspire inspiration and imagination, the most prominent mural can be found on the side of the University Cooperative School. During breaks in school, children can actively practice  imagination by simply turning the corner and creating their own stories with what they find. Henry wants to focus on possibilities, in fostering that sense of excitement that you can create anything you set your mind to, and that those paintbrushes are available to all.  

The effervescent nature of art and the awe it inspires is reminiscent of the reverence of nature, akin to a mountain top sunset. Inspired by Thoreau and the naturalist movement, Henry’s art highlights how living simply allows one to get the most out of every experience. Emotion, for Henry, and as science shows, is our most basal quality. Simple pleasures truly are life’s treasures, and what’s more simply wonderful than being able to indulge in that childlike feeling of awe during one’s 10 minute lunch break? I invite you to go out and seek Henry’s work, inviting all your friends to speak the universal language and share in the communal experience that art is really all about. 


Places Henry Art Can be Found: 

Seattle Records 

• University Cooperative 

• Inner Visions