Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal
Mural Project 2018

It started with an idea. In September, 2017, while sitting inside the ferry terminal waiting for a ferry, the walls of the terminal seemed to be asking for art. Painted a generic military green, I wondered why nothing had been done to spruce the space up…

Original bare wall

Original bare wall

  1. Getting Started - Sept-Oct 2017

The first challenge was finding the right people at WSDOT (Washington State Department of Transportation). After a few emails and forwards, I finally landed on WSDOT Business Services Manager Jadwiga Kellock. While WSDOT was interested in the idea, many of the walls were reserved for advertising revenue. We then looked at which walls were not reserved, and settled on one wall near the water fountain.

‘Puget Sound Wave’ Design Proposal

‘Puget Sound Wave’
Design Proposal

2. Design Proposal - Nov-Dec 2017

Wanting to reflect the beauty of Puget Sound, I decided on a wave motif and offered this proposal to WSDOT.

Jadwiga worked with WSDOT leadership advocating for the mural. After a few weeks, everyone was on board. The next challenge was funding, or the lack of it. WSDOT had no funding for this type of project.

While Jadwiga worked her side of the equation, I talked to my network here on Bainbridge, sharing the idea and my enthusiasm. It was exciting to see head nods and agreements that this idea was one worth pursuing.

Gifts for backers. Kickstarter campaigns do better when backers receive gifts for their support.

Gifts for backers. Kickstarter campaigns do better when backers receive gifts for their support.

3. Funding - January 2018

When all else fails, try Kickstarter! I decided to launch a kickstarter campaign hoping there would be enough support via both my mailing list and the general community to fund this project. On December 27th, the Kickstarter campaign launched, with a goal to reach 100% finding in 30 days. Kickstarter’s model only provides funding if the goal is reached.

To my amazement, we were 104% funded in four days! By the 30th day, we were 128% funded with 37 backers! It was inspiring to see so much support for the project!

day 101.jpg

4. Getting to work! - February 2018

With funds in hand, project plans defined and supplies in tow, it was time to get to work. First, the wall needed to be cleaned and primed.


5. Starting the Design

Once the wall was primed, the design was transferred to the wall using a projector and purple chalk. Because I was working during the day, the projector lines were faint. However, as I started painting in the outlines of the wave forms, the design came together and made more sense.

The work continued as I started to fill in the design.

mural in progress 01.jpg

6. Final Coats - February 2018

I spend the next couple of days adding layers o color, tightening up the design and making sure the colors worked together well. Passengers offered kind words of encouragement and appreciation during the painting process.

As I wrapped up the project, the manager of the ferry terminal asked, what about the other two walls? ….

mural in progress 02.jpg

7. Phase 2 - April, 2018

It was time to extend the mural across the other two walls! Since the original mural funding was well over the 100%, there were enough funds left to do this additional work. Same process, only this time, the work took place over a series of weekends.

Phase 2 was completed in late May, 2018.

puget sound wave with Cynthia.jpeg

Some of my favorite quotes from passengers in the terminal:

“ Does someone know you’re doing this?” (8 yr old boy in a batman T-shirt)

“We need a little brightness in the terminal”

“It’s beautiful!”

“Great job”


“This is awesome!!!”

“How nice, are you going to decorate all the walls?”

“I was just at the Surf Incubator and here you are making waves!”

“That is so cool”

“Good job!” with a fist pump (from a 4th grader who was returning to Seattle after a field trip to Islandwood)

‘Thank you for bringing color to the terminal!’