"Henry" Murals – Seattle, Washington - Atlas Obscura

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"Henry" Murals

Seattle’s Whimsical Mural Master. 


For the last few years, murals have been popping up all over northwest Seattle, mostly in Wallingford, Fremont, and Ballard. They share a signature look of wide-eyed, goofy animals, gnomes, and mythical beasts doing strange but idyllic things. Like a moose, fishing.

Murals by Ryan Henry Ward (he signs all of his murals “henry”) are painted on the sides of forlorn buildings, alleys, and even  vehicles. You can find scores of them along your path through Ballard if you look in the right places. And you can find Ryan Henry Ward, the artist himself, at Short Stop Coffee in Ballard “during business hours.”

Ryan Henry Ward’s most visible piece would have been a fish design adorning the top of the Space Needle. Though his design lost out after alleged online vote manipulation rocketed a more conservative design into the lead, the fact that a humble mural artist got so close to being asked to adorn Seattle’s chief civic landmark shows how far Ward’s creations have wormed their way into the city’s heart.


Update as of March 2021: It appears that only one mural remains visible at this site.

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August 28, 2012

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