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liquidnight ADMIN April 21, 2011
Just a little reminder: this group is specifically for photos taken of the ever-changing exterior of the Tubs building in the University District of Seattle. Photos added to the group that are not of the Tubs building have been/will be deleted. Thanks for your ongoing contributions.

Group Description

In March 2009 The Free Sheep Foundation struck again, this time adopting the doomed Tubs building in Seattle's University District [slated to be demolished later this year] as the latest transitory canvas for numerous artists to have their way with in whatever manner they might see fit.

In keeping with the ethos of previous Free Sheep Foundation ventures such as The Bridge Motel, The Belmont, and their space at 3rd and Battery, the results of another project born of such a free-spirited collaborative nature have proven to be beautiful and completely inspiring.

If you know what's good for you, you'll check it out in person [4750 Roosevelt Way, between 47th St & 50th St] before the building goes boom and these photos are all that remain.

Here is the official press release:

Free Sheep Foundation presents

TUBS Memorial Mural Project

- a temporary art intervention in a disused building.

Opening April 26th

2 - 6pm

50th and Roosevelt Ave NE., in the University District of Seattle, WA

Currently on view, Free Sheep Foundation is proud to host an exhibition memorializing the forthcoming demolition of the former TUBS building in Seattle’s U-District. Highlighting graffiti-style murals by over 20 artists (please scroll down for list of artists) and window installations, FSF would like to invite the public to view this artistic intervention with the same heart as viewing cherry blossoms in Spring. This temporary project is meant to serve as a beautiful display of color in the waning days of a building's demise, as well as a re-interpretation of site and celebration of the City. In partnership with the property owners, we offer this gift to the neighborhood and the world, embracing our rapidly transforming urban landscape.

Historical records of the site are available since 1905, when it was developed as a residence and small commercial space. In 1923, the building was redeveloped as a grocery store, eventually becoming the Big Bear Store, then the Lucky Store, and in the early '60's, the P&C Serve U Grocery. During this time, the site was also shared by a car dealership. In the mid-70's, the building became renovated and housed The District Tavern (one of the earliest rock music venues in Seattle) and Fotomat Drive-thru. In 1982, TUBS took over the building as its most recent tenant-to-date; operating a spa with rental rooms of hot tubs and saunas, and offering tanning and massage services. Soon the site will be developed into a 60 unit apartment building with ground floor retail.

Free Sheep Foundation thanks Handsome Murals, Art Primo, and University Volkswagen/Audi for their generous support, without which this project would not be possible.







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Window Installations:

(OvO) - 'As I Enter, So Will I Leave'

“On rare occasion the Bird Wraith, in her element, materializes to serve as harbinger of urban transformation, whether for the better or for the worse.”

Joanna Lepore - 'Reclaimed (Tubs Seattle)'

“Reclaimed (Tubs Seattle) gives nature a chance to recover a small urban area. Ferns, mosses, mushrooms and other weeds are incorporated into an existing half-demolished storefront, then encouraged to spread and grow. Viewed outside from the storefront's bay window, visitors will get a glimpse into an alternate future of the urban landscape.”

Images of this project are available at

We would also like to bring attention to this segment, run by King5 news (available at which we feels disparages the work of some of Seattle's most talented and hardworking artists. The segment presents a provincial viewpoint, ignoring the implicit difference between 'graffiti' and permission mural work. King 5 also fails to present a comprehensive critical strategy when dealing with their perceptions of public art and graffiti, as seen in a more recent piece praising work by two of the TUBS participants, Weirdo and Heumr (find the segment here:

The public response on the street has been overwhelmingly positive. This raises questions about the depth of the reportage. King 5 sent an email to Free Sheep Foundation asking about TUBS only 2 hours before negative segment aired, clearly not expecting a response. This willful ignorance is irresponsible for any journalist.

Free Sheep Foundation seeks to engender site-specific, experimental or improvisational work in a myriad of disciplines. The process of painting TUBS brought together many artists; donating their time and materials, to create a moment of color and beauty in an otherwise forgotten location. We hope these artistic interventions will continue to be seen as what we intend them to be - gifts to the community from a group of artists, and points of entry into a dialogue about contemporary art and urbanism.

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