Seattle/ Arts & Culture
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Published on May 23, 2024
Bellevue Embraces Diversity with "The Love Between" Pride Street Art by Local LGBTQIA+ ArtistSource: City of Bellevue

The City of Bellevue is getting jazzed up with a new addition to its streetscape in the form of a vibrant piece of Pride street art. Designed by local artist Esmeralda Vasquez, the pavement treatment dubbed "The Love Between" will mark the first city-sponsored art installation recognizing the LGBTQIA+ community and Pride Month. Vasquez, a self-taught artist who draws inspiration from her experiences as a Latinx/LGBTQ individual, crafted the design as a nod to the city's diverse population.

Set for unveiling at the Bellevue Downtown Association's Paws & Pride Dog Jog & Walk on June 1, the intersection art will be installed at Northeast First Street and 102nd Avenue Northeast. In what can only be described as a strong statement of inclusion, Mayor Lynne Robinson championed the project, noting to, "We believe that the diversity in our city is our strength, and this new artwork further underscores our dedication to embracing and supporting our LGBTQIA+ community."

"The Love Between" features two large hands, emblazoned with the colors of the bisexual flag, reaching towards each other. A twisting stem and flowers that follow the rainbow spectrum, along with the colors representing the trans and non-binary communities, add to the design's richness. Vasquez's conceptualization came after extensive research and community outreach, ensuring that the piece resonates with the experiences of queer individuals.

The selection of Vasquez for this groundbreaking project followed an open call for artists back in October 2023. As a muralist whose work is informed by her identity and her mission to connect across diverse communities, Vasquez's artistry stands as a symbol of Bellevue's commitment to an inclusive environment. Mayor Robinson further emphasized Bellevue's initiative in her statement obtained by, "We hope this new addition to our streetscape will foster a sense of belonging, and remind everyone that Bellevue welcomes you."

Beyond this colorful display of solidarity, Bellevue has also rolled out several programs to bolster its inclusivity efforts. These include the Diversity Advantage Initiative, the Police Department’s Safe Place program, and a range of cultural events.