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'Mad Art' houses blossom on Seattle's Capitol Hill

Two of the 'Mad Art' houses on Seattle's Capitol Hill.
Jon Klapel
Two of the 'Mad Art' houses on Seattle's Capitol Hill.

Four craftsman houses in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Neighborhood will soon be replaced by new apartments, but for now they are being taken over by a small army of artists to create something completely unexpected for the public to enjoy.

(Updated with photos and videos inside)

Inside an old beauty of a house that has seen better years, sheets and pillow cases are stapled to the floor, and the walls and ceiling are covered in cloths stitched together.  It’s as if the contents of someone’s closet have been turned into paint. There is even a wall of underwear.

One house is cocooned in shrink wrap.  Other homes have been tied together with red ropes. Wooden floors have been cut up to install moving sculptures and one house was painted with  latex, which was then gently peeled off and sewn back together.

This project is the latest work by Mad Art. The homes will be on display through August 7.  Docents will be on hand every day from noon until 7 p.m. to give free tours. After that, some of the art will be removed. However, the shrink wrap will stay on until the very end when the bulldozers  arrive.


Jennifer Wing is a former KNKX reporter and producer who worked on the show Sound Effect and Transmission podcast.