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The Sign Says You 'Deserve Every Happiness'

April Soetarman
An "emotional" sign created by artist, April Soetarman.

Living in a city, there are signs everywhere to help organize, control and regulate our behavior.

But, if you’re in Seattle and you keep your eyes peeled, you might happen upon an official-looking directive on sheet metal that tells you something completely unexpected, such as "Caution: If I Could Love Anyone Again, It Would Be You."


This "caution" sign was spotted hanging from a chain link fence in Wallingford Park. It is guerilla artwork, created and stealthily placed on the fence by April Soetarman.


April makes metal signs that look like they were made by the city, and then puts them in places where people might encounter them.


Like many of us, April has a difficult time saying very personal things out loud. So, she puts the emotions on various objects including metal, small bits of paper and even heart candies.


“I don’t like words, they’re my least comfortable medium. But it turns out most people use them to communicate. And a lot of them are embarrassingly personal. But, it’s easier to be genuine when you are  anonymous,” she said/


April also likes to keep the locations of her signs anonymous.


In this story we head to a Seattle park, which April does not want to identify, to see if one of her signs is still hanging on a fence. There, we talk with April about the power of words and how they can have different meaning depending on what they are written on and where we might see them.


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