To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Grand Ridge Plaza shopping center in Issaquah, Washington — and the 25th anniversary of Issaquah Highlands, a community boasting more than 4,000 homes — Regency Centers commissioned a public art piece as a gift to the “urban village.” Located on the staircase behind DICK’S Sporting Goods, the mural spans 137 steps and features Pacific Trillium, a flowering plant native to the Pacific Northwest, with pink hues as a tribute to the KoKanee Salmon, a local salmon species. The finished artwork was unveiled at a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Tuesday, September 12.
Local artist Tori Shao with the staircase mural at Grand Ridge Plaza. Photo by Nate Gowdy.
With a goal of creating inclusive spaces that are unique to the cultures and lifestyles surrounding them, Regency tapped Tori Shao, a Seattle-based illustrator and landscape architect, for the project due to her understanding of the unique Issaquah Highlands community. Shao works with local organizations to design murals that foster a sense of connection.
In both my fields of landscape architecture and illustration, my work is inspired by our culture and ecological relationships to plants, objects, and one another,” said Tori Shao. “These all boil down to telling a story that is specific to a place, and sharing those stories inspires connection to our environment and our community.
Issaquah residents enjoying complimentary ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s after the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Photo by Nate Gowdy.
Despite rainy conditions, more than 300 community members joined Lindsey Walsh, Issaquah City Council President, and Regency’s Kurt Utterback, Vice President, Market Officer, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Muralist Tori Shao held an autograph signing, and attendees received a journal featuring a print of the mural, as well as complimentary ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s. Grand Ridge Plaza also presented a donation to Friends of Issaquah Salmon Hatchery (FISH), a local nonprofit organization, supporting their conservation and advocacy efforts on behalf of the KoKanee Salmon.
I’m so proud to be part of a very special day for the residents of Issaquah Highlands and Grand Ridge Plaza,” said Kurt Utterback, Vice President, Market Officer. “It was an honor to represent Regency Centers in the unveiling of the staircase mural, which is sure to be a lasting symbol of the spirit of the community for generations to come.
The staircase mural at Grand Ridge Plaza. Photo by Nate Gowdy.
Grand Ridge Plaza is a flagship property in Issaquah Highlands, one of the market’s top demographic areas. The 330,671 SF shopping center is anchored by Safeway and features a merchandising lineup that includes Crumbl Cookies, BevMo!, Ulta Beauty, Marshalls, HomeGoods, and more.