Long before the Greenwood explosion, an artist from Snohomish painted a series of portraits showing storefronts along Greenwood Avenue North. Now, the artwork is being auctioned off to raise money to help the neighborhood rebuild.
One painting in particular has been turning heads because it shows Neptune Coffee and Mr. Gyros, which were both destroyed in last week’s natural gas explosion.
Artist Mark O’Malley told KING 5 he remembered painting the two shops about a year ago.
When he learned of the explosion, he immediately called Phinney Books, where his paintings of the Greenwood neighborhood have been on display for several months.
“He wondered if we still had that painting, but we had already sold it before all of this happened, said Tom Nissley, who owns Phinney Books. “So he said, I’ll do another one. Because he has photos of everything he paints. And he wanted to donate the proceeds.”
Nissley said O’Malley had recreated the original by Saturday, and together the pair decided to hold a silent auction with that piece and several others, inside the bookstore.
By Monday, Nissley said everyone that walked into his store had noticed the painting that shows Neptune Coffee and Mr. Gyros. Several people have already bid on the piece. The highest bid right now is $120.
“It’s just nice to see those stores as they were, and as I’m sure they will be pretty soon,” he said. “It’s kinda reassuring.”
Other paintings show some of the other businesses that were damaged in the explosion, but are still standing.
If you’d like to bid on any of that artwork, the silent auction at Phinney Books runs through Friday. It’s one of several fundraising events taking place this week in Greenwood.
Chuck’s Hop Shop on Northwest 85th street also held an all-day fundraiser on Monday, with 100 percent of draft and growler sales going to the Greenwood Relief Fund.
At last check, the relief fund has reached a total of $133,000 from at least 1600 donors.