About 16,000 years ago, upright apes walked into a cave in France, lifted their knuckles off the ground, and drew pictures of animals on the

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Best Urban Muralist

Ryan Henry Ward

About 16,000 years ago, upright apes walked into a cave in France, lifted their knuckles off the ground, and drew pictures of animals on the walls. 16,000 years later in Seattle, a heavily bearded hippie named Ryan Henry Ward took up a brush and began painting animals of his own on walls around the city. Unless you're a shut-in, you've seen the murals Ward (who signs his work, simply, "Henry") paints (example: Unicorn & Dog at Leary Way N.W. & N.W. 45th St.). Striking a balance between LSD visions and children's-book illustrations, something about Henry's whimsical, brightly colored goats, dogs, moose, penguins, etc., speaks to New Seattle, where 30-somethings with not-so-distant memories of Phish shows are raising a generation of eco-conscious children (in other words, the kids shout "Look at the goat, Daddy!" from the backseat of the hybrid; Daddy goes "Dude...trippy!"). Currently living in his van with his dog, Henry's goal is to paint 50 murals all over the city.—Brian J. Barr

 
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