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Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

November 26, 2010 at 7:26 PM

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20 years later, Fremont Troll abides

Posted by Gabriel Campanario


Sketched Nov. 23, 2:14 p.m. [Click sketch to view larger]

The Fremont Troll may look like a grumpy old man, but he is barely out of his teens. Next week marks the 20th anniversary of what's arguably the most visited public art project in the city. Even on a frigid day this week, tourists were here snapping pictures while I hurried to sketch before my watercolors froze.

Thanks to the Troll, the space under the Aurora Bridge is far from the dump it used to be. Back in 1990, you would find mattresses and beer cans laying around, said lead artist Steve Badanes. But even today the sculpture still gets vandalized.

A neighborhood group's proposal to improve the "Troll's Knoll" is among 15 community-generated initiatives vying for money from the Parks and Green Spaces Levy. If approved, the project could break ground in 2011.

Badanes supports the initiative but said it shouldn't be a "themed Troll park."

"You don't want it to be too cute," he said.

Sketch-worthy Seattle. Where should I take my sketchpad next? Do you know of a good sketch story waiting to be drawn? I'd love to learn about it. You can send me your suggestions to or via Facebook or Twitter. Have a great weekend!

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