David Franklin

Seattle, WA

I started creating public art in my teens as a member of a graffiti crew, cutting stencils and painting them in abandoned rail yards near downtown Denver, CO. It was an inauspicious (not to mention undisciplined) beginning, but the overall experience made me acutely aware of my deep-seated desire to connect with humanity and have a chance to do large-scale installations.

That seemed an impossible dream at the time: I had no formal art training and no clear avenues for developing the skills that would make me a viable contender in the public art arena. So in the early nineties I moved to the Northwest for a fresh start and began seeking people to help me realize my goal. Enter Duane Pasco, a successful regional artist known for being a part of the revival of Northwest Coast Native Art and creating monumental freestanding and integrated sculptures. I spent nearly a decade as his apprentice, gaining not only the graphic and sculptural skills I needed to propel my own art forward, but first-hand experience with large-scale art production—everything from concept and design to fabrication and installation.

Today, by integrating my roots in graffiti with my training in native sculpture and graphics, I seek to create an instant connection between the viewer and my art. I want people to “get” my art the way we all “get” petroglyphs—on an innate level, independent of history or heritage.

In the past 20 years I’ve developed a diverse portfolio that features work in a variety of styles and media, including metal, glass, and wood. In the public art realm, I’ve been fortunate to secure several well-placed, high profile commissions. I’ve also had the privilege of teaching at the renowned Marc Adams School of Woodworking, and have twice been awarded the prestigious John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Residency.

Like most of life’s many satisfying accomplishments, my success as an artist is the result of creative collaboration. I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to each of the mentors, muses, and co-workers who have inspired me over the years. In many ways, I consider my work as much theirs as my own.

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