Denmark artist paints Carnation mural

  • Written by Bob Kirkpatrick

Jacoba puts finishing touches on the mural.

CARNATION—The St. Pierre barn off of Hwy. 203 is sporting a new look thanks to Copenhagen-based artist Jacoba Niepoort. 

Jacoba, 32, travels the globe creating 2D and 3D public-art masterpieces. She has painted 45 murals over a 15-year span in places like Chile, Costa Rica, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Argentina, Nova Scotia and the United States. 

“We feel so lucky she had the opportunity to come and paint it for us,” Christa St. Pierre said. “We came to know Jacoba through my husband's childhood friend who married her mom. We saw Jacoba this Summer (in Denmark)—they were showing some of her work and I told her she just had to come and paint our barn.”

It didn’t take much convincing, Jacoba said, together to agree to come to Carnation. 

“They told me they are working on a long-term project to open an herbal farm in the Snoqualmie Valley. Words like-existence, diversity and the interest in using the medicinal properties of a range of herbs and weeds were used to describe their vision, from which I was invited to create any muralI saw fitting.

“I found their plans beautiful; plans I would like to participate in. After agreeing to the project, I fought through the Valley’sOctober frost and rains for 10 days. The result is a figure, holding dirt, out of which grow multiple plants, all connected by a root system that weaves in and out of fore and background, representing a connection among all,” Jacoba said.

The plants in the mural are Anise hyssop, Echinacea, and Calendula.

“To me, this mural is about flow and diversity. It’s about showing the connection among all; humans, nature, plants—that which exists within us, and which connects us to the outside world.”

Traveling the world and leaving behind detailed paintings that add such richness to local culture, one would assume Jacobahad extensive technical art training. Not so.

“I have a minor in art, and have always painted as far back as I can remember, but I consider myself mostly self-taught.

“My background is international development with a focus on the social impact of artists who work with public visual art projects. I used to work for the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs with art projects abroad—but I quit when it became clear I need to dedicate more time to my own murals.”

Jacoba’s murals vary in size. Her small murals are typically around 325 square feet. Her largest is a 36,000 square-foot mural she painted on the side of a building on Hollis Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia just prior to painting the St.Pierre mural.

Christa said they lucked out that the timing would work for her.

“She told us she'd be close by—I guess that's a relative term to a world traveler when you're on the same continent.”

Jacoba paints both in and out of studio but says she prefers working in the open air.

“I paint outside because I believe that unrestricted art is for everyday people and the issue of ownership of public space is worth fighting for. It’s also rewarding and physically intense.”

Jacoba finished the St.Pierre mural last week. She has returned to Europe and is now painting another mural in Denmark.

“It’s my last outdoor one for the season," Jacoba said. “I will be working from a studio in Denmark and a residency in Finland and or the next two and a half months on small—normal size art-works for my upcoming solo exhibition in a gallery in Denmark in February."

Christa said she and her husband do have long-range plans to open a medicinal herb farm.

“We had a trial run this summer planting about 20 different varieties—medicinal and culinary. The idea is maybe next summer we'll have a small retail shop on the property to sell them.”

The St. Pierre mural is located just off the Fall City-Carnation Road at 32112 NE 8th Street. It is fully visible from the highway.


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