Celebrating Duvall’s Diversity

“How Far We’ve Come”

Let this art piece be an embrace to a community that has held its breath for far too long to feel seen, trusted, and valued in the valley. Your community is here with you, at home. This installation serves as a symbol of community empowerment and unity, providing a sense of pride and ownership for those involved in its realization.

The Evolution of the Duvall “Pride Wall”

May 2022: Axton Creates First Rainbow Ribbon Fence
Duvall Valley Mail owner Carol Kufeld, inspired by the rainbow ribbon fences installed at Redmond’s Spark Pizza and Woodblock locations, requested Axton Burton to create a similar ribbon fence next to her store. Despite a call out for artists, Burton created the first version of the “Pride Wall” alone.  In the six hours of work, they were repeatedly heckled by passing drivers, reminding them of their time growing up in the valley.

Shortly after the creation of the first rainbow ribbon, it was reported that several teenagers pulled some of the material off the fence.  Hearing this, the community came together and, alongside the artist, created a bigger, better, and much more progressive rainbow ribbon display.  Despite a drive-by heckler exclaiming “Go find Jesus!” a neighboring business owner came out moments later, offering financial support to cover the cost of the installation and saying “God told me to give you this.”

Early May 2023: Community Members Offer to Help Refresh the Wall
In 2023, community members prompted the Valley Mail owner to refresh the colors of the fence, even offering donations towards the project. The visibility of the Pride Wall installation in the Snoqualmie Valley brought about messages from community members for whom this art piece was a needed gift.  Since its original installation, residents and workers have moved into and started working in the valley, crediting this clear and visible installation as a major reason for doing so.

A Symbol to the Community
The Duvall Pride Wall had become a symbol to many in the community that they were welcome and that Duvall is a safe and welcoming community. It would go on to serve as a beacon of inclusivity, love, and acceptance for over a year. The display of this especially mattered to those struggling with their sense of gender identity and sexual orientation in a world trying to regulate them out of existence.

July 2023 – August 2023: A Rainbow Crosswalk Idea Exposed Issues With Permits
It was not until Burton was approached by Duvall leadership about the possibility of a rainbow crosswalk that things began to get complex.  A month after the Pride Wall was refreshed, a meeting, seemingly about a discussion on how to work with the City of Duvall for an asphalt art installation, became an email about a possible impending city council discussion about fencing permits on city right-of-way.

The understanding by Valley Mail and Burton was that the fence the Pride Wall was built on was private property, but later found out it was actually a city-owned fence and therefore under the jurisdiction of city ordinance. A City of Duvall employee had become concerningly fixated on the walls destruction.  However the fence belonged to the city, and therefore, because of a lack of a permit, and the lack of a policy around what the City of Duvall allowed on their fences, the city was faced with challenges from a few locals demanding the removal of the Pride Installation.  While the city debated on how to handle the situation, American flags went up over the Pride Wall, followed by a POW/MIA flag.  These were followed by a Gadsden Flag (“Don’t Tread on Me”) and finally, a Pine Tree Flag, both of which have been co-opted for white Christian Nationalist purposes. This was the final straw for the city.

Early August, the city removed all material on city-owned fences until the city council could consider a policy on banners, flags and decorations in public spaces.
“For public safety, legal, and equity reasons, the city was required to take this action at this time to remove all material from city owned fences,” the city wrote in a post on its Facebook page.

August 2023 – Feb 2024: Removal of the Original Pride Wall to Starting the Healing Process
The Pride Wall art installation was removed by a City of Duvall employee along with the police on July 21st before dawn, the day of the valley’s largest local art festivals – Sandblast and Brodie Nation.  At the August 15th City Council meeting, public comments were given where the public shared their thoughts over the inclusionary art piece, whether that be blatant disgust for the piece, or personal stories advocating for its reinstatement.

After this meeting, the City of Duvall got to work on what would be a ten-month process to create, edit, and implement a record number of policies. In September the City of Duvall finalized a right-of-way fence permit policy followed by an art policy. December held the first meeting of the city’s recreated Culture Commission.  With the right-of-way and art policy in place, December activated the first meeting of the Cultural Commission who got to work behind the scenes rectifying the wound created by the removal of an inclusionary art piece.

Image created by City of Duvall, WA.

February 2024 – March 2024: Duvall Gets Ready for the New Duvall Pride Wall
The Cultural Commission worked diligently to provide a pathway forward within the city’s new art policy for the creation of a new Pride art piece, with the materials taken from the previously dismantled piece.  The Culture Commission presented a proposal for a Pride installation to the city council in February, where it was voted in a 7-to-1 vote in favor of the installation.  Duvall’s City Council discussed the proposed plan and a 7-to-2 vote was held in favor of the art piece.  The city offered a wall of its city hall as a canvas and worked with Axton to submit a proposal to create the new Pride installation. City workers and other local contributors got to work putting all the final touches on getting the wall ready for its upcoming launch.

Image created by City of Duvall, WA.
Image created by Ellie McNamara
Image created by Geo Bean (@geosartshop)

May 7th – May 11th, 2024: Duvall Welcomes the “How Far We’ve Come” Art Installation
Valley locals worked together to install the new pride public art piece on May 7th. After 11 months of work from the community, local advocates, and incredible city leaders, the new pride wall art installation stands as a beacon today, not only as the reminder of the history of ignorance and hatred Duvall has held, but as the importance of community voices, inclusion, and the continued education and discussions still needing to happen in our valley community. The May 11th ribbon cutting for How Far We’ve Come was the opener to the City of Duvall’s first city created Pride event.

Our Voices

Please enjoy hearing the stories from several of our valley LGBTQIA+ neighbors.

Amy Olen (She/Her)
Duvall Parent of 2 LGBTQ+ Kids.

Elizabeth Hill (She/Her)
Queer artist, musician and community volunteer.

Brande Damiana (She/Her)
Poet, comedian, artist, mom, friend, helper, gray, bi, ace.

Timeline of the Progress Flag

Before the rainbow-striped Pride flag gained prominence, 2SLGBTQIA+ communities utilized a plethora of symbols, both hidden throughout art as well as publicly, including the pink triangle which derived from its historical use in Nazi concentration camps and later reclaimed as a symbol of resilience during the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Harvey Milk‘s request for a unifying symbol led to Gilbert Baker and Lynn Segerblom‘s creation of the rainbow-striped flag in 1978, with each color carrying distinct symbolism.

​Hot pink: sex; Red: life; Orange: healing; Yellow: sunlight; Green: nature; Turquoise: magic and art; Indigo: serenity; and Violet: spirit.

The original flag’s hot pink and turquoise stripes were soon removed because of the cost and difficulty of manufacturing and/or dying the fabric, resulting in the six-color rainbow flag that we are familiar with today.

The Progress Pride flag, a redesign by Daniel Quasar in 2018, expands to better reflect the intersectional diversity of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. Departing from the traditional horizontal stripes, Quasar introduced a triangle shape, symbolizing the need for forward movement towards inclusivity. The added colors each carry specific meanings: Black and Brown: represent marginalized LGBTQ communities of color, as well as those lost to HIV/AIDS and those currently living with AIDS. Pink and Baby Blue: symbolize genders; White: represents individuals who are transitioning, intersex, or identify outside of the gender binary, Yellow is a contrast to blue and pink, traditionally seen as binary, gendered colors, and the Purple circle symbolizes wholeness and expresses the need for autonomy and integrity.

Note From the Artist

As an artist I have a profound passion for supporting marginalized communities, especially the queer population, who hold close the word “isolated”, even living this close to Seattle. Each of my art pieces reflects my commitment to visibility and connectivity, addressing the longstanding need for representation here, at home. The original intention behind the Pride Wall was to provide a visible embrace for individuals who have been marginalized in the Valley and was a homage to my own healing journey. Integral to this project is the involvement of the community in its installation. This art piece isn’t just For the community but With the community.

I take honor in the impact of the art piece. It brings me an unshakable level of heart to know that some city staff and at least half a dozen residents have moved to and applied to work in this city because of an art installation that I had a piece in. The art’s success serves as a testament to the long-time need that this community has to feel wanted, valued, and safe. A week after its first installation, I was contacted by an elementary school teacher, sharing that her classroom wouldn’t stop talking about the pride wall for at least an hour- this speaks volumes to the unignorable need for this visual validation in our community.

​The symbolism of the ribbons has evolved over time. As they became weathered and required replacing, they came to represent the process of healing and renewal within the community. The act of repairing and refreshing symbolizes acknowledging and embracing imperfections while finding strength in vulnerability. The ribbons themselves carry symbolic significance, representing gifts and the act of unveiling. Despite their strength, ribbons are also vulnerable, reflecting the resilience and fragility inherent in human experiences.

Local Resources

​Support Lines:

  • The Trevor Project (24/7) – Chat, Call: 1 (866) 488-7386, Text: “START” to 678-678

Thank you!

Thank you! To the incredible people who have been a part of this process to add needed visibility to our valley!
Thank you Cynthia McNabb, Amy Ockerlander, Jenn Hernandez, Crystal Fraiser, Lissa Guillet, Brande Damiana, James Webster, Elizabeth Hill, John Lowe, Morgan Whitten, Greg Jamiel, Alice Olen, Amy Olen, Adam Olen, Jay Jun Lowe, Eva Mady, Lindsey Niezgocki, Marc Hoffman, and to all the people not mentioned but whom without this would not have been possible! Thank you~