Muckleshoot Tribe A Beautiful Water Tank Mural of Nature and Heritage

Sometimes art in public places fits so well into its surroundings that you can hardly imagine what the place would be like without it. That is most certainly the case with Peter and Rolf Goetzinger’s beautiful water tank mural for the Muckleshoot Tribe. Industrial objects, such as large tanks, can stand out like a sore thumb in what is otherwise pristine American wilderness. The Pacific Northwest of the United States is known for its gorgeous landscapes and native heritage. This commissioned mural puts the brothers’ 15 years of experience to work, in order to improve both the view from the highway and proudly display the tribe’s unique legacy.

Goetzinger Brothers Beautiful Water Tank Mural Landscape
The beautiful water tank mural complements the natural landscape without distracting from it.

Salmon is of utmost importance to the Muckleshoot Tribe of the South Seattle area. Not only does it figure into their ceremonies and cosmology, but it is a main staple of their diet as well. The sacred salmon run was chosen as the subject matter for the beautiful water tank mural for a reason. The fish themselves are designed in the tribe’s own aesthetic, composed of smaller triangular shapes. The many variants of blue stand out from the trees behind the tank, yet match the blue of the snowy mountain summit. The tribe’s logo is featured on the top of the tank, which also includes this region’s iconic peak. The tank is 120 feet tall and 16 feet in diameter, but these gigantic sizes are exactly what the Goetzinger brothers specialize in. Making them even better suited to realize this project is the fact that nature scenes and emphasizing the beauty of the surrounding landscape is their exact forte.

But, as is the case with such extraordinary public art projects, there can be challenges. Contrary to their usual process of painting freehand, Peter and Rolf Goetzinger taped up big patterns to make sure the lines of the mural were absolutely perfect. This ability to problem solve is necessary when dealing with such complex, multi-faceted art projects.

“Creating these big patterns worked, they could take the curve. Often on a tank that is not quite so curved we can project the patterns on a big projector. That didn’t work on this tank because it is a small circumference” -Peter Goetzinger-

Goetzinger Brothers Beautiful Water Tank Mural Salmon
There is great compositional balance between the dark and light portions of the background and the placement of each salmon.

When creating a beautiful water tank mural there are numerous considerations to keep in mind. One is that it must be memorable and in a visible location. This mural for the Muckleshoot Tribe is located just off of state highway 164, meaning many people would pass the art piece, but the original idea still had to be improved upon.

“On the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe mural, we positioned the salmon higher on the tank than they were on the original design after we realized they would not be visible from certain views” -Rolf Goetzinger

This kind of attention to detail is what takes a mural from being just pretty and pleasing, and elevates it to the extraordinary. Another requirement of successful art in public places is that it represents the local population. Taking into account the local reception of the piece, the Muckleshoot mural fulfills this criterion completely.

The unique and enchanting imagery that the brothers consistently come up with continues to impress. Finishing the whole project in just one week, Peter and Rolf Goetzinger, along with Rolf’s daughter Anja, have shown why they are well-known around the country for their beautiful water tank murals.