Know Your Ropes

Hilltop Summer Walk Series
June 22 - August 31st, 2016

Know Your Ropes is a temporary sidewalk mural and walking path in Hilltop, launching in June 2016. The path will be marked by a continuous rope graphic painted on the sidewalk, and along the twists and turns of the path, it will connect mariner knot graphics throughout the neighborhood.  These knots serve as interactive stopping points, connecting the community to place-based stories, and will invite neighbors to explore the neighborhood by foot.  

The murals will also serve as the starting locations for a series of summer walks, hosted and led by different community members and organizations.  In addition to these guided walks, we will also provide printed maps, available at area businesses, for self-guided tours.  

Through this piece of interactive art, the project encourages people to walk more, using this new walking path to invite people to experience the neighborhood in new ways.

The project will be installed in early June, and we'll launch the mural with a community kickoff walk on Wednesday, June 22. 

We hope to see you walking the neighborhood this summer! 


The artwork for Know Your Ropes is inspired by classic forms of mariner’s knots and is symbolic of tying the neighborhood together. The six major knots depicted were drawn directly from found imagery in the “Book of Knots” style, and were chosen for their beauty, as well as usefulness. The bowline in particular (installed in front of People’s Center) is considered one of the most useful knots, and is sometimes even called the “king of knots”. Some of the knots depicted are more obscure or known by multiple names, but all are realistically portrayed. The six knots featured in the mural are: stevedore, alpine butterfly, bowline, ojal alto, two half hitches, and sheet bend. The visual quality of the subject also lends itself to the purpose – the graphic rope imagery of the mural naturally creates a walking path, punctuated by knots, and made more interesting by twisting, turning, looping, and smaller knots along the way. Visually, the mural is also meant to be an organic and fun addition to an otherwise mostly geometric environment with lots of straight lines, pavement, and hard edges. The rope meanders down the sidewalk, temporarily disrupting the urban order of Hilltop.



Oliver Doriss - Lead Artist/Fabricator

Anneka Olson - Planning

Rebecca Solverson - Planning

AM Independent - Design

Whitney Henry-Lester - Audio

Michael Ball - Video

Josh Jorgenson - Support


Tacoma Housing Authority
Hilltop Business Association
Harvest Pierce County
Hilltop Action Coalition
Peace Community Center
Fulcrum Gallery