“The Red Popsicle” by Catherine Mayer is one of the most recent additions to Martin Selig’s art collection. Acquired in 2011, and it is now located at Fourth and Blanchard.
Undoubtedly one of the most unusual and grossest attractions we have ever visited is the ‘Gum Wall’ in Seattle. For years people have been sticking their gum on the walls of Post Alley, close to the ever-popular Pikes Place Market.
The tradition first started in the 1990s when people were waiting to get into shows at Unexpected Productions got bored and stuck their gum to the wall and added in a coin in some cases. Initially, the poor staff at Unexpected Productions tried to keep the walls clean, but they soon become overwhelmed and gave up, So, the tradition began.
The wall is long, about 50 feet in length. Some creative folks have even started to build sculptures in gum, with new visitors adding to these unique art forms.
Back in 2015, an attempt was made to clean the wall. The work took 130 hours, and 2,350 pounds of gum old and new were scraped away during the process. It was not long before people started sticking their gum to the wall again and today you would never know it had been cleaned.
As you might expect it is not the most hygienic of places. Indeed, on hot summer days, it can be quite smelly. In 2013, the Gum Wall was number 2 (the Blarney Stone being number 1) of the germiest tourist attractions in the world!
Yes, it is weird and somewhat ghastly but if you are in downtown Seattle and close to Pikes Place Market, the ‘Gum Wall’ is worth a visit – even if it is just for curiosity’s sake.