Most people tend to find rainy days pretty gloomy. Seattle artist Peregrine Church decided to create whimsical street art only visible in the rain to brighten people’s days. Some pieces poke fun at the weather, like “404 Error: Sun not found,” while others offer fun diversions like hopscotch.
“My goal is to turn rainy days into something to look forward to,” says Church, who created the street art that he calls Rainworks. “I hope people will be excited and/or surprised when they find them, and that it makes their rainy day better.”
The art is made using a hydrophobic spray called Always Dry. (A similar product, Ultra-Ever Dry, was used to create anti-pee walls outside bars.) In the case of Rainworks, Church uses stencils to make his art and sprays the Always Dry over the stencil, like you would use spray paint. As the pavement gets darker in the rain, the artworks emerge from the lighter negative space that stays dry.
A couple of the pieces of art also have environmental messages. Those stencils were commissioned by the LOTT Clean Water Alliance, a reclaimed-water facility and science center in Olympia, Washington. But Church says he’s not interested in advertising products, and only agreed to those commissioned pieces because they resonate with his own values.
Seattle is famed for how rainy it is, so you could even say that Church’s works are creating a genre of street art native to the city. “Because Seattle is known for rain, it makes logical sense that we could be a center for rain-based art,” says Church.