Six new public art murals take shape
Six new public art murals are capturing the attention of local residents this summer.
The large scale mural projects, supported with grants from the Regional Arts & Culture Council, have been completed in recent days or are underway.
The council’s public art mural program, financed by the City of Portland, provided $27,400 for community murals that reflect diversity in style and media and encourages artists from diverse backgrounds. They will become part of the City’s public art collection.
The recent additions include the south wall of a Union 76 gas station at 16150 S.E. Stark St. in the Rosewood Neighborhood. Artist Antwoine Thomas with the support of Addie Boswell and other local residents, created a design that represents the positive changes occurring in the neighborhood.
Recognizable elements from Rosewood, including roses, community gardens, the diversity of residents, and local businesses, are identified throughout the painting. There are also elements that link the neighborhood to the greater Portland metro area, honoring some of the neighborhoods from which many residents have relocated.
In southwest Portland, Korean-American artist Una Kim and students from Portland State University have been feverishly working on a mural on the east wall of Keller Auditorium, 222 S.W. Clay.
The design is influenced and inspired by such works as Degas’ ballerinas, Mary Cassatt’s At the Opera, and Dufy’s The Yellow Violin. Also included is a modern dancer, two musicians in an orchestra, and a jazz musician along with an acrobat to represent the large scope of the theater.
In Kim’s words, “It is clear to me that murals can inspire and uplift.”
Another mural has begun to take shape along the west side of the city’s Albina Yard Maintenance Building at 3150 N. Mississippi Ave.
Throughout the mural’s design development, community engagement has been the driving force. The Boise Neighborhood Association, community members and the maintenance workers have all contributed their voices as to how they want themselves and their neighborhood depicted.
The mural embraces a theme of “perpetual collaboration” through time. Community practices and industries that affected the local neighborhood can be found among the mountains, bridges, gardens, parks, icons of communities, and depictions of city workers that keep the city functioning. Also Included are symbols of the neighborhoods’ transitions of populations from Native American, Volga German, Finn, Chinese, and African American communities.
Artist Chris Haberman has led the creation of a public mural at the Eagles Lodge on Southeast 50th Avenue and Hawthorne Boulevard. Titled the People’s History of Hawthorne, the artwork depicts notable historical figures, the street car line and the always changing figures who have been part of Hawthorne for 100 years.
Alberta Street Crossing is a pair of public murals located at Northeast 42nd Avenue and Alberta. Led by artist Loey Hargrove, the artworks aspire to invoke community through a “Tree of Life’ theme symbolizing process, change, the continuity and connectivity of life. Words submitted by members of the surrounding neighborhoods are being added to the mural and are intended to reinforce the symbiotic relationship between the commercial district and area residents.
Artist Mike Lawrence is behind a public mural situated centrally in the Woodstock Neighborhood of southeast Portland. The work is designed to highlight the best of the neighborhood and instill a sense of community pride.