Celebrating Kirk Reeves

Mural to memorialize popular bridge performer

7/16/2014, 11:35 a.m.
A 2007 portrait of street performer Kirk Reeves by Gwenn Seemel. The trademark style of Seemel’s work will be part of a new mural of the late musician being painted on the wall of a building at Northeast Grand and Lloyd Boulevard, formerly the location of Rich’s Deli. Portrait by Gwenn Seemel

Commuters going across the Hawthorne Bridge in years past often got a glimpse of Kirk Reeves, playing his trumpet and performing magic tricks; now the late Portland staple will be memorialized in paint.

Over the next two weeks, Portland artist Gwenn Seemel will be working on a mural-sized portrait of Reeves who passed away in November 2012.

The 10 by 30 foot mural will show Reeves in his trademark white tux, black sparkly sweater, his trumpet and red sequined hat. The background will be the musical score for the first few bars of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” a song often played by Reeves on his trumpet. ,

The portrait is being paid for by the Regional Arts & Culture Council as part of its public art mural program and will be painted along the east facing wall of a building on the southwest corner of Northeast Grand Avenue and Lloyd Boulevard.

Seemel writes on her blog, “…he was always dressed to the nines—white tuxedo with tail, sparkly black sweater, Mickey Mouse hat...He was doing what he loved and he was glad for it.”

Her mural of Reeves is meant to capture his lively presence that was appreciated by young and old alike.