RACC celebrates new mural on N. Albina & Mississippi

Detail from SpaceCraft's new mural.

Detail from SpaceCraft’s new mural.

The artist collective, SpaceCraft Mission to Arts, has completed one of the largest murals funded by RACC’s Public Art Mural Program and will celebrate this collaborative project with a community celebration on Friday, May 24th, 3:30-6:30pm, in the grassy field across the street southwest of the project site. The mural is located on the west wall of the City of Portland’s Bureau of Transportation Maintenance facility (3150 N. Mississippi).

Planning for the mural began in Fall 2010, when the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods received a Graffiti Abatement Grant from the City of Portland to paint murals on buildings as a way to discourage graffiti. With that small grant and coordination with a team of artists from SpaceCraft, community members, and organizations began to raise funds for the project. Throughout the process, community engagement was the driving force—the Boise Neighborhood Association, students from the former Albina Youth Opportunity School, former Humboldt Elementary, Boise Elliot Middle School, community members, and the PBOT maintenance workers all contributed their voices to the mural design and how they wanted themselves and their neighborhood depicted. More than a way to deter graffiti, the artists see the mural as a powerful, collaborative, self-reflective vision of the neighborhood created by those who live in it.

Painting began during the Summer 2012 and was led by SpaceCraft artists, Jakub Kucharczyk, Matthew Wooldridge and Max Humphres. The mural unfolds across 177 ft and features images related to community practices and industries that have been part of the local Portland-Albina neighborhood over the last several eras. Native American landscape migrates into historic industries of lumber, railroad and steel which subsequently move into representations of the diversity of people and activities characteristic of Portland. Featured throughout the mural are mountains, bridges, gardens, parks, and city workers. Included are symbols of the neighborhoods’ transitions of communities from Native American, Volga Germans, Finnish, Chinese and African American.

Travelers on N. Mississippi Ave between N. Fremont St. and N. Monroe St. will see the mural by car, foot, and bike. It is also visible to Northbound drivers on I-5 and I-405. The mural will serve as a gateway to the Historic Mississippi Business District and Boise neighborhood and discourage graffiti

This project was funded in part by a Portland Graffiti Abatement grant and the RACC Public Art Murals Program.

To interview the artists, contact Peggy Kendellen at 503-823-4196 or pkendellen@racc.org.