Two new public art murals underway and one mural restored

Two large scale mural projects are underway in Portland this summer – all recipients of grant funding from the Regional Arts & Culture Council. RACC’s public art mural program, financed by the City of Portland, provides funding for community murals that reflect diversity in style and media and encourages artists from diverse backgrounds and range of experience to apply. Murals approved through this program become part of the City’s public art collection. The new murals include:

North Tabor Neighborhood, Penumbra Kelly Building
StarCraft: Mission to Arts, artists
4747 East Burnside; RACC Funding: $8,925; 10’H x 133’L

Photo: Courtesy of SpaceCraft: Mission to Art

Photo: Courtesy of SpaceCraft: Mission to Art

Fresh off of completing a large scale mural for the Albina Maintenance Yard wall on N. Mississippi, three artists from SpaceCraft: Mission to Arts – Jakub Jerzy Kucharczyk, Matthew Allen Wooldridge, Maxwell Humphres – have begun another mural with community participation for the south and west facing walls of the Penumbra Kelly parking structure. The building houses the Portland Police Bureau’s Property Crimes Task Force, and personnel from the Office of Neighborhood Involvement Crime Prevention & Graffiti Abatement Programs and Water Bureau Rangers. The mural wraps around onto the west wall and extends to the end of the city’s property along that wall.

The artists worked extensively with the North Tabor neighborhood and the Police Bureau to identify highlights from the neighborhood’s past, present and possible future. You’ll find residents of various cultures socializing, walking dogs, and enjoying the annual soapbox-derby down Mt. Tabor. Old and new modes of transportation – including jet-pack powered pets merge into landscape scenes and images of firefighters, police, transit drivers and postal workers. Through these scenes flows a ribbon of fabric coming from women sewing in the historic Shogren House. Over the next few weekends, the artists welcome neighbors from the North Tabor neighborhood to assist with painting. For more information, go to A celebration will be scheduled for some time in September.

Vespa Portland Mural
Larry Kangas, artist
2318 NW Vaughn; RACC Funding: $7300; 14’H x 65’L

Photo: Richard Roderick

Photo: Richard Roderick

The 12’ x 65’ mural on the east wall of Vespa Portland will feature, at first glance, a vibrant street scene in an Italian village that includes a produce stand, bakery shop, coffee shop, and sidewalk cafe. Upon closer inspection, you’ll find well-known landmarks from this Northwest Portland neighborhood. Kangas designed the mural in collaboration with Paul and Maggy Henry, owners of Vespa Portland, with the purpose of creating a neighborhood mural that is colorful and fun and whose details can be discovered over time.

Kangas writes “The project is seeking donations or sponsors to cover costs. Larger sponsors will be recognized in some way on the wall.”

Kangas has completed numerous public and private commissions in the Northwest. His 200-ft.long mural for Parkrose High School in Northeast Portland, features the history of the horse in different cultures and was completed in 2007 with the assistance of students from Parkrose.

Mural Restoration Project

In addition to these new murals being added to the city’s landscape, for nearly a year the Beaumont Wilshire Neighborhood Association has been working on gathering the resources and person-power to restore a 2008 mural by

 located in the Wilshire Park Pavilion (NE 33rd Avenue and Skidmore Street). After numerous tagging and graffiti incidents and removals, the mural was in much need of a facelift. This past Sunday and Monday, a crew consisting of the artist and her sister, neighbors and Portland Parks and Recreation staff spent hours applying a fresh coat of paint. Subsequently, Graffiti Removal Services applied an anti-graffiti coating to protect the mural for years to come. This successful project was made possible through the diligence and commitment of a group of neighbors and city employees committed to making this a successful collaborative project.