Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bella venti-tre e Thurman

The next public mural on our ongoing tour is Bella venti-tre e Thurman, located outside the Vespa dealership at the busy corner of NW 23rd & Vaughn. The mural was sponsored by the dealership along with a few other area businesses, all of which appear in the mural. Its RACC page describes it:

Initially appearing as a vibrant scene in an Italian village, closer examination reveals that the bustling activity is in fact Northwest Portland. Side streets reveal craftsman-style homes and well-known sites such as the Chapman Elementary School during the yearly Vaux's Swifts invasion. The mural seeks to show the essence of the neighborhood and provide a colorful attraction with fun details to discover.

For any prospective tourists out there, you should be aware that the real Portland isn't quite as vibrant and Mediterranean as the mural suggests, as fun as that would be. The mural's pleasant to look at, though, and it brightens up a part of 23rd where residential NW Portland segues into the gritty NW Industrial District. I'm pretty sure there was just a boring blank wall here before the mural went in.

This was one of the last designs by local mural artist Larry Kangas, who died in November 2013. There's a gallery of his other murals on his website.

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