Wednesday, July 15, 2015

International Meat & Sausage mural

Here are a few photos of the painted sign outside the International Meat & Sausage / Overseas Taste market at SE 64th & Foster, next to Laurelwood Park. Business signs usually aren't part of this ongoing mural project, but this one's cute, and includes a cute cat, so I bent the rules for it, just this once. Sadly, until they invent Smell-o-Vision you won't get to enjoy the full effect; the whole surrounding neighborhood smells like spicy Eastern European sausages. I maintain this smells amazing, and the scent is a valuable public service, freely provided at no charge. Though I can see how non-carnivores (or people on diets) might beg to differ.

Tropical mural, SE 72nd & Harold

I stopped at SE 72nd & Harold to locate the Mt. Scott-Arleta Community Mural and noticed this tropical design painted on a building across the street. I don't know anything else about it, but it's kind of pleasant and I thought it was worth sharing.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

JOIN mural

The next mural up is at NE 81st & Halsey, outside the JOIN homeless services agency. The agency moved to this location in 2010, and the mural was painted shortly afterward by artist Rodolfo Serna, with help from a couple of local youth programs. (The RACC's now-defunct Murals of Portland site [via] lists the credits as: El Programa Hispano students from Madison High School p:ear youth, JOIN staff, and Jakub )

Serna also created a mural in the 4600 block of SE Hawthorne in 2009, but I'm afraid you won't be seeing it here; the entire block is now home to a shiny new apartment building, because gentrification

Buckman Field mural

The next mural we're checking out is at Portland's Buckman Field Park, or rather on the back of a warehouse facing the park. This was created in summer 2014 by mural artist Klutch. Despite its size, this mural is a bit hard to find. The warehouse it's on is at the SW corner of the park, and the mural's down a slope from the running track, located behind some trees. If I'm not mistaken, the same warehouse is home to two Weston roses on the NE 12th side of the building. So, business in the front, party in the back, I guess.

Emerson School mural

The next mural we're visiting is at the Emerson School on Portland's North Park Blocks, where a cartoon mural version of the park blocks faces the school's parking lot. This was painted in 2012 by Mofee123. I've seen it called Elephant in the Park before but I don't know if that's an official or not. One fun thing about this mural is that the lot's "reserved parking" signs were integrated into the design. There's a closeup in the slideshow that shows this a lot better than the first photo does. (You did know my posts always have slideshows, right?)

In any case, the elephant in the maybe-title is the Da Tung sculpture, which a Chinese businessman donated to the city back in the early 2000s. My post about the elephant went up in 2008, and looking at it now I think my photos were better back then. I'd just gotten a swanky DSLR and I took it everywhere and used it all the time, whereas in 2015 the vast majority of my posts are just Samsung phone photos, mostly because the convenience of Flickr auto-upload is hard to beat. The rest of the post is pretty much just a link dump, though. I posted it in November, so I suspect I was trying to get a bunch of posts done in bulk to get to zero drafts by year's end. Zero drafts on New Years is my goal again this year, but I have so many of them right now I have no idea whether I'll be able to hit that goal. You probably don't believe me. If I could show you my Drafts folder you probably still wouldn't believe me. It's not just murals, either; they're just the low hanging fruit, so I've been doing a lot of them, and saving the others for later.

Alley mural, SE 6th & Yamhill

So our next stop on the mural tour is a little unusual. The block bordered by SE 6th & 7th Ave., & Yamhill & Taylor Sts. is home to several older buildings, with narrow alleys between them. Alleys like this in Portland are almost always fenced off, but these aren't (at least not yet), and the one facing 6th contains the mural you see here. It doesn't appear to be signed, and I don't know anything about it; I just happened to notice it while walking by, so I stopped for a few photos. It kind of looks like a Mayan design to me, but I'm not an expert on pre-Columbian art, and it could just as easily be an Aztec or Olmec pattern, or something invented for this mural for all I know.

Mt. Scott - Arleta Community Mural

The next stop on the mural tour is another neighborhood community one, the Mt. Scott - Arleta Community Mural, on the side of a building at SE 72nd & Harold. The RACC blurb:

Artist Tiago DeJerk and local teens have created this vibrant design depicting local community members, including a gardener, a person reading a book, a motorcyclist, an athlete, a musician, a person holding an umbrella and another walking a dog, a bicyclist, and a painter. The mural’s purpose is to unite and improve the community as well as promote diversity.
DeJerk's blog has a few posts about the mural project as slowly it came together.

Woodstock Community Mural

The next mural on our ongoing tour is the Woodstock Community Mural at SE 45th & Woodstock. This is a bit more ambitious than your usual community mural, and I really wish construction hadn't prevented me from getting a better look at it. At least there's a long RACC blurb describing what's on it:

Located in the heart of the Woodstock neighborhood business district, the mural is divided into three sections representing different themes of its location. The figures featured in each section are adorned with symbols of Greek Gods representing each theme. The left side of the mural represents Commerce, depicting a business owner in his store. He is surrounded by symbols of Hermes, the Greek god of Commerce—he is bearded, has a crocus flower, a winged hat, and a tattoo of the Caduceus, Hermes’ staff. The center of the mural is Education, featuring a student in a classroom and symbols of the goddess Athena, including an owl, an olive branch necklace, and a tiger lily. One of the highlights of education in Woodstock is the acclaimed Mandarin Immersion Program, so the neighborhood motto is translated into Mandarin on the chalkboard behind the student. The right side of the mural is the Outdoors and features an urban farmer. The Greek goddess of the harvest, Demeter, is referenced with a poppy headdress that mimics a radiate crown, a tattoo of a sheaf of wheat, a cornucopia, and a lotus staff. This final section also includes images of the nearby farmer’s market and Woodstock Park.

Press Release:
Artist Website:
Artist Website:

Note that these photos were taken several months ago. I'm not sure what was being built on the lot next door, but it's entirely possible the mural's now obscured by another cookie-cutter apartment building or something. I haven't gone back to check.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Velo Cult mural

The ongoing mural tour takes us back to the Hollywood District, where this large mural graces the back of the Velo Cult bike shop, facing NE 41st, north of Hancock. This is a fairly recent mural, painted in summer 2014 by Andy Phillips. And yes, the store does serve beer, and sometimes has live music at night. This may sound like a gag from a certain Portland-based IFC show (which Shall Not Be Named), but it's a thing that exists within Portland city limits. I kind of hope the 'burbs never find out about this combo, though, because they'll turn it into Jagermeister shots at the local BMW dealer, featuring a Nickelback cover band.