Saturday, August 01, 2015

BARK Mural

Next up on the mural tour is the huge BARK Mural, the jam-packed nature scene at the Firestone store at 4601 SE Powell. I ran across this in a Kay's Bird Club post, though I'm sure I would have noticed it on my own eventually if I was on Powell more often. A 2011 Tribune article about it interviewed lead artist Robin Corbo (who also created the MIKE mural near Lloyd Center, and a couple of others I haven't posted yet). The article explains that the mural was created in conjunction with BARK, a nonprofit that works to protect the Mt. Hood National Forest, which explains the subject matter here. I imagine "created in conjunction with" means the group supplied volunteers to help paint it. Here and there you can kind of tell that community volunteers were involved, and the sorta-infamous 'Art Wall of Shame' Tumblr ranted about some of the mural's more uneven details. Ranting about well-meaning volunteers seems kind of meanspirited if you ask me. I suppose there's just no satisfying some people.

A tire store on Powell may sound like a weird location for a saving-the-world nature mural, but this was a deliberate symbolic choice; Powell doubles as highway US 26, which (eventually) is the main road to Mt. Hood and points east. (You could keep going on US 26 all the way to Ogallala, Nebraska, if you were so inclined.)

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