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Monday 08.24.09

« Craft Conversation #2 | Main | Tuesday Links »

Chris Johanson and Jo Jackson mural in North Portland

Unfinished mural by Jo Jackson and Chris Johanson in North Portland

Maybe the new mural at Albina Green at the corner of N Albina and Sumner has caught your eye already. If it hasn't it should, it's a 14' x 53' work by Portland's Chris Johanson and Jo Jackson. According to RACC:

"The mural relates to the building, its surrounding neighborhood and the community in its theme of the contemporary natural environment. Chris and Jo work with imageries that relate to nature and the city often in their work. In this project they intend to combine a colorful abstract landscape including both native and exotic species, coexisting together in nature. Using symbols of Oregon; the Kingsnake, blackberries, the backyard, farm and garden, the artists will integrate these elements together with the sun and the rain. The visual impressions these artists bring to the proposed mural will be metaphoric of the growth, and expansion we see in the culture and population of this neighborhood, creating harmony and peacefulness within the changing community environment.

Neighborhood artist and resident Anne Greenwood approached Chris and Jo in early 2010 after meeting with building owner Michael Callahan about the graffiti and general disrepair of the existing mural. Anne wrote a RACC public arts mural grant and the project was approved in June 2009 with Jo and Chris beginning in July."

Overall, nice initiative on everybody's part...

If you don't live under a rock you are already aware that Chris is easily the most famous artist living in Portland, he's represented by Jack Hanley and Deitch Projects etc. What's more important is that he and his wife are quite good (as top exponents of "the mission school" ie street art that transcended both the street and the gallery system in the 90's). I completely expect Johanson to have a major museum retrospective in the next decade and Jo Jackson's video was acquired by the Portland Art Museum in 2006 (it's on display on the 4th floor of the Hoffman wing).

All that said, I'm not surprised at all that this sweet, civic-minded couple is actively contributing so generously to that North Portland neighborhood (one filled with artists) by cleaning up a graffiti ridden and peeling wall, which borders an interesting public greenspace. I'm also happy that the old City Hall Vs Clear Channel legal battle which has decimated Portland's murals is been settled in a way that allows this sort of civic level aesthetic engagement of this sort to happen.

The mural isn't done yet but PORT will definitely let you know when the unveiling takes place (original goal was Sept 1).

Posted by Jeff Jahn on August 24, 2009 at 10:48 | Comments (0)


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