Unfinished mural by Jo Jackson and Chris Johanson in North Portland
Maybe the new mural at Albina
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
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
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).