Bird Murals of Portland
One thing I really appreciate about Portland is the love of art. It’s hard to turn a street corner without bumping into a sculpture, installation, yarn bomb, or mural. It sparks conversation and brightens up this notoriously rainy town.
I’m especially delighted to see so many birds in the designs. It shows just how integrated they are in our culture and lives.
Even at the schools. On my bus route home I was surprised to see a Belted Kingfisher among the critter paintings outside Access Academy at NE 57th/Thompson.
And this gem is located on the rec field at Buckman Elementary School in SE Portland.
My elementary school was not nearly that rad.
The artists are George Hambov aka Apeseven, based in Sydney Australia and “Klutch,” a Portland based artist. Some of my favorite bird murals in Portland are collaboration pieces by these two accomplished artists. A couple more:
It’s stunning and hard to pick a favorite. A portion of another goodie by Apeseven and Jeremy Nichols aka PlasticBirdie:
If I’m going to live in a concrete jungle of a city surrounded by buildings, I want those buildings covered in street art.
Here’s a Bald Eagle piece by Native American artist Yatika Fields.
This mural at SE Stark/28th on Bonfire Lounge first caught my eye because of the dove.
The image has a much deeper meaning. Releasing the ivory dove, a symbol of love, peace, and messengers, is Michael Brown, the unarmed African American teen who was shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri, that sparked riots and protest against violence and systemic racism toward black people.
Painted by Portland local, Ashley Montague, the mural also sparked controversy from some in the Portland community with concerns of a portrayal of violence. The original work (that included SWAT police pointing guns at Brown) has been censored, as seen in my photo, and the entire mural will eventually be completely covered according to the building owner.
Ashley Montague is also responsible for painting an incredibly stunning mural on the side of Lowbrow Lounge in downtown Portland.
It’s hard to capture in a photo how awesome it is. A close-up of the owl.
With that backdrop of warm, rich fall colors? Wonderful.
This also reminds me of the connection between birds and bars in this town. White Owl Social Club, The Raven, Swift Lounge, Perch Tavern, White Eagle Saloon, Migration Brewing. But birds and bars is an entirely different post.
There are many more. I bump into new ones almost every day. Like this adorable “Fight For Your Dreams” piece painted by Maryanna Hoggott aka Leetlewolf.
A look at the brave bird in daylight.
And here’s another great one I discovered at The Lumberyard painted by Mr. Never Satisfied and PlasticBirdie.
I can also appreciate the native bird murals. Like this one on PDX Automotive painted by Kenny Spurlock (who sadly died August of 2014). The mural even includes a Wilson’s Warbler, a nice detail.
And this wouldn’t be a bird mural post without the Portland Memorial Mausoleum Mural at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. It is one of the largest hand-painted murals in the nation designed by Dan Cohen of ArtFX Murals and Shane Bennett (who died in a snowmobile accident Mar 2009). His contributions will forever be cherished by the community.
The details of the mural stand out when hiking the Oaks Bottom Loop Trail. In one shady nook I spotted a Great Horned Owl.
And who could miss the 70-ft Great Blue Heron.
On a clear day Mt St. Helens peeks out just past the mural as seen from the upper Bluff Trail. This painting transformed the once dull building into a much more appealing landscape.
One final piece I’d like to mention is a downtown mural, “Out of the Shade.”
Painted by local artists Rather Severe (Jon Stommel & Travis Czekalski) and Blaine Fontana, this thoughtful work is part of a Find Your Words project by Kaiser Permanente to fight depression stigma.
If you’re feeling down look around and maybe some work of art will lift you up. All these murals make me happy and smile as I pass them by providing much needed uplift in these trying times. They brighten my days.
Portland is very lucky. Many thanks to the Portland Street Art Alliance, Forest For The Trees, and especially the many talented artists. Your work does not go by unnoticed.
For the love of art.
Tweets and chirps,
All of my mural photos can be found in my Flickr album.
[It is of the utmost importance to give credit where credit is due. Notice something I missed? don’t hesitate to contact. Thanks.]