(Mural unveiling | Photo by Cascade A&E Magazine)
A colorful mural celebrating Oregon and its diverse cultures has been unveiled at Redmond Municipal Airport as part of a media event also featuring performances by Warm Springs drummer Carlos Calica and the Redmond High School Jazz Band.
Featuring artwork from the new Oregon Cultural Trust license plate, it is one of four full-scale murals being installed at airports in the state, including Medford, Eugene and Portland, through a partnership with GreenCars.com (a division of Lithia Motors).
Redmond Mayor George Endicott spoke at the event, emceed by Community Arts Coordinator for the Oregon Arts Commission Liora Sponko. Also in attendance was Bend resident and Cultural Trust board member Chris Van Dyke, who served with fellow board members ad hoc to oversee the creation of the artwork.
Dubbed “Celebrate Oregon!” the piece was created by Eugene-based artist Liza Burns and is a vibrant tapestry of Oregon geography into which are woven 127 symbols representing different aspects of our collective arts, heritage, history and cultural practices.
It is the result of a year-long, inclusive process that began with a group of statewide nominators sharing the creative brief with artists and designers. A total of 36 artists submitted statements of interest and work samples, with the final selection approval being decided by a diverse jury.
“The new design, built on a panorama of Oregon geography, reflects and respects the diversity of our culture at a time we need it most,” said Cultural Trust Board Chair Niki Price. “Cultural expression is how our communities define themselves — how they live their everyday lives, their traditions, their heritage, their creativity, their celebrations, their values and how they connect with one another. Our culture is the glue that can bind us together as Oregonians.”
Cultural Trust Executive Director Brian Rogers added, “We knew that reflecting the breadth of Oregon culture, and how it brings us together, in one design was an extremely ambitious goal
“Liza’s creation does that and so much more. It captures the spirit of Oregon and also serves as an educational tool for exploring our diversity. We are incredibly proud and excited to share it with Oregonians.”
The license plate artwork is accompanied by an interactive visual key that explains each of the symbols and how they connect to Oregon culture, accessed via a QR code.