Passersby can now see the newest work-in-progress from Fresh Paint, a temporary murals program, on the exterior wall of Open Signal: Portland Community Media Center on NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard at Graham Street.
Created by artists Andrea de la Vega and Damien Dawahare, the mural depicts the Mexican tradition of building the ofrenda, or ‘offering,’ during Día de Muertos—a practice intended to welcome the deceased to the altar.
“Through our own greater cultural explorations, we discovered a ritual of connection that is all about telling stories and remembering and honoring the past,” the artists wrote in their mural proposals. “The imagery is lighthearted and shares a story of coming and going. The color palette is warm and vibrant, depicting a life after death through friendly and familiar tones.”
The mural will be completed on October 22, 2018, staying on display until March 31, 2019.
About Fresh Paint
Fresh Paint is a partnership between Open Signal and the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC). Now in its second year, Fresh Paint is a professional development program that provides emerging artists of color the opportunity to paint a mural in a high-traffic setting for the first time. The goal is for each artist to learn new ways of creating art in a public space, as well as to build their portfolio.
Fresh Paint will feature two additional murals in 2019. Future muralists include Maria Rodriguez, Bizar Gomez & Anke Gladnick (April 2019 – October 2019), Eric Mpwo and Limei Lai (October 2019 – October 2020).
About the Artists
Andrea de la Vega was born in Querétaro, Mexico and grew up in Las Vegas, NV. Her mother encouraged her creativity at an early age and she pursued a degree in Interior Design at UNLV. Her work in interior design is rooted in storytelling and she believes design can have a positive impact on the human daily experience. With her artwork, she is drawn to nature and the female form. She paints in acrylic and watercolor.
Damien Dawahare is an artist and designer from Las Vegas, Nevada. He is currently working and studying at Pacific Northwest College of Art. Damien’s work ranges from traditional printmaking techniques to 3D modeling and interactive design. He utilizes line and color in order to interpret light and space.