Be careful what you wish for...for years I'd wanted to do a mural, a large public work. Now I have and it's been an incredible amount of work and learning—it's pushed me physically in ways I could not have imagined having been a small to mid size studio artist. It's been a fantastic and rewarding experience!
MAHONIA DREAMING, an eight foot by thirty foot mural, is a response to and a reflection of the values expressed throughout the Mahonia Building, Eugene, OR and its industrial-environmentalist design. It is an homage` to the Willamette Valley and the natural resources that have sustained communities for generations beginning with the Kalapuya people.
The project graphically layers time and space through the identification of pattern and visual movement. A unifying, repeated motif abstracted from the Mahonia Aquifolium plant, known commonly as Oregon Grape, is overlaid across the top and lower portions of the panel. Eugene’s signature ridge line of Spencer’s Butte is
abstracted and represented twice—first as a far distant contour of the Butte and adjacent rolling hills and, second, as a mirror image that contains and from which dense clusters of Oregon Grape, both in its flowered and berry stages, emerge and signal growth.
The flight path of a hawk, a sight frequently observed in the Willamette Valley, is
dynamically represented by black and white tracking lines as it swoops across the panel, its curved path directing the viewer through the work.
Every visual choice from color palette, motifs and patterning to paint handling and
technique are designed as an authentic response to the core values of its subject, the
Mahonia Building and its context, Eugene.
MAHONIA DREAMING is a public/private sponsored work and civic collaboration between the City of Eugene's Urban Canvas initiative and the Mahonia Building, Eugene, OR.