by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - A crowd gathered for the Joe Cotter kiosk dedication in front of the Buckman Community Mural in Portland on Friday, April 18.

If you happened to be at Southeast 12th and Morrison Street in Portland last Friday afternoon, you would have noticed a lot of familiar faces.

by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Kolieha, wife of the late muralist and public art advocate Joe Cotter,  shared memories of the painting of the Buckman Community Mural. Dozens of Estacadans were part of the crowd gathered in front of the Buckman Community Mural for the dedication of a kiosk in honor of the late artist and public art advocate Joe Cotter.

“I just think it’s awesome that it’s here and all these people are here,” said Kolieha Bush, Cotter’s widow. “I miss him a lot.”

“It’s really extraordinary that he would draw this many people from Estacada,” said author Stevan Allred.

During the ceremony, speakers commended Cotter’s artistic prowess, commitment to social justice and his successful fight to keep public murals legal in Portland.

by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Cotters son, Leon (left), serenaded the crowd gathered for the dedication.Fond anecdotes were shared: Walk by Cotter as he was painting a mural and you were likely to wind up in it.

Bush said Cotter was soon flooded with requests from people to be in the Buckman Community Mural.

Bush pointed out where she painted Cotter himself into the mural. He’s (what else) painting a mural, in the mural.

by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Cotter creatively combined different eras from the neighborhood's history  in the Buckman Community Mural.The kiosk installed near the mural contains fliers with biographical information about Cotter.

The flier describes Cotter in the vein of Mexican muralist Diego Rivera: “Like Rivera, Joe believed that his public art had a responsibility to illustrate the lives and history of ordinary people.”

Cotter, who died of cancer in 2012, was lead artist for several of the Artback Artist murals in downtown Estacada, including “The Cycle of Wood,” which was restored last year.

The Buckman Community Mural was his final public painting

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