Estacada murals get self-reflective
Nearly two decades ago, members of the local arts community organized what would become the annual Summer Celebration around the Estacada Artback's tradition of painting a mural each year.
Now, members of Artback are preparing to create a mural inspired by Summer Celebration.
Kolieha Bush and Nolene Triska are the lead artists for "Celebration of Summer," which will be painted in July on the Dollar General Building, 416 Broadway St.
"We didn't have a mural about Summer Celebration, which was built around the murals," Triska said. "It seemed obvious."
Both Bush and Triska have worked on many of Artback's previous murals. Triska was lead artist for "The Mushroom Forager," and Bush was lead artist for "Bird Party," "Tree of Life" and "Celebration '98."
During the Summer Celebration, community members gather on Broadway Street to browse creations from local artists, hear live music, participate in craft activities and watch as members of the Artback work on their painting.
The design for "Celebration of Summer" incorporates many of these elements. Specifically, the stage with performers, arts activity booths, labyrinth painting, giant handmade puppets and a mural being created are all highlighted.
The design is based off photos of the event that have been taken over the years.
Triska noted that one of her favorite parts is the artists painting the mural.
"It reminds me of doing the murals every year," she said.
The most interesting part of the creation process so far, Triska continued, has been "trying to invoke the rhythm and excitement of the celebration. We want it to be exciting like the celebration is."
"We wanted to show the spirit and fun of Summer Celebration," Bush added. "We're trying to show a fun family event."
Another facet of the festival Triska and Bush strived to incorporate into the design was the variety of people that attend.
"We wanted it to be inclusive, and show all ages and all of our citizens having fun together," Triska said. "We wanted it to show everyone in the community, because everyone comes down to Summer Celebration."
Bush noted that Artback painters see many community members while working on their project every year.
"The interaction with people that come by is always really interesting," she said. "When you're working on a wall for a long time, you meet and see a lot of people that you wouldn't normally see. It's great getting support from people from all walks of life."
Artback's annual mural project began in 1994, and the giant paintings can be found in many spots around town. Summer Celebration was formed in 2000 to commemorate the tradi-
Since the inception of Artback's projects, they have become an important part of Estacada's identity.
"It's branding Estacada as an arts community, among other things. People really seem
to love the murals," Triska said.
Bush is happy to highlight Summer Celebration in this year's mural and appreciates the way in which the arts community comes together for the event.
"I love the homemade quality to Summer Celebration," she said, noting that the festival's banners, puppets and other decorative elements are all made by local artists. "It has a really good feeling because it's people in the community trying to do a fun thing. I really like the approach."