Forest Grove OKs plans for social justice mural
A mural at Forest Glen Park will celebrate the topic of social justice, after it was proposed by a city commission and approved by the Forest Grove City Council late last month.
The City Council agreed Sept. 28 to approve the recommendation from Forest Grove's public arts commission, a volunteer board set up to advise elected officials on public art in Forest Grove. The council has not yet approved the final design of the mural, although it agreed that a mural should be painted with the theme of social justice.
The City Council determined the topic aligns with the Council's goal of "supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the delivery of city services and operation," with the idea that the mural would reflect that.
The mural proposers, Pacific University seniors Seema Khatecherian and Karsen Buck, are working with an artist and have submitted a rendering and work plan to the City Council for final approval.
As part of their proposal to the City, Khatecherian and Buck offered the following: "It will incorporate imagery which helps to celebrate BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) and encourage the community to think deeper about the issues currently occurring in our country. We plan to have community members of color help inform the design so that we are including the local community's input in this project."
Murals on the wall at Forest Glen Park have been periodically painted and repainted in recent years.
The social justice mural would replace an existing artistic rendering of the American flag. The existing mural, which covers the basketball and handball court wall, was an Eagle Scout project from 2015 that portrayed the American flag on one side, with an outline of the state of Oregon on the opposite.
The 2015 mural replaced a 2006 project, depicting a collection of student handprints, painted by a group from the business management program at Forest Grove High School. Those same students also planted trees, built a picnic table, painted basketball backboards and poles, repainted the court lines, and provided park cleanup.
The cost of the new project is estimated at $1,550. It will be partially funded by CEP (Community Enhancement Program) mini-grant funds approved by the PAC.
The mural project will be the culmination of the initial proposal, which was brought to the city in June 2020.
The City Council will hear community feedback and consider final approval at their coming meeting Monday, Oct. 12, beginning at 7 p.m.
Forest Grove states "equity" as a core value of the city, and believes the latest mural project continues its commitment to be a friendly and welcoming community for all, with a diverse and vibrant mix of ethnicities and professions from Latino, Hawaiian and Asian, to agricultural families, technology workers and students.
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