New mural underway in downtown Milwaukie
A sunrise view of Mount Hood is coming to downtown Milwaukie, where a new four-wall mural is taking shape along Southeast McLoughlin Boulevard.
When complete, the mural at Chan's Steakery, 10477 S.E. Main St., will be more than 80 feet long, depicting landscapes of Oregon's mountains and forests, Elk Rock Island and scenes from along the Willamette River. Joe Riso began work on June 22 and anticipates finishing the mural by the end of August.
Riso is adding details of birds, bees and mushrooms.
"The mural was meant to bring to our attention our local natural area," Riso said. "Mushrooms, trees, birds and bees are symbols of a healthy thriving environment. This mural is a way to appreciate all these things, and to highlight and value the natural beauty that surrounds us."
After graduating from art school in 2005, Riso worked as a commercial artist doing animation for a "Weird Al" Yankovic music video. He also did painting and drawing on TV commercials for renowned local design company Laika.
Riso's mural is funded by the city of Milwaukie's mural fund and is overseen by the Milwaukie Arts Committee, which is actively seeking future mural projects.
"Joe's work brings a panoramic landscape of the natural, rural beauty of the Willamette Valley to urban Milwaukie," said Hamid Shibata Bennett, chair of the Arts Committee. "We hope folks will come see the new mural and support our local businesses while they visit downtown."
Milwaukie Arts Committee member Samantha Swindler said the city is spending $11,500 on the Riso artwork. The mural fund had a total of $40,000 prior to this project, so $28,500 is left to distribute.
In addition to mural projects, the Arts Committee is planning several virtual art and performance projects this summer, since most live events have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To help make these projects happen, the Arts Committee is accepting donations via Milwaukie City Hall, 10722 S.E. Main St., Milwaukie, OR 97222.
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