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Large public art mural now decorates the covered picnic shelter at Tualatin Community Park thanks to community, local artists

COURTESY PHOTO: TUALATIN PARKS & RECREATION DEPARTMENT - Community members aided in creating a large colorful  mural that covers three sides of a picnic area inside a sheltered area of Tualatin Community Park. Tualatin Community Park now has a vibrant mural designed to reflect "unity, hope, resilience, kindness and strength" during these tough times, thanks to a noted local artist and contributions from community members.

The mural wraps around three sides of the park's main picnic shelter building, filling two 13-foot-wide spaces and one 25-foot-wide space.

Artists initially met with community members to receive their input for the project.

"The mural began with a design meant to represent community and resilience," said Rodolfo Serna, the lead artist on the mural. "Next we had a Zoom meeting where folks were able to contribute their ideas. This changed the design and we ended up with children instead of the family and the 'tree of life' (was placed) in the center."COURTESY PHOTO: TUALATIN PARKS & RECREATION DEPARTMENT - Up to 90 community members aided in helping paint a colorful mural to a picnic area in Tualatin Community Park.

Serna, who was aided by Carlos Chaves in the artistic undertaking, said bees were added to the mural design to compliment butterflies in an effort to represent environmental sustainability.

In October 2019, Tualatin was officially recognized as a Bee City USA.

Self-taught, Serna is a multimedia artist and a community advocate who runs the Red Stone Collective, an organization designed to bring healing and opportunities to local youth.COURTESY PHOTO: TUALATIN PARKS & RECREATION DEPARTMENT - Tualatin City Council member Bridget Brooks, left, stands next to Portland-based artist Rodolfo Serna during the second weekend of painting a mural on three sides of a picnic area shelter in Tualatin Community Park.

Chaves works with the Morpheus Youth Project, which provides workshops in arts and education for youth to stimulate healthy social interactions and positive development. That includes working with marginalized communities in East Portland and Gresham, as well as juvenile justice facilities.

Serna and Chaves spent last weekend fine-tuning the project.COURTESY PHOTO: TUALATIN PARKS & RECREATION DEPARTMENT - Over two weekends, community members helped create three large murals in Tualatin Community Park.

In all, 90 community members participated in eight painting sessions with the artists, according to Julie Ludemann, recreation manager for Tualatin Parks & Recreation.

"The mural brings a beautiful jolt of color to the park, and vibrantly illustrates the connections we have with each other and the natural world, from the past, to the present and future," said Ludemann. "I'm especially happy with the process that was facilitated with the artists, and the way they were able to connect with our community to help make such a positive, uplifting addition that I hope will be appreciated for many years to come."COURTESY PHOTO: TUALATIN PARKS & RECREATION DEPARTMENT - Before community members painted large murals in a picnic area at Tualatin Community Park, a stencil was created to help aid the work.

The mural was made possible by funding provided by the Washington county Mental Health and Community Psyche Grant/Resiliency Project Tualatin.

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