I have completed a few small scale mural projects over the past few years working with the good folks at “Arts In Education of the Gorge” collaborating with middle and high school students. A central theme in my mural designs highlights the preciousness of all of our unique cultures.
Together with the immensely talented Portland based muralist, Allyson Bell Fox we worked for ten weeks in 2019 to complete the 2880 sq ft mural on the side of a fruit storage building.
I was tremendously inspired by the higher message of this project; chronicling and paying tribute to the story of the many immigrant community’s contributions to the Hood River orchard industry over the last century. In the first segment, the arrival of Europeans at the turn of the century are depicted working on the scaffolding they invented to make their fruit picking job easier, then in the middle mural, Japanese immigrants are seen taking the orchard industry’s productivity to the next level before they were interned and had all of their possessions seized by the government, a tragedy that was also committed to my father and his family up in Canada so this was the personal piece for me. Then in the third mural, gratitude is being paid to the Hispanic community’s immense hard work that have built the orchard industry up to the multi million dollar industry that it is today. In light of the Mexican and South American detainees at the border and children being separated from their parents, I felt like we were giving the community a big hug with this mural and it was an honour to use art to convey our gratitude to all of those who came on treacherous journeys from their homelands to simply seek a safer and happier life here in the Hood River valley over the past over 100 years.