By Nancy Zimmermann Chung
On the June 1st, dozens of neighbors gathered at NE Rodney and NE Tillamook to create Eliot’s first intersection painting. The twelve-hour effort, running from six o’clock in the morning to six o’clock in the afternoon, was the culmination of months of designing, signature gathering, and other planning efforts. This month, we finally put paint to pavement, transferring our vibrant graphic to the street. We hope that it brightens the path for pedestrians and bicyclists throughout the year!
Our project took place as part of Portland’s 2013 Village Building Convergence, an annual 10-day “placemaking” festival during which communities all over the city come together to make street paintings, gardens, community kiosks, tile mosaics, and other creative improvements of public spaces. Funding was provided by the Portland Trailblazers through the Eliot Neighborhood Association, and many local businesses turned out to supply our volunteers with coffee, sandwiches, tamales, fruit, and other goodies! Our neighbor Sheperd Grei, a.k.a. “D.J. Waater,” kept us grooving through the day.
If you haven’t stumbled upon it already, we encourage you to come see the painting for yourself. The central floral design represents growth and beauty in our community, which is located just north of the Rose Quarter. In the southern quadrant of the painting, musical notes remind us of our neighborhood’s vibrant jazz culture. The western quadrant will feature handprints of all those who come together to work on the painting. The northern quadrant represents the community gardens that have sprung up along our streets, as well as those we cultivate in our own yards. Finally, the eastern quadrant depicts the gears of the bicycles that flow through this intersection, which is the convergence of two greenways.
The graphic will wear out over the course of the year as cars and rain run over it. Next year, we plan to re-paint our intersection- using this design, or, if inspiration strikes, a completely new one! If you would like to be involved, it is never too early to get your name on our email list: just send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
See our street painting:
A big thanks to our partners and sponsors!