Local artists channel Día de Muertos in next installment of Fresh Paint, a temporary murals program
October 17, 2018 — PORTLAND, OR – Passersby can now see the newest work-in-progress from Fresh Paint, a temporary murals program, on the exterior wall of Open Signal: Portland Community Media Center on NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard at Graham Street.
Created by artists Andrea de la Vega and Damien Dawahare, the mural depicts the Mexican tradition of building the ofrenda, or ‘offering,’ during Día de Muertos—a practice intended to welcome the deceased to the altar.
“Through our own greater cultural explorations, we discovered a ritual of connection that is all about telling stories and remembering and honoring the past,” the artists wrote in their mural proposal. “The imagery is lighthearted and shares a story of coming and going. The color palette is warm and vibrant, depicting a life after death through friendly and familiar tones.”
The mural will be completed on October 22, 2018, staying on display until March 31, 2019.
Fresh Paint is a partnership between Open Signal and the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC). Now in its second year, Fresh Paint is a professional development program that provides emerging artists of color the opportunity to paint a mural in a high-traffic setting for the first time. The goal is for each artist to learn new ways of creating art in a public space, as well as to build their portfolio.
Fresh Paint will feature two additional murals in 2019. Future muralists include Maria Rodriguez, Bizar Gomez & Anke Gladnick (April 2019 – October 2019), Munta (Eric) Mpwo and Limei Lai (October 2019 – October 2020).
About the Artists
ANDREA DE LA VEGA was born in Querétaro, Mexico and grew up in Las Vegas, NV. Her mother encouraged her creativity at an early age and she pursued a degree in Interior Design at UNLV. Her work in interior design is rooted in storytelling and she believes design can have a positive impact on the human daily experience. With her artwork, she is drawn to nature and the female form. She paints in acrylic and watercolor.
DAMIEN DAWAHARE is an artist and designer from Las Vegas, Nevada. He is currently working and studying at Pacific Northwest College of Art. Damien’s work ranges from traditional printmaking techniques to 3D modeling and interactive design. He utilizes line and color in order to interpret light and space.
About Open Signal
Open Signal is a media arts center making media production possible for anyone and everyone in Portland, Oregon. Launched in 2017, the center builds upon the 35-year legacy of Portland Community Media to create a resource totally unique in the Pacific Northwest. Open Signal offers media workshops, a public equipment library, artist residencies and five cable channels programmed with locally produced content. Open Signal delivers media programming with a commitment to creativity, technology and social change. Learn more at opensignalpdx.org.
About the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC)
The Regional Arts and Culture Council provides grants for artists, arts organizations, and artistic projects in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and oversees a program to integrate arts and culture into the standard curriculum in public schools through The Right Brain Initiative. RACC values a diversity of artistic and cultural experiences and is working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity, and the arts. Learn more at racc.org.
Yousef Hatlani, Marketing Manager, Open Signal | yousef [at] opensignalpdx.org | (503) 536-7622
Lokyee Au, Communications Manager, Regional Arts & Culture Council | lau [at] racc.org | (503) 823-5426