Last night, at the Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) meeting, the artist Hector H. Hernandez presented designs for a ceramic-tile mosaic coming to the corner of NE 82nd Avenue and Glisan Street as part of the new Jackson’s convenience store and gas station currently under construction. The new public art is the backdrop to a public plaza on the refueling station’s property aimed at activating the pedestrian realm on the busy intersection and adding neighborhood identity. This pedestrian-focused enhancement is part of an extensive transformation of the area, including reorganizing the Washman property and reconstructing sidewalks along NE 82nd Avenue.
MNA members selected Hector H. Hernandez for this project in the latter part of 2020. The artist met with neighborhood residents and Board members to gather inspiration for the project. Those conversations and his years of experience creating public art guided the creation of the conceptual design presented at the October 10th, 2022, meeting. His slide deck included work in a variety of mediums representing an array of subjects. The presentation also offered a look at the OPB segment featuring Hernandez’s work on the side of the Woodburn Independent newspaper building.
The artwork will complement the covered benches and landscaping in the 22-foot-wide plaza. This space is in addition to another on-property seating area designated to support people waiting for the 72 TriMet bus. Trees and plaza amenities will partially obscure parts of the mural. Hernandez took this into account with his designs. He included intricate details for those near the wall but incorporated more prominent imagery visible through the environment’s clutter, allowing passing vehicles to experience the artwork.
The mural’s placement will occur toward the end of construction. Expect to see work progress at the site into 2023. By this time next year, the corner of NE 82nd Avenue and Glisan Street should feel like a different place with an attractive plaza that reflects the neighborhood.
Site rendering courtesy Jacksons. Mural image provided by Hector H. Hernandez.
Disclosure: The Author of this article served on the Montavilla Neighborhood Association Board during the mural’s selection process.
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A new mural is coming to the corner of 82nd Ave and NE Glisan as part of the Jacksons’ gas station redevelopment. Hector H. Hernandez will create the public artwork in the ceramic-tile mosaic style. However, community participation in guiding the mural project is needed.
Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) will host an online meeting to solicit public input regarding the art installation. The discussion is held via Zoom this Monday evening, November 30th, at 6:30 PM. Those unable to attend or who want to contribute in multiple ways can call 503-660-8659 or fill out an online form to provide written feedback. Callers leaving a voicemail should limit calls to 3 minutes.
Regardless of how community members choose to contribute to the project, MNA asks people first to visit the Land Use and Transportation page and read about the project and its chosen theme. As this project will be a visible marker of the neighborhood, it must reflect the diverse nature of Montavilla. Participation in this project will help all residents make a lasting mark on the local culture and its public perception.
Board members reviewed the works of artist Hector H Hernandez at the September 14th Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) meeting. Hernandez is the preferred candidate to create Montavilla’s newest piece of public art. MNA is working with Jacksons Food Stores to create a tile-mosaic as part of the new gas station and store at 515 NE 82nd Ave.
The mosaic will be part of a new Pedestrian Plaza at the southeast corner of the property. It will face the intersection of NE Glisan Street and 82nd Ave and create a barrier between the gas station and the plaza area. The task of finding an artist from the community, and working with Jacksons Food Stores to commission the project, is the responsibility of board member Adam Wilson. Wilson sought community input at previous MNA meetings and searched within the Portland art community. Hernandez became the preferred candidate, based on the project requirements and his portfolio.
The initial specification for the project calls for a four-foot by forty-foot mosaic. Jacksons Food Stores is willing to commit $10,000 towards the artwork. However, that may be insufficient for the size of the project. The artist estimates the costs closer to $20,000. MNA board members reviewed Hernandez’s work at the meeting and expressed a desire to find a solution to the funding gap.
Hector H Hernandez’s work includes many public murals in Oregon. Consequently, Hernandez has experience in creating artwork with direction from neighborhood associations and private businesses. In an email interview with Montavilla News, Hernandez described his approach to this type of project. Through a process of investigation and communication, Hernandez seeks to “creating an emblematic piece of artwork that will enhance the neighborhood aspirations and dreams.”
This piece of public art will last many years on a marquee corner, and its selection will comment on the neighborhood. As the selection process moves forward, there should be more public opportunities to view the design options. Follow the MNA Facebook for updates on this project and to share your opinions.
Cover Image courtesy of Hector H Hernandez
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