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.