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Downtown Hillsboro Artwork Aims to Unify Community

Post Date:09/11/2019
Mural of food and flowers in Downtown Hillsboro. "Food is Our Common Ground, Una Experiencia Universal"A new mural, "Food Is Our Common Ground," is brightening Downtown Hillsboro.

Where others saw a wall, Mindy Simmons saw an opportunity to unite the community. Simmons owns Decadent Creations and Collective Kitchen, two Downtown Hillsboro businesses. The north wall of Collective Kitchen, at the corner of NE 3rd Avenue and NE Lincoln Street, serves as a canvas for the mural.

With support from the City of Hillsboro Economic Development department, the Hillsboro Arts & Culture Council (HACC), and the Hillsboro Downtown Partnership, Simmons worked with artist Marcella Kriebel to bring the dream of a mural to life.

Kriebel's mural depicts colorful fruits, vegetables, and flowers, and includes a quote from chef and native Oregonian James Beard: "Food Is Our Common Ground." An artist and a foodie who specializes in food-related art and illustration, Kriebel hails from Forest Grove and currently lives in Washington, D.C.

Partial funding for the piece came from a one-to-one matching grant from the City of Hillsboro's Storefront Improvement Program. Karla Antonini of the City's Economic Development Department coordinates the program. The Hillsboro Downtown Partnership's advertising help boosts awareness among Downtown businesses and property owners.

"The mural is exactly the kind of work the City wants to support with funding from the Storefront Improvement Program," Antonini said. "It enriches Downtown Hillsboro by making it a more interesting, welcoming place for everyone."

Simmons applied for the grant and worked with the City of Hillsboro's Public Art Program to plan the piece. The Public Art Program and HACC oversee murals in the City.

“We’re vigilant about making sure the quality of the piece will contribute to the beauty of the neighborhood,” said Valerie Otani, the City of Hillsboro's Public Art Program Supervisor.

In this case, HACC recommended that Kriebel use a higher-quality, more durable mural paint. "The HACC review and approval is a supportive process — the result shows the more vibrant, natural colors that mural paint brings," Otani said. "The owner is required to maintain the art for five years, but the high-quality paint ensures it will last much longer than that."

If you’re interested in commissioning a mural on your Hillsboro building, contact Valerie Otani at the Hillsboro Parks & Recreation Department at 503-615-3489.
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