Location: On Parks vehicles
The goal of the Hello Neighbor Project is to present faces of the neighborhood through the eyes of its young people. Striking portraits of local residents appeared as banners on downtown buildings, in galleries and even on parks maintenance trucks. South Meadows Middle School students worked with photojournalist Julie Keefe, learning to take photographs and conduct interviews, making a quote from each interview an integral part of the portrait. Keefe photographed and interviewed each of the students, giving insight into the young people behind the cameras.
Student Marina Real commented, “I love that Hillsboro has so much diversity in it — once you do this program you really realize how beautiful it is. I never really paid attention to the people or the environment that I lived in but after interviewing so many people with different cultures and different occupations I realized that there are still some good people out there.”
Julie Keefe has been a professional photojournalist for over 25 years. Moving to a new neighborhood, she conceived the Hello Neighbor Project. “My idea as an artist was a simple one—teach young people how to interview and photograph their neighbors and begin a conversation about community from their point of view. My hope was that they would become invested in their neighborhood as they transitioned from teenagers to young adults.”
As Portland’s first Creative Laureate from 2012-2016, Keefe advocated for the power of the arts to change lives, with particular emphasis on youth and underserved communities.
Hello Neighbor was sponsored by the Public Art Program of the Hillsboro Parks and Recreation Department in partnership with the 4-H Tech Wizards program of Oregon State University Extension and with the generous support of Caldera Arts and the Juan Young Trust.