PRODUCTION

Farmworker Mural in Lake Oswego

Local muralist works to restore historic mural and create a new mural in Lake Oswego, honoring farmworkers and cooperatives

A partnership between Wilco Farm Stores and the Portland Street Art Alliance is revitalizing and bringing new public art to Lake Oswego, Oregon

Fresh new public art is coming to Lake Oswego thanks to a new partnership between Wilco Farm Stores and the Portland Street Art Alliance (PSAA). Located at 17711 Jean Way in Lake Oswego, OR this is an exciting new addition to the public art landscape of Lake Oswego.

Long-time Portland-based muralist, Hector H. Hernandez is in the process of restoring a historic mural designed by illustrator Mike Benny and painted by ArtFx in 1998. The artwork honors and celebrates the farmers and local farming cooperatives that have a long history in the Willamette Valley region (Stayton, Lake Oswego, Donald, Mt Angel). Hernandez worked with the Wilco team to develop additional scenery to extend the original mural by an additional 864 square feet.

Wilco Farm Mural by HectorHernandez Photo Credit Sam King-1
Mural painting and restoration by Hector Hernandez. Photo: Sam King

“Agriculture is a vital part of Oregon’s culture. We wanted to help celebrate the area’s heritage in way that adds value to the community. This was a perfect opportunity to share the story of farming in a modern way,” said Sam Bugarsky, CEO of Wilco. “We are excited about becoming a more active part of the Lake Oswego community. This was just a first step.”

Wilco Farm Mural by HectorHernandez Photo Credit Sam King-1
Mural painting and restoration by Hector Hernandez. Photo: Sam King

Jerad Lillegard, the Project Manager overseeing the mural-making process, said, “It has been a fun and rewarding opportunity to add to the beautification of the Gateway of Lake Oswego. By working with local muralist Hector Hernandez, he has enabled us to visually describe some of the lifestyle activities that Wilco serves through our customers. Our team at Wilco is very excited to open our new store and join this beautiful community.”

Hector Hernandez has produced murals and other artworks throughout communities and educational institutions in Oregon since 1995. Permanent exhibition murals by Hernandez are located at the OSU Memorial Union, Portland Community College (Rock Creek Campus), Portland State University, as well as Independence High School, Canby School Districts, Parks and Recreations among others. Hernandez has shown his works in numerous galleries across Oregon, Japan, and Mexico. Among the subjects and themes reflected in his murals are the community involvement on issues such as environment, education, multiculturalism, and social change.

Portland Street Art Alliance is a 501(c)3 non-profit that provides access to resources, networking platforms, and professional development opportunities for Pacific Northwest street artists. Since its founding in 2012, PSAA has managed over 100 private and publicly-funded street art projects, collaborating with hundreds of artists in the region.

PSAA’s Executive Director Tiffany Conklin said, “PSAA is excited to work with Hector Hernandez, Wilco, and the City of Lake Oswego for the first time. This mural is an exciting new addition to the public art landscape, and we are happy to see a historic mural being saved. Street art enriches our everyday lives. It can help foster a unique sense of place and pride of our local communities, teach people about the rich and diverse history of our region, while also providing visitors with a way to connect and understand the PNW lifestyle.”

Muralist Hector Hernandez. Photo: Sam King
Muralist Hector Hernandez. Photo: Sam King

“We hope this brings people closer to the story of farmers and farming in our region. As a brand, we celebrate the passions of small-town living and this mural expresses those beautifully,” says Maria Olivier, VP Marketing at Wilco.

In reflecting on the process thus far, muralist Hector Hernandez said, “this project has been quite a challenge to undertake due to the site requiring that painting be done between nearby cables and large trees. It’s also a challenge to match my artwork to someone else’s when doing the restoration work. I aim to bring my perspective of the Oregon landscape and the farming activities to this project. I hope my approach contributes to ample the perspectives of the Oregon landscape, with a refreshing view of colors and motifs.”

The muralist began painting in September and expects to complete the mural work by mid-October 2019, depending on the weather.

Media Note: Media are invited to view the artist in action before they conclude in October and learn more about the mural’s development. Please contact Tiffany Conklin (info@pdxstreetart.org) and Hector Hernandez for scheduling (hectorhhg@comcast.net).

Photo Credits: Sam King (@Sammysam_iam).