The Walls of Heritage Committee, Mallory Avenue Community Enrichment and the Dill Pickle Club proudly partner to present Walls of Pride, two tours celebrating Portland’s African American public art. Tour participants will have the opportunity to experience approximately a dozen murals and other works of public art in their North and Northeast Portland community context, including pieces by: Adriene Cruz, Henry Frison, Lewis Harris, Charlotte Lewis, Isaka Shamsud-Din, Charles Tatum and Clifford Walker. Two of the featured artists, Adriene Cruz and Isaka Shamsud-Din, will be guest speakers at the sites of their work.
Portland’s African American murals have a little acknowledged lineage that is inseparable from the history of the Albina district. The Albina Mural Project, completed as a CETA project in 1977 by 7 artists of color, featured 5 murals with themes of civil rights and African history. By the 1980s the murals were weather damaged and removed. Today, African American artists are still much under-represented in Portland’s galleries and museums.
The tours complement the exhibition Walls of Heritage, Walls of Pride: African American Murals which opens at the Oregon Historical Society on November 16, 2010, and will be on view until February 13, 2011. The Walls of Pride tours are a project of the Charitable Partnership Fund, and were made possible by a Neighborhood Small Grant from the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods.
Adriene Cruz creates award winning art quilts that have been featured nationally and internationally. A Harlem, New York native, Adriene has been a member of the Portland community for 27 years. Her colorful and spirited designs have crossed over to public art for Alberta Street, The NE Health Center at MLK and NE Killingsworth, Outside In, Starbucks and Tri-Met’s Interstate MAX Killingsworth Station.
Isaka Shamsud-Din’s work is deeply charged with the African American experience. In addition to being an artistic force, he has inspired many students, paving the way for young artists of color to be heard and recognized. Among his important murals are Bilalian Odyssey inside the Oregon Convention Center, and Now is the Time, The Time is Now on NE MLK Blvd at Shaver.