A colorful new story about Oregon’s workforce is about to come to life on the walls of the Academy of Arts and Academics (A3). When completed this summer, it will be one of the largest murals in downtown Springfield.
Starting this week, students from A3 and Lane Arts Council Teaching Artist Alejandro Sarmiento will begin painting panels that will be placed this summer on an exterior wall at the school. The mural design is a reflection of the history of labor in Oregon and an imagining of what the future of labor will look like.
“I’m thrilled our students were able to be involved in this project,” said Ame Beard, A3 principal. “The final design is a visible recognition and reminder of the many roles labor continues to play in the community and has intertwined art, learning, and the labor movement.”
“The story of labor and its role in building modern-day Oregon is powerful,” said Stacey Ray, Lane Arts Council Executive Director. “This public art project is a unique collaboration with support from community members and union leaders who were essential to making this happen. I’m excited that the message of this mural will contribute to public art already throughout Springfield, and will share and celebrate the layers of labor history in our area.”
The project was inspired by a Community and Labor Mural off Main Street completed in the early 2000s in commemoration of union activism and as a memorial to Jessie Bostelle – a local union leader. The Springfield History Museum is currently hosting a temporary exhibit highlighting the history of labor - Working Springfield: Exploring Labor in Springfield Through Local Voices.
The mural is expected to be completed and in place this summer. Information about the project’s robust fundraising efforts can be found on the Lane Arts Council website.