Portland International Airport now has a new mural celebrating Oregon’s diverse culture. The artwork is also a new license plate design and can be seen at the Eugene, Medford and Redmond airports as well.
The mural, landed at the Eugene Airport’s Gate A, was unveiled during a media event featuring Liza Burns, speakers from supporting organizations, and a live excerpt from the Eugene Ballet’s coming production of “Cinderella.” Judges awarded the commission to Burns, a Eugene illustrator, muralist and designer.
“The creative brief was to create a piece that was 11½ inches by 5½ inches, a work that is both foreground and background, would be approved by (the Oregon Department of Transportation) and a lot of other state agencies and represent all of Oregon culture. So it was a lot to do,” Burns said.
Burns added, “This piece was just a joy to live in and in each of the four murals I’ve talked about, what pieces of the mural are inspired by the place that we’re in, which is silly in Portland because so much of the piece is based on culture that comes from Portland,” said artist Liza Burns. She says the piece is meant to celebrate diverse cultures across Oregon.
She writes on her site about the project, “long story short: i got the great honor of designing the new OR license plate with the Oregon Cultural Trust then they hired me to paint 4 large-scale murals of the piece that are being placed in airports around oregon in eugene, PDX, redmond, and medford.
The “celebrate oregon!” cultural trust license plate is a vibrant tapestry of Oregon geography. look closer, and symbols – 127 in all – tell the story of the history, heritage and cultural practices that make our state unique. the marriage of the two in this piece of art speaks to the inextricable link between the physical and cultural diversity of oregon. an interactive key to the symbols, available here, is a highly informative resource.
The symbols represent all aspects of our shared culture including food traditions, artistic practices, heritage sites and historical figures. many speak to our way of life and cultural traditions. the key is written for all ages and levels of knowledge and serves as an educational tool for learning about oregon and its diverse cultures. celebrate oregon! recognizes and celebrates the many reasons oregonians love this place.”