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Mural dedication set for Sunday, Aug. 21 -



COURTESY PHOTO - The mural shows the artist's vision of what the old Gresham Rexall Drug Co. would have looked like during a busy afternoon.A new art installation in downtown Gresham opens a window to the past.

A fresh mural on the side of Jazzy Bagels on the corner of East Powell Boulevard and North Main Avenue depicts a scene from the old Gresham Rexall Drug Co., which was located in the building from 1903 to 1996. It portrays a vibrant slice of life from around 1910, including, among many things, two boys attempting to outwit a checkers master, a couple chatting at the soda fountain and a woman purchasing her prescriptions.

In the middle stands a young woman looking out into the world, providing the highlight of the first mural commissioned by the Gresham Outdoor Public Art Committee (GOPA) and painted by Don Gray, a nationally renowned muralist and longtime Oregon resident now living in Vancouver.

“This woman is looking out to the future as we look back in time,” said Sue Myers, a local business owner and committee member.

Gray had a lot of creative freedom when creating the mural and is grateful GOPA allowed him to come up with his own ideas for how it should look. During his extensive research, he decided he wanted to paint the history of the drug store, which served as a meeting place in the community.

“It was a fascinating history,” Gray said, “and I started envisioning what it would look like if you could open up the wall and see inside.”

From the beginning he imagined the young woman in the center of the frame, and she became important to his mural in a symbolic way.

“This young lady, in my mind, is the muse of the mural,” Gray said. “I wanted her to be almost looking through you, looking forward to the future.”

GOPA wants the residents of Gresham to help come up with who she is. They want submissions from the public telling her life story and name.

“Everyone is wondering who the woman in the window is,” said Judy Han, GOPA chairwoman and longtime owner of Sunny Han’s Wok & Grill. “We invite you to write her story.”

The committee also would like to hear any memories people have about the old drug store and soda fountain.

In addition to writing the stories, there will be a dedication for the mural called Sundaes on Sunday, which will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21, out front of Jazzy Bagels.

“Come share an ice cream, meet the artist and the GOPA committee,” said Han

Submit your story and memories by Sept. 30, either by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by mail to Gresham Outdoor Public Art, P.O. Box 2384, Gresham, OR, 97030.

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