A mural funded by the Woodburn Downtown Association depicting symbols of Woodburn's history and culture has been installed on the eastern wall of the Woodburn Independent office (650 N. First St.). The 82-by-13 foot mural was painted over the course of the past year onto a large sheet of nonwoven parachute cloth and was installed over the course of the past couple weeks.
Hector H. Hernandez, the artist leading the project, will continue working on the mural for several more weeks. To attach the mural to the wall, the fabric on which it was painted was cut up into smaller rectangles. Hernandez will paint over any gaps between the rectangles, smooth down any bubbles between the fabric and the brick wall, and finish the mural with a product that protects it from UV rays and graffiti.
A ribbon-cutting for the finished mural will be held on Thursday, July 27 at 3 p.m.
The mural was funded by the Woodburn Downtown Association through a combination of grassroots fundraising, in-kind donations, course fees and grants from the Oregon Community Foundation and Woodburn Rotary Club.
Dominating the left side of the mural is the historic Settlemier House, which was built by Woodburn founder Jesse H. Settlemier. Also on the left is the iconic turn-of-the-century Southern Pacific 1785 steam locomotive, which represents the city's early roots as a railroad town.
Filling out the center of the piece are the colorful fields of Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, along with Mount Hood and two hot air balloons. Riding through the fields are a horse and cowboy, which Hernandez said represents "the constant progress of Woodburn." A nearby farmer carrying buckets through the field is a nod to the town's agricultural ties. Also in the field of tulips is a pair of Ballet Folklorico dancers wearing traditional Mexican clothing.
Toward the right side of the mural is a Russian Orthodox Church, representing the city's Russian Old Believers population. Also on the right is a commemoration of some of the earliest entries in the area's history: a group of loggers standing before a massive, felled tree, hearkening back to the period of clearing and burning that preceded the construction of the railroad.
Painted all across the top of the mural are large monarch butterflies, which Hernandez said represent renewal, migration and transformation.
The mural was approved by the city's Public Art Committee in 2016. Originally scheduled to be installed in late 2016, the project was delayed because of wet and cold weather.