In April, Columbia County artist Jeremy Furnish announced plans to paint a new mural in Clatskanie, based on the literary works of Raymond Carver, a great American short story writer and poet who was born in Clatskanie in 1938.
The design is now complete and Furnish has said the mural will be finished by the end of the summer.
The mural is to cover the south-facing wall of the old Clatskanie Hospital, located on North Nehalem Street in downtown Clatskanie, visible from Highway 30.
In 2020, Furnish launched a submission competition for local artists when he painted his first mural in Clatskanie, “Homeward Bound” on the Clatskanie Hazen Hardware Building, featuring a group of chinook salmon swimming upstream to spawn. .
The winner of the submission, Mark Kenny, is a resident of Seaside and said his design represents “the community and the purpose of continuing on its offspring.”
This year, Furnish published a âCall for Artists / Request for Design Proposals,â asking students, emerging artists and professional artists living in the Lower Colombia region for his second mural, a design proposal inspired by the works literary works of Carver.
âRealizing that I’m not the only one fighting for creative freedom,â Furnish said, âI wanted to share opportunities with the creatives in the community. “
The deadline for current submissions was May 16, and Furnish said that a blind panel (judges received neither names nor redundant information on artists who submitted designs) of five judges selected the winners of the submissions. Seaside resident Dylan Eckland’s submission was selected as the top spot by the judges, Furnish said, and will be the concept used for the mural.
A tattoo artist who runs a private boutique in Seaside, Eckland said wall art was a natural flow of his creative pursuits.
âI grew up doing a lot of art in my spare time, and in fact, I never went to college for art, just my normal art classes in high school,â Eckland explained. In college, Eckland pursued his artistic interests alongside, but then decided to go back to school to become a tattoo artist.
âPersonally, I am delighted with the level of community support, the effort and quality of the submissions we have received, and the time and dedication of the jury to make the tough decisions. “
Eckland’s mural submission features a portrait of Raymond Carver alongside Beaver Falls and a quote from Carver’s poem Where Water Comes Together With Other Water: “I’ll take all the time I want this afternoon before I leave my seat along this river. “
âI didn’t want to use anything too dark,â Eckland explained. âI wanted to use something that contained nature, because we have a lot of nature here, like we do in the northwest. [The quote] seemed very appropriate, and the poem left a mark on me.
As the first place winner, Eckland will receive a cash prize of $ 1,500, which he plans to use with his family to pay off the mortgage on their home. Second and third place finishers Audrey Christo and Mark Kenny will receive honorary cash prizes of $ 300 and $ 200, respectively.
“[Winning] means a lot, i get tattoos everyday, but this is my first public art thing. I’ve never seen my artwork hung on the side of the building where people will walk past every day, so that means a lot, âEckland said of his victory.
The mural will be painted as a collective effort by local artists and volunteers from across the region, Furnish said.
Furnish, also founder of the Clatskanie Artists Network, has lived in Clatskanie for almost twelve years, he said, and he hopes to continue creating a new mural every year.
âI came here initially to be at peace with my family, to live among the trees, with earth under my feet,â Furnish said, âHere I can find inspiration in my surroundings every day. It looks like a gift.
With the support of the city, Furnish aims to “inspire economic growth, or at least a level of sustainability for artists and business owners in Clatskanie”, through his murals. And although the project is in its infancy, Furnish said there is a “master plan” that will eventually include sculptural art at the heart of Clatskanie.
The chef will visit from time to time to show you photos of the mural project and follow up when it is complete.