A Bridge to Pollinator Paradise

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By Joshua Baker

As pedestrians and cyclists cross the newly opened Blumenauer Bridge, they will be treated to a striking tableau.

Renowned Portland muralist Jeremy Nichols has transformed Metro’s parking garage with his latest work featuring various modes of transit, interspersed with local flowers and pollinators a plenty. The mural wraps around two sides of the building and is dotted with wildflowers that pop between bikes and scooters as butterflies and bees flutter throughout. 

Lloyd EcoDistrict has been excited to support Lloyd Community Association as they led the community-wide effort to install a new mural on the Metro Garage, located on the north side of the new Blumenauer Bridge. The 2,614 square feet mural is now complete and includes references to the Lloyd neighborhood, such as the Pollinator Corridor!

Local flora depicted in the mural include: Trillium Flowers, Doug Fir, Blanket Flowers, Camas Flowers, Oregon grape Flowers, western blue flax, and dandelions. These beautiful plants are paired with local fauna including: Monarch Butterfly, Oregon SilverSpot Butterfly, Bumble Bees, Honey Bees, and a Rufous Hummingbird. All of these are representative of the Pollination Corridor that surrounds the mural. 

Along with nature-inspired elements, Nichols also included his signature bold graphic lines and elements which bind his compositions together. One of graphic elements in this work, a stylized bowtie, is a subtle nod to Congressman Earl Blumenauer, who can always be seen wearing his trademark bicycle lapel pin and a bowtie. Other elements include a TriMet MAX line map, Railroad I-Beam Tracks, and a silhouette of both a bicycle and an adaptive bicycle.

LCA and the Lloyd Community worked with the Portland Street Art Alliance to partner with Nichols on the mural design.

“It’s fitting that the Metro Regional Center can be a canvas for a mural that resonates with our goals and values of conserving natural areas and planning for the region’s long-term transportation needs! With this new mural, we look forward to inviting our communities across the Blumenauer Bridge, into the Lloyd District and their Metro Regional Center.

Ryan Kinsella (he/him), Metro’s Capital Asset Management Director

“Lloyd Community Association is excited there is a new beautiful mural welcoming people as they enter our neighborhood! This project is just one of many that local businesses, residents, and groups are working on to improve Lloyd. We invite community members to attend our October Coffee Chat and Mural Opening Celebration on Thursday, October 6th from 8:00 to 10:00 AM at the mural site. Swing by to start your day with free coffee, meet your neighbors and Lloyd Community Association members, and learn about the details of Lloyd’s newest public art from the muralist.”
Keith Jones (he/him), Lloyd Community Association’s President

I wanted to create a timeless, hip, energetic mural that grabs the public attention, creates a conversation, and ultimately creates a public landmark/ point of interest. Given the location of the mural, the primary focus of these designs is movement, alternative means of transit, pollinators, and a subtle nod to Earl Blumenauer.”

Jeremy Nichols (he/him), Muralist

ABOUT JEREMY NICHOLS

Jeremy was born in Japan in 1982. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio where he graduated from OSU with a BFA in printmaking. He has completed numerous murals around the Portland area and across the Pacific Northwest. His work tends to focus on the energy, movement, balance, and harmony of the chaos around us. From urban growth and development to the forward push to preserve the nature around us, he tries to visually show a juxtaposition of these opposing forces by layering elements of graphic design and nature, in order to create an environment that seems familiar, yet unfamiliar. Jeremy wants the viewer to take their own visual journey through the details, and question/appreciate the environment that surrounds them. More information on Jeremy’s work here.

ABOUT LCA

The Lloyd Community Association (LCA) is a group of business leaders and residents working together to make our community a better place to live, work and play.

ABOUT PSAA

Portland Street Art Alliance (PSAA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides access to resources, networking, and professional development opportunities for PNW street artists.

 PSAA has facilitated commissioned work resulting in over $750,000 paid to working artists and managed over 200 major private and publicly funded art projects, collaborating with hundreds of artists in the region. PSAA serves hundreds of community members each year through educational programming, tours, and community events. PSAA is actively transforming the public art landscape by developing more inclusive place-based programs which aim to increase access to art for all.

MURAL PICTURES

Thank you to Sara Sjol of PSAA for taking and sharing these photos!