In the spring of 2013, Portland Street Art Alliance and two local artists, The Lost Cause (TLC) and Jon Stommel of Rather Severe, successfully completed a community-funded mural on the backside of Music Millennium (3158 E Burnside). This was PSAA's first project, bringing together the founding team to engage with the community and facilitating art in the streets.
PSAA and this project started in an unlikely way. The prior winter (2012) TLC and local art shop, Home:bass, launched a very successful fundraising campaign, raising almost 3 times more than what they asked for. Everything was going smoothly until TLC was painting the mural and was approached by Portland Police. The officers interrogated him, asking what he was doing, and if he had a permit. No one knew that in addition to owner-permission, you also need a City of Portland mural permit to legally paint an art mural. The Home:bass shop was no stranger to Portland police, being the frequent target of surveillance, especially during their street art show openings. Due to these complications, the Home:bass mural project fell through when Home:bass's lease was not renewed by the property owner.
That is when the founding members of PSAA stepped in, Tiffany and Tomas. After a few brainstorming sessions, the team hit the streets canvasing local business to find a new mural space for this project. After approaching about 20 business on Burnside, Stark and Hawthorne, we walked into Music Millennium, the oldest record store in the Pacific Northwest. We were imminently directed to speak to Terry Currier the owner. Terry was very open-minded and excited at the prospect of bringing some color and energy to his blank white wall. Even better, the artists were willing to do this project at no cost Music Millennium, as the crowd-source funding covered most of the costs associated with paint and labor.
The artist team worked with Terry Currier, the owner of Music Millennium, to create a design that would be reminiscent of the record store’s psychedelic roots. They decided on a colorful Beatles-inspired array of happy characters and swirling patterns. PSAA secured the City of Portland mural permit.
Speaking about his art and the new mural, the The Lost Cause said, “We just want to make people smile and laugh. It was a great experience to paint this mural and get to talk with people of all ages, some neighbors and others coming to the record shop. They liked the characters and bright colors.”
Check out PSAA's video documenting some of the creative process!