Donations Requested for Library Fundraiser

By Lynda Orzen, TRAG Co-President

The Friends of the Oregon City Public Library and the Library Foundation are hosting a fundraising event for the Oregon City Library. We are requesting donations of artwork with a value of $50 or more for a raffle. Donations are due by November 17. The funding raised will enable the Oregon City Library to enter their “Next Chapter”.

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And It’s Up! “Building Bridges”

By Trieste Andrews

A Community Interactive Art Piece from the Arch Bridge Celebration

The 3-piece mural that was created by three artists and our communities was installed in the Oregon City Library on Thursday November 10th. Thank you, Cathy Rowe from Oregon City (and a member of TRAG), Brian Krehbiel from the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, and Carrie Gilbert from West Linn. Their original designs were shared at the Arch Bridge Celebration on 4’ by 4” boards as they welcomed the Community to help them paint. At noon each of the 3 pieces were joined together in the middle of the bridge in celebration of our communities. The finished connected piece was placed right above the book return by the elevators and is an amazing piece depicting community connection. It will be in the OC Library for 4 months, then moved to the West Linn Library, and finally to the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Museum. 

Reflections of the Falls

By Lynda Orzen

On Saturday, October 29, Indigenous artist, Brian Krehbiel of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, signed the mural “Reflections of the Falls”. It tells the story of how Coyote and Meadowlark created the Willamette Falls. The mural is an interactive piece that can allow the viewer to be a part of the mural. The artist is supplying a canoe paddle so someone can go into the bookstore and look like they are paddling the canoe through the window.

Brian and several family members sang a song in remembrance of the Willamette Falls and how the falls has been an integral part of the Indigenous peoples of the Willamette Valley for thousands of years. The mural is located on the White Rabbit bookstore on the corner of Main Street and 99E.

2022 Oregon City Community Arts Survey

The Oregon City Art Commission has been hard at work over the past year. It has truly been an adventure defining what the Art Commission is and its relationship between the public and the city. The most important duty of the AC is to bring the public’s wishes to the attention of the City Commissioners and advise them on what our community would like to see as Art in our city. With that in mind we created a short questionnaire to be distributed in every Oregon City resident’s November water/sewer bill. Plus 1000 hard copies distributed throughout Oregon City for those who may not receive their bill by mail. We will also be sharing the link through multiple organizations. Depending on the feedback we are happy to report that there will be funds available for grants, projects, and events within the next 6 months.

So please join in sharing your hopes and dreams for Art in Oregon City. Dreams do come true!

Go to –

The deadline to fill out the survey is November 30th.

The monthly Art Commission meetings are published on the City’s website and are open to the public. You can attend in person or by zoom. We would love to hear your feedback and share your thoughts. Thank you! 

The Arch Bridge Celebration – Volunteers Needed

Arch Bridge Celebration on October 1st
Community Art Project 

The Arch Bridge Celebration takes place on October 1st. One of the events is a Community Art Project which TRAG members Trieste Andrews and Cathy Rowe are involved in. Carrie Gilbert from the West Linn Art Commission and Brian Krehbiel from the Confederated Tribes, who painted the mural funded by TRAG on the White Rabbit Cafe in Oregon City, completes the Team. Watch the video below for more information about the project and the Arch Bridge Celebration Event!

The bridge will be shut down from 7 – 3pm with festivities all day including live music, a community art project with TRAG members participating, and a program of events. Volunteers are needed from 8:30am – 2:30pm to help out at the SWAG tables, Information Tables and as docents at the Old West Linn City Hall. Pitch in for 2 hours and then enjoy the celebration!

For sign up opportunities go to

Friends on a Shelf Mural Ribbon Cutting

By Lynda Orzen, OCFOTA Coordinator

The community mural Friends on a Shelf is now official! We had the grand ribbon cutting ceremony on July 23. Thank you to our Chamber of Commerce for letting us borrow their scissors! There was a small group of our friends that attended the ceremony. Lynda said a few words about how the mural idea came about and Lucas talked about his process. This was his first mural on the outside of a building which presented quite a few challenges including him being afraid of heights. Lucas conquered all his fears and finished the mural between rain storms!

The height of the ceremony was when Quinn read her poem “Friends on a Shelf”. She did get a little help from her Dada she confessed! It’s hard to believe the poem was written by a 6-year-old. More like 6 years going on 15! It was such a pleasure getting to know Lucas and his wonderful family during the mural installation! We really enjoyed seeing his artwork in the bookstore for several months.

In the coming months, we are going to be photographing the mural for a closer look at the book titles. We will make it available so our Friends can get a close up of their books way up on the shelves

Now on to the next project! Would you like to see the mural on a bookbag or maybe a mug?

Friends on a Shelf
By Quinn Amara Nickerson and Dada

Fairies and magic and books about space
Are found on the shelves of your favorite bookcase.

My world is expanding, the more that I Learn,

My eyes become wide with every page
That I turn.

Enchanted forests and bubbling brooks,
Adventure awaits inside of your books.

At the end of the day, when you want
To unwind,

Go to your shelf and a book you will find,
To inspire and spark new ideas that take seed.

Creative energy flowing, after every
Book that you read.

There’s no better friends to find for yourself,
Then the books you can pull down from a shelf.

TRAG nominated for outstanding partnership with the Downtown Oregon City Association

By Trieste Andrews,

The Board of Directors for the Downtown Oregon City Association has nominated TRAG for outstanding partnership. A draft of the nomination written by Liz Hannum the Director of DOCA is attached. The nomination is for 2021-22.  It focuses on our work in reinstituting the mural code and the Restoration mural of the Trolley car and the new mural at White Rabbit.

By Liz Hannum the Director of DOCA

Brief Project Description 

DOCA has spent 3 years working with the Three Rivers Artist Guild to help bring vibrancy to downtown Oregon City through the creation of the mural code, restoration of a historic mural, and a brand new mural.

Describe the person, project, or activity you are nominating. Refer to the category description for additional questions to include.

Three Rivers Artist Guild is an inclusive organization providing mutual support, encouragement, services, and education for the enrichment of artists and their communities. 

This joint project advocated for a mural code at the City, found funding for a mural restoration depicting a historic scene from when the trolley used to run through Oregon City, and a new mural created by an indigenous artist at the gateway entrance to downtown. It also faces the Falls site now owned by the Grand Ronde Tribe so the mural tells the story of the beginning of the falls from the Grand Ronde perspective and bridges the divide between old Main Street and what will be a restored Main Street once the Falls site is redeveloped.

Describe the impact the person, project, or activity has had on improving your downtown or neighborhood commercial district and the businesses located there. If a project or activity, are there secondary or spin off effects? For instance, did the rehab of a particular building spur additional investment downtown or have an effect on a nearby business?

In early 2019, a representative from TRAG and DOCA and the City of Oregon City sat down to talk about how we could change the city code to allow murals back in Oregon City. This ended up as a multi year effort to build support among the business and property owners, the artists in the community, the general public, and more to petition the City to institute a mural code. After several iterations and lots of discussion over years, the City was poised to change the code. The original code included an Arts Commission as the permitting body that had dissolved more than 15 years earlier. TRAG and DOCA came together to get the word out to individuals to help rebuild that commission. So not only did we restore the mural code together and support each other to find funding to restore an historic mural and create a new one, but we also helped to bring the Arts Commission back at the City level to start working on more ways to bring art to our community. 

As mentioned in the description, the connection that the indigenous mural has made with the Falls site is going to make downtown more welcoming to all.

Please tell us why this person, project, or activity should be considered for an Excellence on Main award. What lessons were learned and what can be taken away from your experience?

These two murals and the partnership that they created were years in the making. Perseverance and dogged determination, especially on the part of TRAG who collected 70% of the 150 letters of support for the mural code restoration, are the only way to get things done. This idea was fairly well received and it still took years to get it through the commission and included the creation of a new iteration of a city arts commission that had been dormant for years. The final viewing for the indigenous mural was last weekend and the amount of foot traffic that this brought to the business was absolutely amazing. 

We also helped each other out constantly. The best example of this was when the TRAG volunteer scheduled to power wash the wall so the mural could get started a few days later was taken away with a family issue, DOCA stepped in and 4 of our volunteers offered to do it so that the schedule didn’t need to be pushed back.

“Friends on a Shelf” Mural at the Friends of the OC Library Used Bookstore Finished

By Lucas Nickerson, TRAG’s very own muralist

Friends of Oregon City Library Used Book Store mural - bookshelves  with a girl sitting on one of the shelves reading a book and some animals framing the door of the bookstore

 “A muralist? Me? Not really.”, I told Lynda when she approached me with the idea of creating a piece to adorn the entrance of her bookstore. I’ve been wrong too often. After the dust has settled, and the varnish dried, I can finally be at ease with some of my insecurities at painting something so daunting. Would you believe that I thought it was possible, at the start, that I was afraid of heights? I opted to use a ladder because I wasn’t sure about the weather holding back the rain long enough for a few days of work at a time, so I’d have to be a guerrilla painter. When I first climbed to the top to test it out, a sudden fear gripped me. I can’t possibly do the whole thing up here on a twiny ladder! Was my thought, as I stood there, looking down. Wrong again! 

Doubt and insecurities are the plague of most artists, so overcoming my own ‘mind traps’ is something I’m learning to better cope with. No doubt, we’ve all overcome some personal barriers to get the job done. 

In the end, I am happy, humbled, and proud of the work I’ve done. I’m honored to have helped create some beauty for the community I was raised in. Creating a work that I hope my family is proud of is one of the sparks that drive me as an artist.  I hope I have also created a design that both captures the spirit of the responses from the community, and also one that showed a personal connection to the world of books. 

I hope the design of the mural gives the sense that not only is literature elevating to our understanding of the world and ourselves, but that it is a friendly, natural environment; full of wonderful friends of the wild. In an excerpt from a press release, I wrote: 

“The last few years have brought us more isolation than many of us are comfortable with, especially our children. While they may not be a true substitution for constant contact with friends and other people in our lives, a little gentle escapism offered by a book carries us smoothly many miles over any rough road. I am thankful every day that our little one knows how to read and is able to open her world a bit more with the help of her friends on a shelf.  

And so our title was ‘Friends on a Shelf’.  

To help fund the mural, we took sponsorship from the community. Each sponsor could pay to have a book spine personalized within reason. This was the most challenging aspect of the mural. Placing over 50 sponsors on randomly sized and various colors of books was no easy task. I knew that not every person would be thrilled to have their personalized book at the top of the shelf where it is harder to read. In the end, though, I believe the look created in the amount of time (and between rainy days) gives the sense of an old library with wonderful antique books- books with intriguing titles like, ‘Bob, I Want That’ and ‘The History of Love’. 

The work is a figurative mountain to me. A mountain I’ve climbed by going up and down a 20 foot ladder for days on end. A marathon climb with a deadline. I’ve finally reached the summit and the view’s not too bad!

I hope all who get a chance to drive or walk bye will take a look and maybe even enjoy it. I know at least 53 folks who will be squinting to read the titles, scanning for their own sponsorship on my shelf of dusty old books.

Confederated Tribal Mural Starts June 1st. Come Party with Us on June 11th!

By Trieste Andrews

A mural depicting the tribal story of how Coyote and Meadowlark created the Falls in Oregon City began Wednesday June 1st . The new mural will be located at White Rabbit Black Ink on 503 Main Street on the corner of 99 and Main. The 75’ x 19’ mural will welcome visitors into Oregon City, and we are honored that it will be created by tribal artist, Brian Krehbiel, representing the Confederated Tribes – an authentic part of Oregon City’s history. This will be the first of its kind in Oregon City.

On June 11th White Rabbit will be hosting a block party with a portion of the proceeds going to The Living Room for LGBTQ Youth in Oregon City. TRAG and our mural Artist Brian Krehbiel have been invited to participate in this fun and meaningful event. The block party is on Saturday June 11th and is from 5-8pm at 503 Main Street. Come and see how the mural is progressing and meet the Artist. It is sure to be a delightful evening! We are working on creating mural stickers that we can give out to everyone!

I would also like to give a huge shout out to some of our community partners who were an integral part in bringing this project to life. As much as we hoped our grant would cover the cost, we knew our artist Brian was settling for less than what a 75’ mural normally costs. So we took to the streets and asked every vendor what they could contribute. The local Oregon City Sherwin Williams store is supplying 100% of the paint and sealer, Cyrus from Party Events gave us our safety cones and signs, and Pioneer Rental is giving us a substantial discount on the scissor lift needed. I am humbled and honored to be a part of such a giving and supportive community. I know all my future paint will be purchased from Sherwin Williams on Beavercreek Road in Oregon City – Hope you do the same!

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