Moving Towards an Arts and Culture Center in Oregon City

By Cathy Rowe, TRAG Co-Vice-President

There has recently been some movement towards getting an Arts and Culture Center in Oregon City. A small group of arts and community leaders has come up with a business and financing plan to work towards making this dream a reality.

The property that the group is currently hoping to secure is the Eastham School. This plan is in the very beginning exploratory stages, but has a lot of promise.

If for some reason the Eastham school location is not optimal or possible, the majority of this plan could be easily adapted to an alternative location.

This is all very exciting, but please keep in mind that a project like this usually takes 3-5 years in the best circumstances. Thank you everyone for your optimism and patience.


Oregon City Cultural Art Center Business Plan
Preliminary Business Plan for Oregon City Community Cultural Arts Center

The State of Public Art in Oregon City

By Cathy Rowe, TRAG Co-Vice-President

Cathy Rowe will be giving a presentation about the current state of Oregon City’s Public Art Collection to the Oregon City Arts Commission on Thursday, February 15 at the Oregon City City Hall at 7 pm. Cathy will be discussing the murals, sculptures, and other public art items at the meeting.

This is a public meeting that is open to everyone. Public comments should be submitted before the start of the meeting.

If you would like to attend via Zoom please contact Ann Griffin ( for zoom link information.

The meeting will also be broadcast live on the City’s You Tube Channel (

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”.

» Read more

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.

1 2 3 4