By Rob Rogers | CNA Media Team
From the sidewalk, the mural Six Strong invites the viewer into the Alberta Co-op parking lot to take a closer look at the six diverse vibrant panels installed by local artists in 2016.
Michelle McCausey led the Alberta Art Works project. She and five other artists were given 4×8-foot panels to paint their vivid stories reflecting female empowerment.
The result is an impressive, rich, eclectic tapestry with each artist’s own unique style.
“I was an art student at Portland State University at the time,” Michelle explained. “I was becoming increasingly fascinated with street art and starting to work with spray paint as a medium to combine with the acrylic painting I was accustomed to.”
She studied the history of street art internationally and specifically in relationship to female participation. “Consistent with all art history, the patriarchy has a strong hold on street art and, for many reasons, the medium is traditionally a boys club both locally and internationally,” Michelle pointed out. “Of course I was able to find several female street artists who have been able to blast through the glass ceiling, cans a ‘blazin.’
“I think the piece as a whole – along with my original intention of creating opportunity for and supporting female artists – is a message of talent, strength, encouragement and presence,” Michelle reported.
“I hope the mural inspires our community to support their female artists. I also hope young women and girls see these paintings and realize they, too, have opportunity and support,” she pointed out.
“Murals and street art produced by men can be seen on almost any block in town. How else will girls know Portland values their creative expression just as much?”
Rob is an Oregonian who worked in web marketing for years. Now he’s involved in drone aerial photography – when he’s not on his bike.