ū컨

Viking Pavilion new home to ‘Celebrate Oregon!’ mural

Celebrate Oregon! Mural
Celebrate Oregon! mural by Liza Mana Burns

In recognition of ū컨’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, the Oregon Cultural Trust selected the Viking Pavilion as permanent home to a full-scale mural of its Celebrate Oregon! artwork. The mural was unveiled to the community on March 12 after performances by Jimmie Herrod MM Jazz ‘16 (of Pink Martini and America’s Got Talent fame), Friends of Noise as well as a Tribal Welcome from Turquoise Pride — representing PSU’s Native American Student and Community Center.

The Celebrate Oregon! artwork, by Eugene artist Liza Mana Burns, was designed to reflect and respect the diversity of Oregon’s people, places and cultural traditions. More than 100 people from across the state were involved in the design process, including nominators, artists/designers, jury members and content experts — including representatives of the Governor’s Advocacy Commissions serving Oregon’s diverse communities.

The result is a vibrant panorama of Oregon geography into which are woven 127 symbols that depict our shared arts, heritage and humanities.

“What an honor it is to have this monumental work of art installed on our campus, where our students, staff, faculty and alumni can enjoy it and be inspired by it,” said Leroy E. Bynum, Jr., Dean of the College of the Arts. “The multiplicity of symbols in the mural are a marvelous reflection of the diverse, vibrant and welcoming creative culture that emanates from this very special place.”

While commissioned for the new Cultural Trust license plate, when completed the Cultural Trust realized the artwork deserved much larger platforms — so they hired the artist to create a full-scale mural for the Portland International Airport. The mural was on display at PDX for two years as part of the airport’s rotating art exhibits before a permanent home was sought.

“Everyone who views the artwork seems to find a personal connection to one of the symbols, creating a sense of pride and belonging,“ said Cultural Trust Executive Director Brian Rogers. “It really does have the power to bring us together and feel a part of this place we call home.”

Bynum added that serving as the permanent home for Celebrate Oregon! reminds us not only of the state’s complicated history, but of the opportunity to lift up the multiple of perspectives in Oregon.

“From the Camas flower and morel mushroom, to the saxophone and paintbrush, to the radio microphone and the covered bridge, it’s all here in this richly colored landscape,” Bynum said. “It says, plainly and simply, ‘You are welcome here. You matter here.”’

Explore the symbols and read about their connection to Oregon in the Cultural Trust’s