Saturday, November 17, 2007

Slavin Road is the way to graffiti art

I don’t know whether it was for a lack of interest or simple ignorance, but no one identified where the two magnificent graffiti murals are.

And the answer is … (drum roll) …..

The two paintings are on a retaining wall that is on an unused portion of old Slavin Road. The wall is north by northeast 50 or so yards beyond the #12 bus stop underneath the Capitol Highway overpass that swoops down onto Barbur. (See the red dot on the map.)

For the curious (and these two pieces of art really are worth a look), I recommend driving north along Barbur from Terwilliger and pulling into the parking space under the overpass. Then stroll down the old road.

Don Baack, who is president of SW Trails, and I were so impressed with the paintings on an old retaining wall that we’ve asked the state department of transportation not to paint them over. The state has put a bulldozer to work in the area to open it up for some test borings (more on this in the next issue of The Hillsdale News).

The old Slavin right-of-way an interesting area to explore. The hum of traffic on Barbur is up hill to the west, the roar of I-5 is immediately beneath you to the east. You can almost feel the history of more sedate times on old Slavin Road, named after John A. Slavin, who came to Oregon in 1850 and laid claim to the vast parcel of land in 1851. His family’s home was more or less where the Hillsdale Brew Pub sits.

Baack is particularly interested in the old Slavin route because it is designated as a bicycle segment for SW Trails ambitious Red Electric Trail. With the 'dozer team working in the area, the state crew might connect the upper and lower parts of Slavin. The two are divided by dense undergrowth. Slavin is an open street at its northern end. You reach it off Corbett.

A final note: I’m not a big fan of in-your-face graffiti and tags scrawled on public property. I've even scrubbed off tagging on street signs (graffiti eradication materials are available at the Southwest Neighborhoods Inc office). And I applaud City Commissioner Randy Leonard’s efforts to place restrictions on the sale of spray paint. It remains to be seen whether it will make a difference.

But in the right places, this is a form of artistic expression that we should encourage. It’s a little like skateboarding. In the wrong places, it is destructive and dangerous; in the right ones, it’s a joy to do and behold.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Lost and found Art: the Final hint.

Here's the final hint for finding this large graffiti mural....

From the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and what was once Slavin Road go east beyond the #12 bus stop to the old road. This section is no longer used except by artists and those who happen upon their art.

The challenge and earlier hints are here and here and here.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lost and Found Art: Hint #2

Still no guesses on where the mystery murals are. Go here to see what they look like and here for the first hint.

The second hint is visual. Here is the setting for the graffiti murals. You can see them on the retaining wall in the middle of the photo. And, yes, that is a leaf-strewn, abandoned road.

What is the road's name? How do you get to it?

Tomorrow: The final hint.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Lost and Found Art: Hint #1

The murals I shared in yesterday's post must have readers baffled. No one has ventured a guess about their location. I promised a hint a day until someone comes up with the answer.

Yesterday I said the artwork was in the "Hillsdale area." Yes, I know the headline said Hillsdale, and broadly speaking that's true, a notion left over from the pre-Hillsdale Neighborhood, "Hillsdale is a state of mind" days.

The murals aren't within the official boundaries of the Hillsdale Neighborhood, but they are literally a stone's throw from it. So think about places along the fringes of Hillsdale.

I guess this makes the murals "fringe art."


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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Found art in Hillsdale — but where?

These two large works of art are on display somewhere outdoors in the Hillsdale area.

But where exactly?

Red Electric readers are invited to reveal their location.

If no one has the answer after a day, I'll offer a clue each day until this artistic riddle is solved.

The prize for the right answer is this gleaming Chevrolet hubcap suitable for display in your garage, closet or shower stall.

See yesterday's post.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Grip and Grab road-test

Saturday I road-tested the “Grip and Grabber” extension arm I bought at the vintage, ever-intriguing Best Hardware store on Division.

I chose Fairmount Boulevard on the flanks of Healy Heights for the road test because I had spotted a “1-800-Got-Junk” sign that I wanted to take down with my tree pruner. Somehow the Got-Junk crew had nailed it about 12 feet high on a utility pole for all the joggers and bicylists to see. It was well beyond the range of metal pipe "thwacker" I carry around to dislodge illegal signs on utility poles.

I’m sure the sign generated tons of business. As noted before, I go out of my way not to patronize businesses that post signs on utility poles, and I call them to tell them so.

That number is: 1-800-Got-Junk. The local franchise office is 209-9253. Ask for Tom and tell him Rick sent you. Believe me, we know each other.

After wrenching the sign off the pole, I set out along the winding road to grip and grab trash. I walked about a half mile and managed to fill up half a SOLV bag. A goodly portion was candy wrappers from trick-or-treaters, but there was some wet cardboard and an array of beer bottles and cans.

The real “keeper” was a metal Chevy hubcap. As you can see in the photos, it cleaned up well. Also in the photo to the right is the Grip and Grabber and the SOLV bag — offered in the interest of full journalistic context.

Don’t ask what I plan to do with the hubcap, but it joins the Mitsubishi hubcap (see photos) found on an earlier clean-up, scavenger hunt.

For now they are mostly curiosities, but if anyone is desperate for one or both, let me know. They’re yours for the asking.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Passing time

Deaths of our elders,
the fallen autumn leaves, bare
arbors of our lives.