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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-PLAY (7529)

Fax: 503-823-6007

1120 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1302, Portland, OR 97204

Stewardship Project Updates

Marquam Mosaic Project Builds Community, Creates Public Art, and Enhances Park

By Robin Jensen, Friends of Marquam Nature Park

Full view of mosaic

The Marquam Mosaic was created as a participatory public art project led by renowned Portland artist Lynn Takata that involved over 400 people, including children, families, and adults, in making a 100' long mosaic for the Marquam Nature Park amphitheater located at SW Marquam Drive off SW Sam Jackson Blvd. The public was invited to create ceramic and mosaic art and poetry based on the native flora and fauna of Marquam Nature Park, at locations in southwest Portland. Over six months, workshops were held at the Hillsdale Library, Hopewell House, OHSU Farmer's Market, Terwilliger Plaza, Portland State University, Shriners Hospital for Children, Marquam Nature Park, St Thomas More School, and Ainsworth School. In August and September 2013 the public helped to install the artwork on the wall. The dedication celebration took place September 28 with about 100 people in attendance. A poem from the workshops was included in the mosaic and a 'chapbook' of poetry has been published and is available for sale on the Friends of Marquam Nature Park website.

In addition to a 2013 Project Grant from Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), the mosaic is funded in part by the Bill Connor Memorial Fund of Friends of Marquam Nature Park and individual donations.

Friends of Marquam Nature Park is a community-based volunteer organization that works in partnership with Portland Parks & Recreation and others to conserve, maintain and enhance the historical, natural, and recreational resources ofMarquamNaturePark, and to educate the public about the park’s unique natural and cultural history. The group helped to lead many of the mosaic workshops.

The Artist: Lynn Takata is an award-winning artist who is nationally known for creating participatory mosaics, sculpture, and murals. She involves families and neighborhoods to build tangible symbols of community pride in parks, community centers, zoos, and schools. She works with glass, concrete, ceramic, and stone and teaches art at the Pacific Northwest College of Art.

The Poet: Edna Kovacs holds a Masters in Education with specific endorsement in Learning Disabilities and a PhD in Expressive Arts with a specialization in Multicultural Education. Edna is the author of five books on writing and poetry including her haiku chapbook, Mandalas, which won the Cicada Chapbook Award.


Close up of mosaic