At first glance, storm drains and their unglamorous job of transporting stormwater runoff do not seem like catalysts for environmental activism. Yet, Tualatin Riverkeepers (TRK) has embraced storm drains as canvasses to raise awareness about local water quality. TRK, in partnership with Centro Cultural de Washington County and Muslim Educational Trust, is one of six recipients for Metro’s pilot Community Placemaking Grants.
With this grant, local artists Kanaan Kanaan and Linda Sawaya will each create one sidewalk stormdrain mural that will raise awareness about stormwater pollution in the Tualatin River and its tributaries while celebrating the artistic and cultural heritage of Latinx and Muslim communities in Washington County.
This grant will fund a pilot mural project on Main Street in downtown Hillsboro and downtown Tigard, where each artist will work with the community in each city to install one sidewalk mural that highlights the importance of storm drains and prevents pollution in our waterways.
In Tigard, Mr. Kanaan’s sidewalk mural is inspired by the concept of intersectionality and symbolism from Islam. Kanaan says, “In my work, I would bring intersectionality to its fullest to work on beautifying our city and bring attention to the importance of clean water and healthy community.”
Ms. Sawaya’s storm drain mural will be created for the City of Hillsboro, using color, texture, and pattern to celebrate cultural water symbols from indigenous Latin American communities. “I love the Tualatin River, especially as a new kayaker in the river. The opportunity of bringing awareness to the importance of keeping our rivers clean through an art mural with Latinx cultural symbolism is an honor and a blessing.”
Tualatin Riverkeepers hopes these murals will strengthen the ties between communities living along the Tualatin River and foster a sense of place for immigrant communities in the county. This artwork will work as a multilingual educational tool to remind the public that storm drains carry stormwater and stormwater runoff (e.g. oil, lawn chemicals, trash, sediments) directly to the waterways we use in our everyday life for drinking and recreation.
Meet artist Kanaan Kanaan and participate in his mural design at the Tigard Art Walk
Friday June 1, 2018
Meet the Artists at local downtown businesses in Tigard
Saturday June 2, 2018
Artists in Action outside local businesses in Main St, Tigard
Event website: exploredowntowntigard.com/art-
Meet artist Linda Sawaya when she displays her work in downtown Hillsboro at Hillsboro’s Tuesday Night Market
Tuesday, August 7th, 2018
Event website: http://www.tuesdaymarketplace.
About Centro Cultural de Washington County:
Centro was founded by a group of migrant families who wanted, despite resistance from established residents, to make Washington County their permanent home. Since 1972, Centro Cultural of Washington County has served Latino families with an ever-growing range of programs designed to create self-sufficient, engaged, and active citizens. A home for Latino cultures, Centro serves the needs of our diverse community by promoting personal growth and empowerment.
About Muslim Educational Trust:
The Muslim Educational Trust was founded in 1993 in response to the community’s needs in the Portland area. These needs for education about Islam were generated by the Muslim community as well as the Non-Muslim community. Muslim Educational Trust is dedicated to the betterment of our society, and strives to achieve its purpose through education, cooperation, networking, and programs which benefit Muslims and non-Muslims in the greater Portland, Oregon.
About Tualatin Riverkeepers:
Tualatin Riverkeepers (TRK) is a non-profit organization dedicated to holistic watershed management for the benefit of communities in the Tualatin River Basin. TRK’s mission is to protect, restore and enjoy the Tualatin River. Its four programs include: recreation, restoration, watershed watch/advocacy and environmental education. TRK is a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, a global movement for clean water. This project is funded through Metro’s Community Placemaking Grants.