For a few years now, local artist and Activate Arts non-profit founder, Crystal Akins, envisioned a “Community Mural Project”, where community would come together to paint ground art murals in Lincoln City. Her project mission included creating art access to youth, creating an artistic cultural identity, and having a positive economic impact through tourism.
With her vision in hand, Akins approached Lincoln City Parks and Recreation (LCP&R) in Jan 2020 to see if such a mural project could take place. Akins expressed, “The intention of the murals is to bring community together in an inclusive and equitable way”. LCP&R loved her vision, and started the public art approval process, which included Akins presenting her ideas to the LC Public Arts Committee, LC Parks & Recreation Board, City Manager Ron Chandler, and finally, the City Council of Lincoln City.
After many presentations, brainstorming and feedback sessions, the “Community Art Mural” project was approved in March 2020 by LC City Council, for the public park spaces at Regatta Park (musical instrument pad), Community Center plaza, 51st St/ Taft, and the SW 33rd Nelscott beach access.
LCP&R Director Jeanne Sprague said “We are thrilled and grateful to Crystal Akins and Activate Arts for bringing the Community Art Mural project to Lincoln City. This is a grassroots, inclusive, community-oriented activity, and we appreciate the beautiful art in our parks. And they’re creating the art murals for free!” Sprague commented that each art mural is estimated at $7000, and this expense was not in the LCP&R budget.
Each mural is designed and painted by individual artists, who have donated their time and expertise. The artist selection by Akins was based on their statement of art, ability to collaborate with community, and their inclusion of local history and culture. Akins is also painting a mural titled “Vibrations” in Regatta Park, utilizing favorite childhood songs selected by the Lincoln City community to influence her artwork. To send her songs for her art mural, please follow the Activate Arts or Lincoln City Parks and Recreation Facebook pages.
LC Public Art Committee Chair Niki Price commented “Our recent adopted public art master plan has a list of goals for art installations and projects, including an ongoing effort for smaller-scale, participatory projects that engage the public. We were so thrilled when this project was offered, as a gift from Crystal Akins to the city. It's just what we were looking for. The participation will have to be virtual, but the results will be spectacular!"
The Community Mural Project was slated to start in June 2020, but was put on hold due to COVID19 considerations. Akins and her artists plan to start and finish the art murals in August, having some of the community interactions virtually, including the dedication ceremony on Sat, Aug. 15th, noon at SW 51st St/ Taft. People can view the dedication ceremony virtually via live feed on the Lincoln City Parks and Recreation FB page.
For updated progress on the art murals and dedication, please follow the Activate Arts or Lincoln City Parks and Recreation Facebook pages, visit https://www.lincolncity.org/parksandrec, or call 541.994.2131.