Nature’s Kaleidoscope Mural
Photo credit: The Portland Street Art Alliance
Video credit: Aedin Powell Media
A huge gray wolf with piercing amber eyes gazes over Portland, while graceful pollinators flutter above. The elusive northern spotted owl, the poster child for old-growth forest protection, serenely notes passing pedestrians. The powerful coho salmon and charming western-painted turtle emerge from crystalline waters adding to the array. Neighbors and visitors alike traveling south down 13th and Lovejoy Street in Portland’s historic Pearl District are greeted by a vibrant mural celebrating the beauty of Oregon’s native fish, wildlife, pollinators, and plants.
The 600 sq ft. masterpiece titled Nature’s Kaleidoscope, depicts an ecosystem of imperiled species and was painted over 14 days by talented local artist Jeremy Nicols (@plasticbirdie on Instagram). Oregon Wild led the showcase for the Pacific Northwest region as part of a national mural project celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which has prevented the extinction of 99% of listed species.
The official unveiling, attended by conservationists, elected officials, tribal representatives, and public supporters, underscored the mural’s message: A commitment to work together to prevent species extinction for the benefit and well-being of all.
“The Endangered Species Act protects creatures great and small. While it’s true iconic species like the humpback whale, peregrine falcon, and bald eagle have been brought back from the brink of extinction, many smaller or lesser-known species benefit too,” said Alijana Fisher, Wildlife and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Associate for Oregon Wild. “When we safeguard biodiversity as a whole we invest in our future, as human health is directly connected to the health of the environment around us.”
“The Endangered Species Act has been very successful,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “I want to celebrate the first 50 years, but not give up on the fight to continue it and protect it. We do not need to limit our ambition to minimizing losses, we can aspire to a future and an America that is more beautiful and cleaner, and safer than it is today.”
“How we value and live with any other creature is based on how we see that being,” said Grand Ronde Tribal Councilmember Kathleen George. “Our elders tell us that as modern tribal members, we always have to remember that we walk in two worlds. I think that they’re right and that these two different worlds can speak directly to why we have endangered species and why we so need the Endangered Species Act.”
Finding the Mural
13th and Lovejoy Street, Portland, OR