Visitors to Downtown Eugene may have noticed a new work of public art as they stroll down Willamette Street. Margaret “Maggie” Dewar of Mural Mice Universal recently finished painting a new mural in the alleyway next to Shoe-a-holic (957 Willamette St.).
Inspired by her infant daughter, Maggie created an image that would bring a child’s sense of wonder and curiosity to downtown Eugene. As she puts it, “I get the best job in town because I get to make people smile all day.” The mural depicts a young girl reaching out as she explores a field of daisies. Rather than whitewashing the existing graffiti on the alley wall, Maggie opted to incorporate it into the artwork.
This mural was the latest project from Cultural Services’ Urban Canvas program, which connects local artists to building owners who would like a mural painted on their property. Artists can submit examples of their work to be added to a roster of Eugene muralists, which building owners then review to find an artist whose style matches their interests. To date, Urban Canvas has brought dozens of murals and decorative traffic boxes to the City, but Maggie’s mural is unique since it is the first project of the program’s new Fresh Paint Initiative.
The intention of Fresh Paint Initiative is to elevate emerging muralists by giving them their own wall to use as a canvas for 24 months, and for the artist to continually evolve the work over the entire period. The result is a mural that may look completely different 2 years after it was originally painted.
In the case of Maggie’s mural, she completed the initial painting by herself and her partner, R.E. Wall, will paint the next phase in the coming months. Maggie and R.E. co-produced and painted dozens of murals throughout the Southwest and co-founded Mural Mice Universal, a growing collective of artists with a passion for creating meaningful public art. Now based in Eugene, they look for opportunities to create murals that beautify public space, provide educational resources and engage people in enjoyable and even therapeutic creative processes.
We hope the new mural will instill you with a sense of wonder and curiosity as you watch it develop and change. Learn more about Mural Mice Universal.
Watch a video about the project