Gina Wilson Mural Dedication Speech

In Her Own Words

Contributed by: Gina Wilson

Gina Wilson speaks, Jayne Scott listens during dedication.While painting this mural, someone asked me “Who owns the mural?” I asked, “Do you live in Beaverton?” She said yes and I responded that the mural belongs to you. This mural exists because our leaders, business owners, churches, and individuals all saw the importance of the arts in our lives. I want to thank our former mayor, our current mayor, Jayne Scott and countless people who worked to change the laws in Beaverton making murals more possible. I want to thank our community who values the Arts enough to support a matching funds program and was willing to help with funding.

For me, this mural has three focuses, three ways in which I interact with the work, or what I refer to as ways in which I dance with it. Unlike most work, this piece was made to be here and no where else site specific. So, first the work and I interacted with its surroundings. To compete in this visually complex area full of change and movement. The mural was conceived as bold and minimal.

There are four trees and four figures, the green of the plants, the yellow arrow on the drive way, both influencing their colors. Remembering the color wheel, we see that the three primary colors, red, blue, and yellow, and the three secondary colors, orange, green, and purple, are all present, except purple which will be added each spring when bushes bloom. The circles of the heads make a pattern on their own that remind me of the flower petals from the trees as they drifted down in the spring. As the leaves fall in the winter, they reveal the linear quality of the tree branches which relate to the linear quality of the mural.

Mural of stylized figures in blue, green, yellow and orange.  Mural of stylized figures in blue, green, yellow and orange with trees in front.  Gina Wilson with her back to the camera standing in front of her mural.

These and many other elements may seem to obscure for any one to notice or perhaps care about but you should know the mural was made to “dance” with its environment. You are about to share at least five years with this mural, some of you on a daily basis. I want to work to continue to surprise you over time by its relationship.

The second relationship I interacted with was narrative as we all do with recognizable imagery. The figures, their positions, and the loaded symbolism of the heart have stories for me but as you try and interact with the work I believe my “stories” are a distraction for you. I am looking to provide you with the opportunity to have your own dialogue. My stories are not the best or right ones for you. I challenge you to see your stories as most valid, to watch as they and you change over time. I challenge you and the work to discover your own dialogues, to allow imagery to “dance” with you, revealing you to yourself.

If I take out the issues of surroundings and its relationships, if I take out the narrative and its verbal exchanges, we are left with the third and for me, the most powerful element I “dance” with: the purely visual.

Color: Ickabod’s building is the “brown” of the figures. This “brown” is actually low intensity orange. Remembering our color wheel again and the three primary colors of red, yellow, and blue. When two of them are mixed together, the one remaining becomes its opposite. Red and yellow made orange, who’s opposite is blue. Opposites push at each other. They create visual tension. Even the lines that define the figures are not black but rather dark blue.

Shape: What can I say? I love shape- circle, triangle, and rectangle. The impact they have on each other. The interactions of color and shape have an emotional impact on our eyes just as classical music has on our ears. Some composers write for the piano, others the ukulele. I write for shape.

On whatever level we interact with the work, whatever our response, the success of the work of art must be judged by each of us individually. We judge the work by the degree to which it has become a player in our lives. Challenging or reaffirming our concepts of beauty, of society, of ourselves. Getting our inner selves to recognize the importance of what we have surrounded ourselves with. My hope would be that the work and you have some interesting discussions and perhaps do a bit of dancing.

Gina Wilson talks to guests at the dedication ceremony.   Mayor Doyle with Gina & Chuck Wilson in front of her mural.   Section of Wilson mural with stylized figures.