Portland artist Victor Bizar Gomez paints his mural as part of the Portland Street Art Alliance's Mt. Whitney Blocks project.

Portland artist Victor Bizar Gomez paints his mural as part of the Portland Street Art Alliance's Mt. Whitney Blocks project.

Sara Sjol / Courtesy

The Portland Street Art Alliance has unveiled a series of new murals in one of its largest arts projects on Portland’s central east side.

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Through what’s known as the Mt. Whitney Blocks Project, 16 local artists painted the walls of the World Pac. Inc building. Their murals span a two-block radius near the intersection of Southeast 11th Street and Alder Street.

The project is part of PSAA’s Community Art Program, which funds community artwork on buildings across Portland.

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“Typically it’s businesses that are dealing with chronic tagging, so we work with them to find a solution that helps put a little bit of money into the hands of working artists,” said PSAA director Tomás Valladares. “It’s an opportunity to showcase some really talented artists, an opportunity for cultural exchange, and an opportunity to brighten up the walls in the neighborhood.”

Each artist was given a small wall portion of the building to paint and the freedom to be as creative as they wanted.

The Portland Street Art Alliance announced a series of murals in their largest community arts project to date.

The Portland Street Art Alliance announced a series of murals in their largest community arts project to date.

Sara Sjol / Courtesy

The work of first-time muralist Victor Bizar Gomez stands at the intersection of Southeast 12th Avenue and Alder Street.

It’s a simple drawing of a sailor and a little beagle. Because it was his first mural, Gomez didn’t want to overcomplicate the process.

“I just kind of wanted to do something real, simple, really just fun shapes and colors in line. … I wanted to not overwhelm myself and mostly focus on the process of painting,” he said. “For many people, they don’t actively seek out visual arts. The walls that you see on their streets that are ornamented are their museum. And I found that really powerful.”

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