yay-side bayside


I was driving down an unfamiliar street in Portland recently, on my way from one obligation to the next, when I found myself surrounded by two rather powerful pieces of public art. I had to stop the car so I could take a closer look.

The East Bayside Community Mosaic Mural is huge, colorful, and absolutely gorgeous. The more I looked at it, the more I fell in love with it. Positive messages and universal symbols swirl around together, creating a dynamic and unifying piece that people of all backgrounds and walks of life can identify with and relate to. The East Bayside Community Mosaic Mural was the brainchild of USM Artist-In-Residence Muhsana Ali, who had a vision to “unite the human family” by allowing residents and community members to “come together and create,” and therefore feel more connected to one another and their neighborhood. Take a look at these photos!

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Just across the street is a building with a fence unlike any I have ever seen: it features text excerpts by Portland area students, courtesy of The Telling Room.

gate 1         gate 2

gate 3         gate 4

gate 5         gate 6

gate 7          gate 8

gate 9

What a wonderful surprise it was to stumble on these beautiful creations! Do you have any favorite public art pieces? If so, where are they located, and what makes them so special to you? Please let me know in the comments…I might like to pay them a visit!


PDA = public displays of art!

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know this about me: I just love seeing art in unexpected places! Here are some photos that may inspire you to keep your eyes open for visual treats. They always brighten my day!

Look up! This bird sculpture is on the roof of a building on Congress Street in downtown Portland:




Well-placed, colorful stickers can make the back of a traffic sign worth looking at…




…and there’s that banana again!




Speaking of stickers, it’s especially wonderful when you see a sticker of your dear friend’s artwork on someone’s car…this is the work of the lovely and talented Sabrina Thiemke-Greene, otherwise known as Think Greene! 




I feel like I’m seeing more and more murals ever since my trip to San Francisco last October, where I was blown away by the volume and the quality of the public art. Here’s a mural with an unusual theme for Grey, Maine: Al Capone!




My husband Terry and I stopped at Otto in Portland for a quick slice of pizza on our way out of town the other day, and we were pleasantly surprised to happen upon an artist in the process of painting a mural right on the side of the building! Susan Bartlett Rice was kind enough to take a few minutes to chat with me about her work and pose for some pictures. Thank you, Susan, and congratulations on the great job!





How do you feel about public art? Do you have any favorites? If so, where are they located? Please share in the comments section!

get out of town

My husband Terry and I were in Claremont, New Hampshire this past weekend to see family and friends. We didn’t know that we’d be seeing some interesting public art as well!

This mural by Phil Montenegro is located on the side of a restaurant called Out Of The Ordinary. The title? “No Ordinary Giant”!




Here’s a cool piece that’s hanging at Revolution Cantina, a Latin American restaurant located on Opera House Square.


My favorite had to be this sculpture by Ernest Montenegro, entitled “ourhandsthenandnow”. The hand shapes that make up this enormous piece were traced by Claremont residents. What a cool way to involve the community in the creative process! I would love to see how this looks all lit up at night…perhaps next time.




I do love a well-placed sticker, so I had to snap a picture of this little bomb.


What is your favorite type of public art? Feel free to share in the comments!