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Street painting renewed, updated at Sellwoods Share-It Square

by: Rita A. Leonard Rachel Cook helped organize the 2011 street painting event at Share-It Square.

The themes for this year's street painting in the celebrated intersection of S.E. 9th and Sherrett in Sellwood are 'Love and Growth'.

The centerpiece of the painting is a yellow and orange dandelion on a blue background, shedding white seeds down the crossroads. A circle painted around the flower is graced with individual messages and hearts along the rim. Since the painting was completed, scores of visitors arriving by bike, car, and on foot have been admiring this latest symbol of community building at the award-winning intersection - 'Share-It Square'.

Rachel and Michael Cook, neighbors who help maintain the Square's free tea station, also helped to organize the June 4th repainting celebration under sunny skies. 'It's a community-planned event that comes under the umbrella of 'City Repair' and 'Village Building Convergence',' explains Rachel. 'You can check that out online at: http://vbc.cityrepair.org .

'We schedule two spring community meetings to plan ideas for the annual design. The white rays that extend in compass directions down the four streets of the intersection are a standard part of the design, along with the brick-like pattern of red rectangles surrounding the circle. This year we focused on gardens, with a centerpiece of a flower and seeds. During the day, the kids developed a plan to paint hearts and quotes around the circle encompassing the design.'

Notes along the circle express such sentiments as 'everything gardens', 'there is no other moment', 'welcome, friend', 'the world is as beautiful now as it ever will be', and 'throw yourself like seed, as you walk into your own field.' Rachel tells THE BEE, 'It's fun to watch joggers come visit the painting. They want to read all the words without stopping, so they jog around the circle.

'About 50 participants of all ages came to the event throughout the day on June 4,' she continues. 'Free snacks were served out of the 'Bombay Café', which is usually known as the Kids' Clubhouse. Pastries were donated by Grand Central Bakery, and Dave's Killer Bread donated bread for the sandwiches. Miller Paint gives us a discount on the traffic marking paint that we use. The all-day event culminated in an evening potluck, and we have a time-lapse photo record of it all.'