United through art
Noah Cotter grew up around Estacadas murals. This year, hes leading the creation of one.
During the citys Summer Celebration, July 21-23, a team of Artback Artists and volunteers will paint Cotters design for The Celtic World Mural at at 367 S.E. Main St.
Cotters design features a heart, infinity sign and two people holding up a natural scene with a tree.
The design draws from cultures from all over the ancient world, including celtic and norse influences, and is created in the style of an illuminated manuscript, an art form where ancient manuscripts were decorated with borders, initials and miniature illustrations.
Cotter said he chose the design to reflect on universal love and the connections between humans and the planet.
Today, theres a lot of fear, divisiveness and frustration in our world with political, race and gender divisions, he said. I wanted to make something really universal.
Cotter grew up around Estacadas murals. His parents, Kolieha Bush and the late Joe Cotter, were also both involved in Artback, the artist cooperative that has painted murals in downtown Estacada since 1992.
I have really great memories of working with my dad on his murals, Cotter said.
Joe Cotter was the lead artist on many of Estacadas murals, including The Cycle of Wood, Tails of the Trail and All the Worlds A Stage.
Its really great to see my dads legacy around town, Cotter said of the murals that decorate many of Estacadas walls.
Cotter has also been inspired by his mothers work. He sees parallels between this years mural and several murals around town she designed, including The Tree of Life Mural, located on Fourth Avenue.
I think they speak to more universal themes, as opposed to more specific themes, he said.
Cotter appreciates being able to consult with his mother on his work.
(Talking to my mom) is really valuable. Its great to have another artist to bounce ideas off and talk about work, he said.
Cotter works as an artist full time. Previously, he was employed as an artist for McMenamins, and he is often commissioned to create album covers.
He praised his parents for nurturing his artistic spirit.
It was a really cool and stimulating environment to grow up in, he said.
Cotter said his parents were always supportive of his and his brothers interests.
My dad would take whatever we were interested in and educate himself on that, and essentially make himself interested in whatever we were interested in, he recalled.
Today, Cotter is grateful for the opportunity to lead Artback in creating this years mural.
I feel really fortunate that, at a young age, I get to put a giant piece of my art on a wall, and have people help with that, he said. Theres been a lot of community support, and Im really appreciative of that.