by John Early
In the course of the current re-model of the old Natures (later Wild Oats) Market, the landmark mural, From Seed to Celebration, on the east wall of the building on SE Division at 31st Ave has been removed. To accommodate future office rentals on the second floor, the architect and developers of the 3-phase ‘D’ Street Village cut a series of windows and installed a new exterior door and staircase into the painting. The mural (one of Portland’s largest at 17’ht x 76’length) was painted by John Early and Laura Bender in 1995. The brightly colored contemporary-styled work depicted a narrative of the food cycle of planting, cultivating, harvesting, marketing, and finally the celebration or sharing meals together. The work was the first major commission for Early and Bender, dba Site Painters, upon relocating to Portland in 1993. The figure of a young child sampling a grape midway across the wall was their daughter, Arcadia, now 22.