The elegant black and white mural called “Other Hand”at the corner of SE 78th and Stark (by Flying Pie Pizza) was created by Seattle artist Olivia Knapp and sponsored by Forest For the Trees.
Knapp is noted for her intricate, hand-drawn pen and ink style. Influenced by European line engravings of decorative relief and scientific specimens from the 16th to 18th centuries, she studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Parsons The New School for Design, majoring in Fashion Design and receiving her BFA in 2006.
Working in New York as a textile designer for Nordstrom’s, she designed a lot of plaids, a natural expression for her since she uses a lot of intricate cross-hatching in her art.
The experience of working the corporate world isn’t for everyone and Knapp realized it wasn’t a good fit for her either. She needed to, in her words, “drive my own life”. Returning to the Northwest, she took up pen and paper and her first showing met with success and commissions designing labels, logos and selling art works came rolling in.
Mural painting was a new experience for her. She did a lot of the work at night because she used a projector for the initial image. This experience taught her how to use a vertical lift and how to rig outdoor lighting. “This was the first time I’ve worked outdoors and done anything of this scale,” Knapp said. See more of her work at oliviaknapp.com.
Forest For the Trees is a annual mural festival established in 2013 taking place in August. A non-profit event dedicated to the creation of contemporary public art in Portland, this year’s fest brought together local and international artists. There are twenty new murals in Portland thanks to this event. The fest is organized by artist Gage Hamilton, curator Matt Wagner of Hellion Gallery and event producer Tia Vanich.
The name is a reminder to look at the bigger picture instead of focusing on what’s in front of you. Forest For The Trees hopes to pull Portland’s residents away from their daily routines and provide them a moment of appreciation for the creativity that surrounds us here in the Pacific Northwest.