Contributed photo.'Peaceful Vistas' mural returns to its former glory posted on 07/30/2020
Roger Cooke’s 1993 mural, “Peaceful Vistas,” has offered the
inspiring image of a pioneer wagon train to passersby on Meinig Avenue between
Proctor Blvd. and Pioneer Blvd. in Sandy. The Sandy Arts Commission (SAC)
restored the mural last summer and had planned on celebrating the
accomplishment in May.
Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, that celebration was
postponed twice. But now, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, that celebration will
finally take place.
“It’s been a year since we started the restoration,” said
Becky Hawley, chair of the SAC. “ I feel like this is the culmination of a lot
of hard work and a chance to allow us to honor the original artist. I hope that
it will focus a positive light on the city’s public art.”
The event and an unveiling of a bronze historical marker
honoring Cooke will be held in the parking lot across the street from the
mural, at the corner of 17450 SE Meinig Ave. and Pioneer Blvd., offering space
enough for participants to practice social distancing.
Hawley and Pamela Smithsted were the lead artists for the
restoration work, which included other local artists and featured an almost
total repainting of the mural. The only part left untouched was Cooke’s
Cooke, who lived on Marmot Road for many years and was known
for his historical depictions of Native American tribes, painted the mural for
Oregon’s sesquicentennial celebration. Cooke painted more than 60 murals,
including in small towns along the Oregon Trail.
Restoration work took more than three weeks to complete with
volunteers contributing more than 280 hours. Other painters included Marcia
Morrow, Arts Commissioner and Wy’east Artisans Guild (WAG) president, WAG
members Micaiah Meyer and Vern Groff, Lori Putman of the Sandy Historical
Society and Taylor West, a recent graduate of Sandy High School.
Hawley noted that the restoration process was fun in part
due to people in cars who were stopped at the traffic light in the intersection
and took the opportunity to honk their horn or shout out encouragement.
“We realized what a need there was for a bronze plaque with
info on the artist and the history,” she added.
Hawley also noted the mural was in sad shape in some areas
before the restoration, including portions that had completely lost the paint.
Fortunately, most of those areas were part of the sky, where Cooke had not used
many layers of paint.
“The majority of foreground was still intact,” Hawley said.
“We were able to use a clear primer over the existing mural and then do a kind
of paint by number, using pattern underneath.”
The effort was helped by Ernie Brache of AEC, who loaned the
use of a scissor-lift for the duration of the project, and John and Allison
Milward, of Ace Hardware, who offered supplies.
Prints of Cooke’s work are expected to be available at the
celebration, with proceeds benefiting the City of Sandy’s Arts Fund.
“I’m just hoping that this will be a positive show of
appreciation for Sandy’s public art and appreciation for what has gone into
saving it,” Hawley said.
For more information about the ceremony, email
By Garth Guibord/MT