EUGENE, Ore — Life-sized art comes alive in Eugene this weekend, and with a little peddle power you can take it all in.
The Lane Arts Council is hosting its 2nd annual Mural Bike Tour. One of the featured artist is Esteban Camacho Steffensen. Steffensen spent two months at the Washington Jefferson Skate Park transforming two massive bridge columns into works of art. “It’s a challenge. It’s an artistic challenge to paint 17 feet high,” says Steffensen. He completed the murals just in time for the official opening of the skate park in June 2014.
Steffensen was one of dozens of artists who submitted entries for the mural project. Eight finalists were selected and in the end, he won. “I am lucky that I am from Eugene, and I started painting murals in Eugene, and I’ve never really gone in on a public project commissioned here. So when I got it, yes, it’s really rewarding,” Steffensen said.
The Mural Bike Tour starts at the Washington Jefferson Skate Park at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 16. It will cover 13 murals in the Whiteaker neighborhood. Eight mural artists will be on the tour to discuss their work including Kari Johnson. Johnson has five murals on the tour. One of them, which is almost 25 years old, is located at 4th Avenue and Monroe. Her work is impressive. Perhaps even more impressive is that she has no formal training. “Maybe it’s in my blood. I never went to school for art. I don’t know. I don’t know how I became an artist,” Johnson said.
The Lane Arts Council says the free bike tour will take about two hours and covers about a mile and a half.