If you’ve ridden the roads of Oregon, you’ve seen muralist Larry Kangas’ work. Kangas’ has painted dozens of large-scale community-centered, curiosity-inspiring artworks all over the state – I don’t have the attention-span to make a worthwhile map, but consider stopping to see these as you can. And you have to stop to see them. Many are imperiled by the weather and time, and the landscape above, recently painted over at the Hollywood Bike Gallery on NE Sandy and about 50th, was worn and faded. The picture above is from August, below is November 2007.

See Larry Kangas’ web site for a directory of his murals.

It’s a big wall so I assume Bike Gallery will hire Kangas to crate another.

My constant problem with Kangas murals is they’re often hard to see. This one on NE Sandy is best seen while standing in the westbound lane. The Kangas mural under the Bridge of the Gods at Cascade Locks is both worn and in shadows (as well as the noise and grit of a parking lot – but you can also score Native salmon from truck vendors in the same lot – $7 a pound!) The mural I’ve called A History of Horses is at a high angle – impossible to see from any one position. The Oregon City mural is in a anonymous parking lot – off the main drag, or another, sited over a barber shop.

I particularly liked the Bike Gallery landscape – it was very large, at points perhaps 60 feet across by 20 feet high, running from a deep forest trail to Sam Hill’s Columbia Gorge highway, through the Esplanade and under the Hawthorne Bridge. A great snapshot of Portland as Bike City USA. Note at the East end of the Hawthorne Bridge the hideous overhang of Interstate 5 has been mercifully left out.