Latino Heritage Murals Commissioned for Columbia Gardens Wine Village

Latino Heritage Murals Commissioned for Columbia Gardens Wine Village

Port views artwork as a key element of waterfront revitalization

Kennewick, WA – On Tuesday, October 11, 2016, at its regular commission meeting, the Port of Kennewick Board of Commissioners accepted a recommendation from the Latino Heritage Mural Committee and agreed to commission professional mural artist, Andrew Reid to paint two murals focused on the Latino heritage in the Tri-Cities community. Reid was selected by the mural committee through an extensive search process from a pool of 29 professional mural artists in the United States, Canada, and Spain who responded to a call-to-artists issued earlier this year.

The murals will share and celebrate the Latino community’s substantial contributions to the fabric of the Tri-Cities, including the agricultural and wine industries. The artwork will span 672-squarefeet on two canvases, one 48-feet and the other 36-feet in length. They will be installed on the Port’s planned Columbia Garden Wine & Artisan Village buildings, and will become an essential element in helping revitalize Kennewick’s historic waterfront. Reid will travel to the Tri-Cities for several days in early 2017 to meet with residents, gain a feel for the local Latino story, and gather feedback to incorporate into the final mural.

The Latino mural project is a culmination of nearly two year’s work by the Port of Kennewick and Latino community members who had approached the Port when they were looking for places to tell their story through quality public art. After several meetings, the mural project partnership was formed.

Davin Diaz chairs the all-volunteer Latino Heritage Mural Committee that worked extensively to determine what response, sense or feeling they want viewers of the artwork to experience; distribute the call-to-artists; and vet the artists’ proposals. The committee also met with members of the Latino community, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and other organizations including the Kennewick Arts Commission, to obtain broad input on the project.

“The Tri-Cities would not look the way it does without the Latino community,” Diaz said. “This is the first mural of its nature to celebrate the Latino role in the Tri-Cities. A public art project like this takes art outside of people’s homes and businesses and puts it in the public sphere where people can interact with it, learn from it and love it. And as far as raw talent and execution, this mural will be nothing like the Tri-Cities has ever seen.”

The Latino Heritage Mural Committee extensively reviewed and narrowed the initial 29 artists’ proposals to five finalists, who then submitted preliminary proposals for consideration in August. The finalists’ proposals were independently reviewed by both the mural committee and the Kennewick Arts Commission. The mural committee then selected its preferred artist at a meeting October 7, 2016, and made a unanimous recommendation to Port Commissioners regarding their preferred artist at today’s meeting. The artist will be paid $18,000 to design, paint and install the murals.

The finished mural is anticipated to be completed by September 2017. The Latino Heritage Mural Project is funded by Port of Kennewick with support from Columbia Center Rotary, Kennewick Arts Commission and Latino Mural Committee members.