Foster Window Project Recap

I’ve finally had some time to look through photos and figure out what happened last year. Here is a the whole thing in a nutshell, with lots of pictures:

Initially conceived as four small projects, the Foster Window Project produced two artistic beautification projects along Foster Rd.With the permission of building owners, we focused attention on underused spaces along the street.

Project #1-“Twinkle” began with a brainstorming session within the neighborhood. The Phoenix Pharmacy is a particularly beloved historical site and many neighbors have hopes and dreams for the future use of this building. Ideas for imagery were solicited at neighborhood association meetings, through social media and at the project site using a write-on poster.

before the project, a target for graffiti

Three overarching ideas were turned into designs from the over 30 submitted suggestions. You can find more about this on the Phoenix Building Host page

The three designs were put to an online vote. Over 400 people voted and the winning design was developed as a 91 ft long (6 ft high) mural that is painted on panels with Latex paint. 22 wood panels were cut, primed and traced out in advance so that 24 volunteers could paint in the shapes during a community work party. Thanks to the Marylhurst University Art Department for letting us spread out over Christmas break and to Performance Works NW for giving us the dance floor for the work parties.

This project consumed well over half of the entire project budget, even with a generous donation (all of the paint) from Miller Paint.

Project #2-“Super Squirrel vs. Toxic-pus” partnered with Red Castle Games. The small business had planned to open a cafe in the vacant storefront but plans were on hold.

before the project

RCG and FWP issued a call to the creative people of the neighborhood: “Tell us a make believe story”. 23 original drawings and stories were submitted and, with a sticker vote at the Foster-Powell and Mt. Scott-Arleta Neighborhood Association meetings, we determined the top three ideas. Well, 4, we had a tie.


Over 300 people participated in an online vote for the winning story and image. The lead artists prepared work in advance of two community work parties that were held at the vacant store. Neighbors of all ages used printmaking, paper mache and cardboard construction techniques which relied heavily on free and recycled material.

The 3-D sculptures filled the two 6’x8′ storefront windows and makeshift curtains framed the scenes like a theater.

Just over month later, Red Castle gave up the lease to the shop and the installation was reinstalled inside of their game store.


A big thanks to all of the neighbors that helped make this happen, Miller Paint and I’ve Been Framed for donating supplies, The Foster Powell Neighborhood Association, the Mt. Scott Arleta Neighborhood Association, Buck and Matt Froman of Buck’s Stove Palace, Red Castle Games, Marylhurst University and Performance Works NW, and last-but so importantly, SE Uplift, who supplied the Creative Engagement Grant that sparked the idea and made the whole thing possible.


Already gone! Here are some pictures:

Well, the octopus is already gone, I’m afraid. Red Castle Games has suddenly given up the lease on that storefront. You can still see the octopus atop a turret in the Red Castle gaming space and, in a few weeks, we’ll work it out so that it makes sense again in that space. So if you missed seeing it in the window, this is what it looked like:

(I’ve lost the memory stick containing all of our photos of this installation and process pictures. When I find it, and I will find it, I will make a proper post.)

Wrap Up

The Foster Window Project was organized by the Foster Powell Neighborhood Association with financial assistance from a Creative Engagement Grant from Southeast Uplift.

For this project, neighbors were asked to “tell us a make believe story”. We received 23 entries which were voted on by the Foster Powell Neighborhood Association and the Mt. Scott-Arleta Neighborhood Association. Four finalists were announced and an online poll was conducted to name the winning story. Over 300 neighbors voted for their favorite story (and picture).

In August 2015, local artists, John and Vicki, translated the image into sculptures and, with the help of about 24 neighbors (some directing the work from their strollers), put together the 3-D display you see here. Thanks to those neighbors: Alice, Hazel, Rhienna, Kyle, Jehu, Monte, Hannah, Katy, Milo, Oliver, Gretta, Andy, Mary Kate, Aaron, Katie, Kai, Corey, Imogen, Aaron, Kate, Janet, Elanor, Rita, Richard. Richard, Hannah and Katie-you were rock stars!

Another example of this project is just up the street at 67th and Foster Rd. That design was painted by about 25 neighbors in January 2015.

The Foster Window Project and the Foster Powell Neighborhood Association would like to thank Southeast Uplift for the funding, Red Castle Games for being so accommodating, Pieper Cafe for keeping the artists caffeinated, Widmer Bros. Brewing Company for the cardboard and I’ve Been Framed for the glue that holds it all together.

We’ll add some process and finished pictures to this post in a day or two…


While the early polls heavily favored “Aquarium Store”, it wasn’t leading the online poll until the very end!


Here are the results as of midnight: 343 total votes!

Aquarium Store-122 votes

The Houses Grew Taller-111 votes

Dragon made of Flowers-82 votes

Herbert, You’re Adopted-28 votes

We’ll be taking a few days to form a plan of action and then we’ll let everyone know when the work party is. Thanks to everyone who has participated so far!

FO-PODLIAN, M. S. ARLETANS and anyone else who wants to participate:

The time has come to choose the drawing that will be made into a three dimensional window display in the empty “Cafe Red” window next to Red Castle Games. We has 22 entries which were voted on at the July meetings for the Foster-Powell and Mt. Scott Arleta Neighborhood Associations. That was about 30 people who each cast votes for their top three favorites. There was a tie for third place so we have 4 entries for you to choose from. The last project, “Twinkle” on the historic Phoenix Pharmacy Building, had about 400 votes during this process. Let’s do that again. Cast your vote here, then spread it, share it, put it on a t-shirt and wear it! Choice #1-Herbert, you’re adopted: fwp2002 Choice #2-A dragon made of flowers breathes rainbows: fwp3003 Choice #3: An aquarium store goes out of business… fwp1001 Choice #4: The houses grew taller and taller, so did the trees: fwp4004 Voting will end on July 31st at Midnight. After we figure out how to build it, we will announce a community work party to construct the winning design in August. Follow this page or join our email list to get updates (send an email to to join the mailing list).