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.


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