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Lincoln City will be getting a little more colorful and artistically engaged this summer with the addition of new murals.

Last summer, Activate Arts, a nonprofit that organizes arts in the community, created four outdoor murals throughout the city. The creative pieces of work were the handy work of several local artists, as well as kids in the community.

With the positive reception from locals and visitors alike, Activate Arts Founder and Executive Director Crystal Akins asked the city council’s permission last week to create six more murals in the summer of 2021.

“These are all local artists within Lincoln City and really the goal of this (project) is to cultivate more relationships with our youth and artists in town,” Akins told the city council during their March 22 meeting.

The six new creations will feature the work of Krista Eddy, who hopes to work with a youth summer camp for a mural on the Community Center walls; Katia Kyte, who will be painting native coastal flowers at Josephine Young Park; Bryan Nichols, who plans to work with youth on a painting at the NW 26th St. beach access; and Akins, who will be working on three public art murals at Wecoma Park, the Kids and Seniors Park and at the Siletz Bay near Mo’s Restaurant.

Each mural costs about $7,000 and are fully funded through private donations and grants. Akins said there are several benefits to this type of public art, such as it being accessible and free for the public to view, it builds community relationships between youth programs and local artists, and it also promotes tourism.

Maintenance of the murals is handled by Activate Arts and Lincoln City Parks and Recreation. Through a tough winter season, Akins said last summer’s murals have held up nicely, with just some minor peeling.

“I recently went and looked at all the murals to see how they were holding up and I have grids of all the colors we used, so we’re going to do some renovations parties and ask the community to come out and paint with us. But our murals have held up very well, there’s not too much that needs to be done to them,” Akins said.

Akins said with the materials they used, these street murals can last 10-15 years without maintenance.

The artists are ready to get to work starting August 2021. During that time the artist will get a five day permit in which there will be power washing, laying out the grid, painting and cleaning. Community members and kids are welcome to help out.

“Adults are welcome to the project, but we really focus on kids, especially kids who are marginalized,” Akins said. “I specialize working with kids from the BIPOC community because I am a person of color, I also work with kids in the shelters, so we want to work with kids who don’t have access to art because they are experiencing poverty.”

The new murals will be the second phase in Akin’s project vision. Phase three will include five more murals in 2022, totaling in 15 murals all together. After all 15 murals are created, Activate Arts will look to create a brochure that details the murals and where to find them all.

Akins is confident that the new murals will get a positive reception from the community as a whole just like last summer. Activate Arts held a virtual celebration after the first four were finished. That event featured over 50,000 viewers online.

“I feel like our art kind of brought people together who don’t usually come together in Lincoln City,” Akins said. “We had city council members there, tribal council members, all kinds of community come to this event… it was very exciting to see so many people come together because that’s why we do this.”

The city council voted unanimously to approve the six new murals.

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