A festival of mini-murals adding social justice and artwork on equality in downtown Bend


BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The High Desert Mural Festival and Scalehouse, an arts center, are hosting a mini-mural festival in downtown Bend this weekend, with a special theme.

“Everyone’s murals sort of focus on some sort of theme related to justice and equality, fairness,” said Bekha Bailla, one of the three artists selected to design and paint a mural for the festival.

The murals painted along Tin Pan Alley are meant to spark conversations about social justice and equality.

“The first thing I saw (that) was in my head when I was given this theme was a group of women of color kissing and kissing,” said Jessica Amascual, another artist painting a mural.

Amascual said his work reflects the protests against social inequalities over the past year that have taken place across the country.

“I think last year, with so much that happened, it was like pissing people off and dividing them so forcefully, like that’s what I know, that’s what I have always known, (when) stepped back into a corner: can we make a bridge? Can we invite you to change your mind? ” said Amascual.

She added that she wanted her artwork to empower people to question their stance on social justice.

“It’s okay to be wrong,” she said. “It’s good to learn new things and change your mind with new information.”

Bailla, Amascual and their fellow artist Evan Namkung will be working on their murals for the Equality and Justice Mini-Mural event throughout the weekend, until Sunday.


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