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By Emily Hunter | 09/22/2021 | Art , Things to Do

FIVE IMPACTFUL MURALS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT

Picture this: you’re exploring the streets of Downtown Medford, a hand-crafted latte in hand of course, when you stumble upon one of the several murals painted on the walls. You get the chance to breathe in the history and beauty of the visuals- but what exactly do they all mean?


Each of the 5 murals portray the diverse history, and raw authenticity of the town in their own ways. Whether you have never visited or walk past them every day, take a dive into each mural’s unique meaning and the artist behind the magic.

A common walkway known best for it’s twinkling lights, Craterian Theater ventures, and photo ops with the chess statue, the Vogel Plaza is nestled into the very heart of downtown Medford. With a large wall of real estate, the city administration declared the need for a mural to celebrate Medford’s history, as well as its agricultural past and present.


Wall, meet Yulia Avgustinovich. An artist from Colorado, Yulia was hand-picked from more than two dozen artists who applied for the project.


An artist for most of her life, Yulia is passionate about painting murals because they allow her to unearth the vibrance of a city. Creating something everyone can enjoy is important to her to not only elevate the atmosphere, but share a story that can only be told through art. When you look at the mural, you will be able to immerse yourself into the truly unique culture of Medford as the Heart of the Rogue Valley.


Pear and apple blossoms scape the mural, each common crops grown in orchards around the valley. You can also find local historic buildings, birds and plants native to Oregon — all of which highlight the history and continued innovation of the Rogue Valley.

After having a delectable lunch at Over Easy or Downtown Market, find your wings at the inspiring, perfect photo op, Wings mural. This colorful mural decorates one of the walls on Bartlett Street, painted by Medford’s very own Janice Moon and her husband, Ryan.


The pair craved creating something to brighten up the formerly plain wall, and began painting the mural as a gift to their local community. The beautiful mural was intricately designed to bring joy and inspiration to those passing by. The saying at the top, Alis volat propriis, is a Latin phrase used as the motto of U.S. state of Oregon. The official English version of the motto is "She flies with her own wings".


Stop by to take a picture by the wall, and experience finding your own wings firsthand!

Diversity, unity, authenticity – these are the key phrases to describe the large 15-by-30-feet mural located on the East side of the Acme Building.


This eye-catching mural depicts two clasped hands: a darker-colored hand holding a lighter-colored hand. The mural features the hands painted in black and white, with a colorful maroon background and a gold circle behind the hands. Extending from the sidewalk up the side of the building, the mural holds a special message of hope, healing, and working together for a brighter future.


The idea for the mural came from the owner of the building, Laz Ayala, and was developed by Phil Ortega with the nonprofit LIFEArt — a program that uses art to help local disadvantaged youth.


Several local artists submitted ideas for the mural, and Jacksonville artist Melissa Ghiglieri was chosen for the commission. This mural was her first commission in Medford, and she’s proud of the theme of unity and humanity it espouses. 

As John Osgood worked on the mural for one of Medford’s underpasses, he envisioned something beautiful for the space. The concrete walls and ceilings located near Hawthorne Park started to transform into a moving and colorful piece. 


The mural was commissioned by the City of Medford Parks Department as part of the Brighter Bridges project.


The striking mural showcases beautiful birds in flight, and eye-catching bright colors. The mural adds vibrancy and beauty to a previously unknown and undiscovered place.

A frequent host of music events, farmer’s markets, and other community gatherings, Hawthorne Park was deserving of a beautiful mural. Enter artist Jessilyn Brinkerhoff and her team.


Each of the six chosen pillars holding up I-5 were painted with a theme that showcases the Rogue Valley's landscapes and natural history. With twelve compositions total, each design features a native species in their habitat for a month of the year. 


Jessilyn and her team also received help from the Wildlife Images Center, gathering important details about certain species, including the Western pond turtle, blue heron, trout, salmon, rattlesnake, swallowtail butterfly, pollinators, insects, black bear and cougar. 


Jessilyn hopes the mural will foster curiosity, respect and inspiration. 

The murals throughout downtown Medford and the surrounding areas are a beautiful sight to behold. While they are great photo spots, they also share the story of Medford and the Rogue Valley on a deeper level. They represent the past and present, connection, and reflect the all-encompassing diversity of Medford as the Heart of the Rogue.

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