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John Freese reveals theme for 2014 mural

by: CONTRIBUTED - It'll go a little something like this: John Freese shared his concept for the 2014 Artback Artists Cooperative mural.We get a new one this year, folks.

This year’s lead artist, John Freese, is ready to announce the theme of the 2014 Artback Artists Cooperative mural: the Hamatsa Dance of the Kwakwaka’wakw people of British Columbia.

Freese described his vision: dancers in Raven masks around a fire inside a longhouse.

The mural will round out Freese’s trilogy of Native American themed murals, all painted on Harvest Market’s walls.

The first in the series, “The Longhouse Mural,” was painted in 2001. The second, “Fishing Celilo Falls,” was completed in 2010.

Freese said he hadn’t consciously chosen the Native American motif for the trilogy, but rather the painting had appeared in his mind “before anything intellectual about it.”

Nevertheless, Freese admitted to being fascinated by Native American culture since his childhood.

Art has been a lifelong fascination as well.

by: ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: ISABEL GAUTSHCI - John Freese is the lead artist for the 2014 mural.Freese remembers receiving his first oil-painting kit at age 14.

He went on to major in art at San Francisco State University before becoming an elementary school teacher.

Freese taught in California classrooms for several years before moving to Oregon.

He began teaching in Estacada elementary schools in the 1970s and transitioned into teaching art in middle and high school, all the while painting on the side.

Freese retired eight years ago and has more time to devote to his art now.

Freese, a founding Artback Artists’ Cooperative member, takes great pride in Estacada’s murals.

“It’s not an initial viewing, it’s part of your life,” he said, adding how pleasant he finds it to have Estacada’s murals a part of his daily visual life.

The mural will be painted during the weekend of Estacada’s annual Summer Celebration, which falls on July 26-27 this year.




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