Eugene Weekly | July 20, 2017 | By Bob Keefer (Photo by Athena Delene)

Eugene is creating the biggest visual art festival held here since 1974

Google “Oregon street artist” and you get just two results, both seemingly generated by bots. That puts us a bit behind Alabama (7 results) and Kentucky (4), well behind Washington (170,000) and California (161,000), and a nose ahead of Idaho and Wyoming (both 0).

Oregon is not exactly a national center for street art, the subversive guerilla art form that grew out of tagging and other illegal urban graffiti in the 1970s and became popularized by such documentary films as Exit Through the Gift Shop and Style Wars. We’re talking Banksy and Shepherd Fairey here, not cozy New Age murals of whales and owls.

So when the city of Eugene decided to put on a street art festival here this summer, it’s no surprise they looked elsewhere for much of the talent.

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