The Keep Your Chin Up mural at NE 21st and NE Alberta Street on the Aladdin Finishers building at 2127 NE Alberta was created in 2013 as a three way collaboration between artists Blaine Fontana, Jun Inoue, and Zach Yarrington. The wall was included as part of the inaugural year of Forest for the Trees, a unique not-for-profit art initiative dedicated to creating contemporary public art accessible to all of Portland.
In early February local artists Fontana and Yarrington spent time touching up the mural. Pictured are the artists working on updating the piece as it is frequently marred with graffiti. Currently there is a need for the wall to be coated with an anti-grafitti barrier. Donations for this specific work are gladly accepted through Forest for the Trees at http://www.forestforthetreesnw.com/
Many Concordia residents and visitors to Portland find special meaning to this mural, as it is frequently photographed and is in a location easily accessible and viewable to all residents and visitors. Creator Zach Yarrington stated “when we first got together to concept the piece, I was dealing with the recent death of a dear friend and much of the messaging and imagery in the mural was impacted by that event.”
Aladdin Finishers was established in 1948 and Steffen Bettger is now the fourth generation proprietor of the business. The mural artists and local residents show much gratitude for Aladdin Finishers giving the canvas for the mural art on both sides of the building. As the first project of Forest for the Trees, the Keep Your Chin Up mural set a precedent for public art murals in Portland that continues to grow.