Nina Montenegro
  Plants Around Us: Galen's Way Garden, National College of Natural Medicine. Portland, 2015   In Spring of 2015, I received a RACC grant to be artist-in-residence at Southwest Charter School, a place-based K-8 in Portland.  I worked with the 5th and 6th graders to create a mural about medicinal plants in conjunction with their botany unit.  We visited the National College of Natural Medicine, where the students learned about the plants from three naturopaths.  The students then spent time in the garden at NCNM sketching the plants.  These sketches were eventually translated in painting by the students onto large panels which were installed at the College.  I designed a postcard book featuring each painting from the mural for distribution at both schools.  

Plants Around Us: Galen's Way

Plants Around Us: Galen's Way Garden, National College of Natural Medicine. Portland, 2015

In Spring of 2015, I received a RACC grant to be artist-in-residence at Southwest Charter School, a place-based K-8 in Portland.  I worked with the 5th and 6th graders to create a mural about medicinal plants in conjunction with their botany unit.  We visited the National College of Natural Medicine, where the students learned about the plants from three naturopaths.  The students then spent time in the garden sketching the plants.  Groups of 2-3 students were assigned specific plants and the students painted their plants onto large panels, which were then installed at Galen's Way Garden, at the National College of Natural Medicine.  I designed a postcard book featuring each painting from the mural.  

 

    

 

SWCS

RACC 

NCNM

Localized guide to the edible and medicinal plants in the neighborhood.  Ten panels illustrate plants within a few blocks of the mural.  A box affixed to the building contains pamphlets with more information about the various uses and benefits of the plants as well as additional resources for urban foraging.  

My intention was to foster a relationship between people of the neighborhood and their often overlooked plant neighbors.  The mural encourages an awareness of the plentiful food and medicine that is all around us, outside of the conventional food and medical systems. 

This benchmark mural could be replicated in other communities to encourage localized food systems, natural medicine, foraging, and a deeper appreciation and understanding of plants and their gifts.