Artwork / 2014 / Somewhere over the Rainbow (Kirk Reeves)

painted portrait of a sweet and funny black man who played the trumpet
Gwenn Seemel
Somewhere over the Rainbow (Kirk Reeves)
2014
acrylic mural
10 x 38 feet

This mural is located on NE Grand at Lloyd in Portland, Oregon. It’s a memorial for the street performer and comedian Kirk Reeves, whom I met and painted for the first time in 2007, and it comes from my need to express a personal connection to Kirk’s story. On my blog, I talk about the making of the mural and about the many difficulties I had working with the City to make this mural happen.

Somewhere over the Rainbow took fifteen months of planning, fifteen days of painting, and the help of loved ones and strangers alike. My partner David and my parents supported me in various ways throughout the process, as they do with all of my work. I am also grateful to my friends Robin, Allie, and Nicole, who each helped lay down paint at various points in the process, providing a base coat which allowed me to work more efficiently in the time I had.

The mural was featured numerous times on local news as well as in The Oregonian, on this episode of State of Wonder, and in this beautiful video which filmmaker Ifanyi Bell created for Oregon Public Broadcasting.

For prints of the full mural, go to my Redbubble shop. The detail image of the mural can be purchased here in my print shop.

painted portrait of a sweet and funny black man who played the trumpet
detail image