Unveiling Nature’s Kaleidoscope

a gray wolf, northern spotted owl and coho salmon painted by Jeremy Nichols

Oregon Wild showcased an imperiled species-themed mural in Portland in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act.

Wildlife advocacy combined with the emotional and storytelling power of art was an amazing way to highlight Oregon’s imperiled species. As you move closer towards 1350 NW Lovejoy Street, a majestic wolf with piercing amber eyes stares out over the city. The mural titled Nature’s Kaleidoscope features many culturally and ecologically important species in the region such as the resilient coho salmon, the elusive northern spotted owl, and the graceful monarch butterfly along with the western painted turtle, Oregon silverspot butterfly, Gentner's fritillary, rough popcorn flower, and Howell's spectacular thelypody. 

Talented local artist Jeremy Nicols spent 14 days painting an intricate ecosystem of Pacific Northwest imperiled species in celebration of the historic 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). What better way to showcase this bedrock environmental law than with a stunningly vibrant 600-square-foot work of art?! The new mural in Portland’s Pearl District expresses through art the emotions Oregon Wild feels about wildlife: Awe, joy, and respect while strengthening our resolve to protect fish, wildlife, plants, and pollinators. 

The official unveiling event attended by conservationists, elected officials, tribal representatives, and public supporters underscored the message of the mural: A commitment to work together to prevent the extinction of species for the benefit and well-being of all. 

“The Endangered Species Act protects creatures great and small. While it’s true iconic species like the humpback whale, peregrine falcon, and bald eagle have been brought back from the brink of extinction, many smaller or lesser-known species benefit too,” said Alijana Fisher, Wildlife and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Associate for Oregon Wild. “When we safeguard biodiversity as a whole we invest in our future, as human health is directly connected to the health of the environment around us.”

Left image: Jeremy Nichols relaxes in front of the mural. Right image: Elected officials celebrate the mural, pictured from left to right are Congresswoman Bonamici, Jeremy Nicols, Councilwoman George of the Grand Ronde Tribe, Metro Council President Peterson, and Alijana Fisher.

At Oregon Wild, we believe that species have an inherent right to thrive and in doing so lead to a better future for all. Sadly, extractive industries don’t hold the same values we do. Right now there are 30 bills and counting on the federal level (updated from 24) that weaken the Endangered Species Act. We need legislative champions that will stand up against extinction and the corporations that seek to destroy the healthy future we envision.  

Please lend your voice to the cause by signing our petition to protect imperiled species now and forever!

Photo Credits
PC: Portland Street Art Alliance
Videos: Aedin Powell Media

Special thanks to the Portland Street Art Alliance for handling mural logistics and Killian Pacific for their advocacy and support. Other partners include the Humane Society of the United States, the Endangered Species Coalition, and Pamela and Kenneth Stills.