January 6, 2020

Hope in the Next Generation: Local Artist Commissioned for Garlington Health Center

On the second floor of Cascadia’s Garlington Health Center sits a space dedicated to young people with toys, books, and kid-sized furniture. There families and children wait to meet with their counselor, nurse, or another member of their whole health care team.

In December, local artist, Alex Chiu installed a new painting in this area, filling one of the walls with the smiles and hope of the next generation.

Chiu, a Portland-based Chinese-American painter and muralist, explores family, community, and cultural representation through art, engaging directly with community members throughout the process. Over the past few years, he has worked with schools, businesses, and community organizations on sprawling public mural projects. Some of his murals can be seen at the 82nd Ave. MAX Station, the North Tunnel of the Portland International Airport, and at the Department of Community Justice on SE 122nd Ave.

With the installation at Garlington, Chiu experimented with layering and abstract shapes to capture the spirit of young peoples’ resilience, power, and creativity. “While this pandemic year has been challenging for all of us, I find hope in the potential of the next generation,” he said.

Chiu was chosen to commission the work in early 2020 through a selection process by the Garlington Art Committee. As with the other artwork chosen, the committee focused on making sure the artwork reflects the community we serve and supports the work of local artists.

To view more of Alex Chiu’s work, visit his Instagram page (@artbyalexchiu).