Perhaps it's the giant, flowery "Greetings from Bend, Oregon" mural at the Old Mill that first caught your eye. Or perhaps it's the stunning, red-and-orange-tinted "Greetings from Madras" mural that sits along the main drag. Or perhaps it's one of the many other "Greetings From" murals that now are present around the towns of Central Oregon, from Maupin to La Pine. Whichever one you noticed first, the murals by local artists Katie Daisy and Karen Eland are certainly turning heads.
Conceived of and sponsored by Visit Central Oregon, the destination marketing organization for the region, the "Greetings From..." project, which draws inspiration from the look of vintage postcards, kicked off in 2021 with the completion of the mural in La Pine, located on Huntington Road, which depicts a peaceful cabin scene near a lake. Following that was a mural for Sunriver, and then Maupin, Eland said. Just last month, Daisy and Eland completed the most recent version in Prineville.
"Central Oregon is made up of diverse communities all with their own natural wonders, flora, and fauna that make them unique," Katie Johnson, senior marketing manager for Visit Central Oregon, told the Source Weekly. "We set out to connect our region in a creative way, inspiring visitors and locals alike to travel to and experience different parts of Central Oregon. We also wanted to create a shareable moment. The murals provide vibrant backdrops for people to take their photo in front of and share the wonder of Oregon with family and friends back home."
Visit Central Oregon selected Daisy and Eland after seeing their individual works in local shops and events.
"They are both very well-connected artists in the region, and we knew their dreamy paintings would inspire people to visit the murals and share them with others," Johnson wrote in an email.
Thus far, the pair has completed a total of nine murals, each including flora, fauna and unique features of the town or area it's located in. Two are located in Redmond – including one at the Redmond Municipal Airport — along with murals in Bend, La Pine, Madras, Maupin, Sisters and Sunriver.
Eland and Daisy, who work together frequently, created the majority of the murals on removeable panels off-site, each adding their own flair.
"They [Visit Central Oregon] had the vintage postcard theme, and we just kind of took it from there, adding our own style to that," Eland told the Source Weekly. "She [Katie Daisy] and I frequently do larger projects together – I do the animals and the scenery-type aspects and she does lettering and flowers. So we kind of mix our styles together to get the look."
Each mural offers a little local flavor while incorporating each artist's unique style.
"We like to focus a little more on the nature that's around there and so we'll visit the town itself and just kind of pick up the vibe — go out to eat, walk around, and then research," Eland said. "Sisters... it felt like you're getting more on the lush side of things – it's just about being in the area and getting inspired and choosing a color palette."
Representatives from the various towns have been enthusiastic about adding these Insta-worthy spaces to their locales.
"The creativity behind the mural and public art in general exudes everything we want art to be," Judy Trego, CEO of the Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce and Sisters Country, told Visit Central Oregon. "Accessible. It lifts up not only those who visit our rural town but also those who live and work in Sisters Country."
The most recently created mural, in Prineville, was significantly larger than the others – requiring the artists to paint the mural, depicting a sunny, horse-inspired scene, on site.
"There have been significant efforts in the past few years to help beautify downtown Prineville," Kim Molnar, executive director of the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce, wrote in a testimonial to Visit Central Oregon. "Being the recipient of this mural was another example of this work, and a great gift to our town. The community sentiment towards the artwork has been extremely positive and we are thrilled to have been a recipient of the 'Greetings From Prineville' mural."
Next, Visit Central Oregon hopes to add a mural in Warm Springs, crafted by artists from the reservation.
"Katie and Karen finished the Prineville mural at the end of June, and now we're in the planning stages for a mural in Warm Springs which will be done by local artists there," Johnson said.
"Greetings From..." mural current locations:
450 SW Powerhouse Dr., Bend
51429 Huntington Rd., La Pine
715 SW 5th St., Madras
609 US-197, Maupin
225 NE 3rd St., Prineville
520 SW Evergreen Ave., Redmond
2522 Jesse Butler Cir., Redmond
211 W Cascade Ave., Sisters
57070 Great Hall Loop, Sunriver
See the various murals online at: visitcentraloregon.com/articles/tour-the-central-oregon-mural-trail.