Art Talk: Murals in Klamath Falls

in arttalk •  15 days ago

In November I did a post about Street Art and the Murals in Phoenix, Arizona and how Art Tells Our Story.

Today, while I am in Kalmath Falls, Oregon with my family for the holidays, I want to share the story/ history of Klamath through some of the murals by retired elementary school teacher and artist Chris Young.

Kingsley Field

When I think of murals in Klamath Falls this is the first one that comes to my mind! It is an amazing 90 foot mural in downtown Klamath Falls 2

Close up Kingley Field Mural
Chris Young, 1996

Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base was built in 1928. In 1942 it was selected as a site for a Naval Air Station during World War II. In 1957 it was dedicated as Kingsley Field in honor of Lieutenant David Kingsley, who died at the age of 25 during WWII. It is currently operated by the Oregon Air National Guard and is a civilian-military airport. 1

Train Arrival

Another of my favorite Klammath murals is the arrival of the first train mural.

Close up Arrival of First Train
Chris Young, 1999

This is a great mural showing some of the townspeople (and the dog) that came out to celebrate the arrival of the first Southern Pacific train in Klamath Falls on May 20, 1909 the population of Klamath expanded from a few hundred people to thousands and the timber and logging flourished as well. 3


Logging mural
Chris Young, reconstructed 2018

With the arrival of the train to Klamath Falls in 1909 the timber and logging industry was a big part of Klamath until the late 1980s. 3

Chris Young originally painted this mural in 2010 and it was destroyed. He completed it again, right outside of Leo's camera, in July of 2018. 4

Crater Lake

My brother Jeff posing in front of the Crater Lake mural. My brother @jarvie and sister Kristen were also helping me in my quest to photograph the murals in Klamath.

Crater Lake Mural
Chris Young

For those that have been following my blog for awhile you have seen many of my pictures of Crater Lake. It is one of my favorite day trips when I visit my family in Klamath Falls.

This link has a great description and pictures of my trip to Crater Lake in July 2018.

Pelican Theater

Getting a selfie in front of the Pelican Theater mural on my photo taking excursion downtown.

In an interview mural artist Chris Young said, "he enjoyed the chance to help share community history. He wants people to think about their history and “the history of this place.” Art definitely tells the story of Klamath Falls, Oregon. 4

There are many more murals downtown. There are those that depict the Native American and pioneer heritage of Klamath Falls as well as the wildlife.

Do you have murals in your city or town? I would love to see them. Post them in the comments below.

1 Kingsley Field
2 Herald and News Mural article
3 Wikipedia, Klamath Falls, Oregon
4 Harold and News logging history article

Art Talk Series Highlights
Art Talk: Introduction has a link to all Art Talk posts
Art Talk: Emotion In Bronze
Art Talk: Moore in America
Art Talk: Art Tells Our Story
Art Talk: Highlight tour of the MET
Art Talk: Art in Paris in the 1870s

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Awesome murals! Would be awesome to see these with my own eyes someday. Although there's a lot of art in my city there's almost no murals like these... To me it looks pretty much like an open air museum :-)


@soyrosa I totally agree. It is like an open air museum and really makes the downtown a cool place to walk around and explore.

This was a cool project now you have it documented for years to come. So funny because we roll past them all the time! And now it's fun to have some context on the history as well.