PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A camera shop owner is trying to raise funds for a mural project in his community. The painting will be on the wall of a building he acquired to expand his store, Blue Moon Camera and Machine in St. Johns.

“We’re trying to take something which was relatively bleak and turn it into something that’s very beautiful,” Blue Moon Camera and Machine store owner Jake Shivery told KOIN 6 News.

A before and after rendering of a proposed mural site in Portland’s St. Johns neighborhood. March 4, 2020 (Blue Moon Camera and Machine).

Many of the costs have been donated already, but a crowdfunding campaign launched Wednesday seeks to cover the remaining $20,000 for the project. As of Tuesday, the project still has over $17,000 left to raise.

The centerpiece for the transformation will be a 175-feet-wide mural by local artist David Carmack Lewis.

“The budget I would normally charge for a big commercial project like that, that takes a month or two months, is a lot. This is just a community project so I’m just donating most of the fee that I would normally expect,” he said.

Lewis added the the concept of the piece is to move the viewer through the landscapes of Oregon, especially along the Columbia River.

Jake Shivery has owned Blue Moon Camera and Machine in Portland’s St. Johns neighborhood since 2001. March 04, 2020 (Danny Peterson/KOIN).

Supporters of the project so far include St. Johns Neighborhood Association, the St. Johns Boosters Business Association and the Parent-Teacher Association of James John Elementary School, which is located across the street from the proposed mural. 

“This building, it’s just white walls. It would be nice to see some art on it, something that draws people in,” said Chris McMurry, Co-President of James John Elementary PTA.

“The arts are extremely important. And this’ll be a visual reminder and a source of inspiration, I believe, to the many students that we have who have much potential in the area of the arts,” added former James John Elementary Principal and current community activist Mike Verbout.

The camera store spearheading the project has been a staple of the neighborhood since 2001, with a focus on film-only devices. They process film for clients all over the world.

The building where the store is set to expand is adjacent to its current location and is the historic spot of a former bowling alley, which closed decades ago. Prior to being bought by Blue Moon Camera and Machine, it was used as a storage warehouse. The expansion will in part support the camera store’s behind-the-scenes work for processing orders. 

To find out more about the project, visit the crowdfund campaign website.

The design for a proposed mural by David Carmack Lewis. March 04, 2020 (Blue Moon Camera and Machine).