PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Alex Valle was commissioned by the new owners of the Old Town nightclub Shake to transform the outside to help bring a better vibe to the Entertainment District.
Valle spends a lot of time in Old Town. He uses his gift of art to paint a positive impact in the area, such as the massive mural at the club.
“The piece is technically focused on highlighting the city and community. We wanted to do something that represents different cultures from different backgrounds and the atmosphere in the club as well,” he told KOIN 6 News.
He also thinks Old Town could benefit from the city’s new promises to help increase safety. On Tuesday, Mayor Ted Wheeler is expected to announce new safety measures in the area. But Valle and others underscored the city needs to focus on supports for the homeless concentrated in the area.
“Basically bringing in a safer crowd into this kind of neighborhood and trying to bring it back to what it was,” he said.
Because of these constant nuisances, Brandon Anderson was hired as private security for a business in Old Town.
“I’ll see a lot of things — people who are fighting, people who are using drugs,” Anderson said. “I’m just here to make everybody safe. I think it’s a fairly safe area until a certain time of night, then you don’t want to be alone by yourself down here.”
While regulars in Old Town are receptive to hearing the mayor’s new plans for safety, Anderson said they still have questions: “What are they doing? How is it going to be cleaner? Are they going to help transition people to a different environment or help them get off the street?”
As for Alex Valle, he plans to continue being the positive painter Portlanders want to see in this part of town.
KOIN 6 News will cover Mayor Wheeler’s press conference on Tuesday when it begins at 10:30 a.m.