Celebrating Oregon's Culture
A six by 12-inch mobile canvas is hitting the streets around Oregon. It brings color and expression to a normally plain environment--license plates.
New plates, unveiled October 1, 2021, reveal colorful images symbolizing Oregon’s Original people, its art and natural beauty. The plates celebrate the state’s diversity of culture and the 20th anniversary of the Oregon Cultural Trust.
A departure from Oregon’s standard white with an Evergreen or blue and yellow plates, this one carries with it a design created to express authentic diversity in the state.
About the Artwork
“The new design, built on a panorama of Oregon geography, reflects and respects the diversity of our culture at a time we need it most,” said Cultural Trust Board Chair Niki Price. “Cultural expression is how our communities define themselves – how they live their everyday lives, their traditions, their heritage, their creativity, their celebrations, their values and how they connect with one another. Our culture is the glue that can bind us together as Oregonians.”
Celebrate Oregon! includes 127 symbols representing different aspects of the state's arts, heritage, history, and culture — the result of a year-long process. Ballet, Mule Days in Enterprise, Oregon, Timberline Lodge dedicated in 1937 by FDR and made famous by its role in “The Shining” and sunflower fields, skiing resorts and Hazelnuts--a subsistence food of the First People are all featured in bright color and symbols throughout the artwork.
A total of 36 artists submitted work samples and statements of interest, narrowed down to 20 who submitted concepts for the piece. Artist Liza Burns of Eugene received unanimous approval from the jury for her design.
“We knew that reflecting the breadth of Oregon culture, and how it brings us together, in one design was an extremely ambitious goal,” said Cultural Trust Executive Director Brian Rogers.
“Liza’s creation does that and so much more. It captures the spirit of Oregon and also serves as an educational tool for exploring our diversity. We are incredibly proud and excited to share it with Oregonians.”
Where to Find the New Design
The new plate is available on the Oregon DMV website, at DMV field offices, and at Lithia Motors' 32 franchise dealerships throughout the state. There’s a $50.00 surcharge for the plate and a subsequent renewal surcharge every two years. It takes roughly three months to receive your plates after ordering.
The "Celebrate Oregon!" artwork is also installed as full-scale murals at the Eugene, Medford, Portland, and Redmond airports through a sponsorship from GreenCars.com. A 38-foot outdoor banner was also installed at the Northwest Film Center in the Portland Art Museum.
"Oregonians value sustainability and embrace green energy,” said Tina Miller, Chief Financial Officer of Lithia Motors Inc. and GreenCars spokesperson. “Our partnership with the Oregon Cultural Trust, and sponsorship of these magnificent murals, is our way of bringing this important part of Oregon culture into the picture.”