The waterfall mural was painted by Louisville artist Chris Chappel.
The waterfall mural was painted by Louisville artist Chris Chappel.

Seemingly overnight, My Morning Jacket sprinkled their magic fairy dust over Portland and up popped a mural on the side of the Whole Alternatives building at 1531 W. Main St.

In partnership with the Portland Investment Initiative and Beautify Earth, the effort is part of the band’s The Waterfall Project, a long-term philanthropy project meant to house their ongoing environmental-related work. The mural, which was painted last week by Louisville artist Chris Chappel, is of a waterfall — referencing both the image on the band’s latest release and Louisville as the original “Falls City.”

The mural is located at 1531 W. Main St. in Portland.
The mural is located at 1531 W. Main St. in Portland.

“It’s exciting to have this local art inspired by the latest project of MMJ, who have given the world such great music over the years and have been world ambassadors from Louisville while staying true to their hometown roots,” said Mayor Greg Fischer in a press release. “It’s also great to have this artwork in historic Portland, which is being re-born and is so near to where one of nature’s most impressive waterfalls led to the creation of our city.”

Beautify Earth began in Santa Monica, Calif., and now works nationally. The organization aims to put an end to blighted walls by empowering artists, encouraging social responsibility and instilling community pride in impoverished or neglected areas.

According to its website:

Art has the capacity to inspire and convert frowns and apathy into smiles. When one drives down any street, they have the opportunity of a joyful experience instead of looking at a dilapidated wall. Art creates change, turns a neighborhood into a community, and instills pride.

Once again, Jim James and the guys give back to Louisville in an upstanding way. Bravo!

Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville. She's known around town as the Bar Belle and updates her blog (barbelleblog.com) daily. She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."


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