When guests enter the Medford Navigation Center, they’re immediately surrounded by a landscape of mountains, trees and animals.
City of Medford Principal Planner, Angela Durant, and Rogue Retreat Operations Director, Justin Hon say they strategized ways to soften the congregate shelter area and make the space a warmer place for guests to call home.
They decided to go with a “naturescape” design and worked with LIFE Art Managing Artist, Melissa Ghiglieri to develop the mural designs.
“The artwork has helped create an environment that can soothe the minds and reduce the stress for our guests,” said Durant. “We want the Kelly Shelter at the new Navigation Center to be a place where homeless guests can begin to heal from trauma and to overcome barriers. There is something about bringing the natural world indoors that brings a new level of comfort for healing.”
The team of artists completed this project on an expedited schedule so that the artwork in the congregate shelter area and dining room were finished before guests spent their first night in the shelter.
“This was truly a community initiative,” said Durant. “Phil and Yolanda Ortega, co-founders of LIFE Art helped organize youth volunteers to help make this happen before the shelter opened. Several local, young artists helped Melissa paint the murals.”
Durant says a special thank you goes out to Medford’s former Chief of Police, Scott Clauson for assisting with the project. A special recognition is also extended to the following youth volunteers:
- Monique Ortega – SOU/LIFE Art
- Anthony Cervantes – Eagle Point High School
- Brianna Miranda – South Medford High School
- Mark Agrasada – South Medford High School
- Ilysa Duran – Crater High School
- Grace Beav – Eagle Point High School
- Aiyanah Lopez – Medford Online Academy
- Alyssa Ortega – Eagle Point High School
- Trenton Silani – Eagle Point High School
- Eliana Ortega – Eagle Rock Elementary