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Portland, OR, USA


Addie Boswell is a muralist and writer. Her specialty is collaborative public art that tells a story. Based on the places she’s lived and the people she’s met, her art is populated with children, families, shared work, nature, and the ordinary events that make a place a community. She often collaborates with artists, committees, and local citizens in both design and fabrication. Her public work can be found in community centers around the Northwest, including The Patricia Reser Arts Center (Beaverton, OR), the Anne Frank Memorial (Boise, ID), Portland Fire & Rescue, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Oregon State Treasury (Salem, OR) Doernbecher Children’s Hospital (Portland, OR), and many libraries and schools. Her picture books include The Snow Dancer, The Rain Stomper, Five on the Bed, and the “In Motion” series, which starts with Go, Bikes, Go! When not working on a wall or in her home studio, she is probably building scrappy furniture, reading when she should be sleeping, and waiting for the rain to return.


My faith is in people.

There is always extraordinariness in ordinary life, and there is always a story to tell. The stories I find myself returning to are about family, shared work, growth, the seasons, and a sense of community or place. I especially like to portray real people in modern ways, with simplified features, in silhouettes and blind contour designs. Children are a constant source of inspiration.

Originally an oil painter and printmaker, I am drawn to the disciplined process of color and layer but the spirit of recycled and street art. As a native Iowan, I also have a strong practical bent that wants creativity to be useful. These are the reasons I gravitate to public art and picture books, both of which make art accessible — imperative really — to everyday life. Both forms allow me to meet people of all ages and backgrounds and chase ideas through place and time. And I get to read like a fiend and call it “research.”

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