Keizer artist Bella Biondi poses next to her new art creation by the Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park. Photo by BROOKLYN FLINT of Keizertimes.

The Big Toy playground in Keizer Rapids Park says hello to “Insta-art” by local artist, Bella Biondi. Her piece includes butterfly, ladybug, and dragon wings at different heights for people to take photos in front of. The entire process of getting approved and finishing the mural ended up taking weeks, but started with just a sketch.

Biondi started doing art a young age but didn’t take it seriously until she was in high school.

“When I was a kid, I drew a lot because I thought it was fun and I liked to be creative, but later down the line I started to take art more seriously because I realized that art was one of the few things I was actually passionate about enough to want to improve at it,” Biondi said.

 Biondi then became the youth liaison for the Keizer Public Arts Commission where they discussed plans of adding “Insta-art” all around Keizer. 

“Insta-art is basically art that is designed to encourage people to take photos with it. I casually mentioned that I’ve done a mural like that before and I was offered the opportunity to work on the project,” Biondi said.

Biondi working on a portion of the mural. Photo by BROOKLYN FLINT of Keizertimes

She did an angel wing art mural in 2019 which inspired her to do the new mural.

Biondi started by making a proposal for the project along with concept art. She then finalized the art and presented it to the parks board, art commission, and city council. The entire process ended up taking longer than she realized, but once everything was final, it became time for her to start the project.

One of the biggest struggles Biondi faced was her canvas. The wall she painted belonged to the restrooms by the playground which are made of brick.

“Before I started working on the mural, I questioned if it was even possible for a mural to look any good on a surface like that,” Biondi said.

However, she continued her project until it was finished and was happy with the outcome. Biondi looks forward to her future in art and hopes to do more murals in the future. She encourages artists to look for art-related opportunities locally and to get started in doing commissions. 

“Getting your name out there can be daunting, but what I’ve learned from working on the mural is that there are tons of people within the community that truly appreciate artists and their contributions to the community,” Biondi said.