If you’ve noticed Portland looking extra beautiful this summer, you aren’t alone. And neither the absurdly hot weather or the recent influx of beautiful California transplants have anything to do with it. Rather, the allure is in the array of new murals; an added vibrancy to once drab, ordinary walls.

Established in 2013, local non profit Forest For the Trees just completed their third consecutive year curating the painting of murals and installation of art pieces throughout the city. This year the organization added 19 new brilliant works of art to Portland’s visual landscape. With the help of Kickstarter projects each year FFTT raises funds to contract artists both locally and from around the globe, and pay for all the supplies necessary to bring color and life to our otherwise typical growing metropolis.

Led by artist Gage Hamilton, curator Matt Wagner of Hellion Gallery and event producer Tia Vanich, the mission of Forest For The Trees is to pull Portland residents attention away from daily routines, if just for a moment, to appreciate the creativity that surrounds us in the Pacific Northwest. The group hopes to encourage locals to be active participants in establishing the city’s creative identity.

Check out our behind the scenes photos of some of this year’s FFTT murals going up.