Community center, church, place of worship, school

Ballroom, performance hall, ceremony venue

The Old Church

"The Old Church", in Portland's downtown cultural district, is a public events and performance venue. This historic architectural jewel is a remarkable community space, home to concerts, lunch recitals, lectures, ceremonies and receptions. Here you can see some of the enchanting rooms after repainting in colors designed by Art First Colors for Architecture. Art First also selected the new lighting fixtures, wallcovering, fabric for seating, and flooring. Architectural details were replaced under the direction of Mary McMurray.

The Grand Oregon Lodge

The renovated Ballroom in the Grand Oregon Lodge, Oregon City. Formerly the Oddfellows' Lodge, it has become a popular venue for weddings and gatherings. Art First advised on the new paint colors, chair colors, and design for new chandeliers and ceiling medallions, adding a lively and elegant air to the historic property.

Church, place of worship

Holy Redeemer Sanctuary

For the restoration of this landmark church on Rosa Parks Way, Mary McMurray designed the color scheme, selected materials, and supervised the artwork. It was transformed from a dull, uninspiring and cavernous hall to a wonderfully uplifting place of worship; the congregation and clergy are thrilled with the light-filled makeover of their church. Working together with the architect, administration, and planning committee, McMurray designed the palette of eight new paint colors and selected the proper placement for each hue. The worn-out carpeting was removed, and the original terrazzo floor repaired and polished. At McMurray’s suggestion, the unsightly ventilation louvers at the top of the Sanctuary wall were replaced by patterned brass grilles. She selected two marble stones for the new altar, specified the new seating material for the pews and designed a sensitive color treatment for the plaster medallions. She feels very privileged to have been a part of the team bringing beauty and grace to this well-loved church.  Master stenciller, Sally Hopkins, was called in to adorn the arched alcoves flanking the sanctuary with beautiful subtle motifs.

Our Lady of Lavang Catholic Church

A burst water pipe wrecked this Church's wooden floor and left the lower walls ruined: a complete restoration was needed. The parish agreed that only a professional designer could manage the job of selecting patterns and colors in sympathy with their extensive Vietnamese church. They interviewed several designers but none but Mary McMurray showed a level of expertise with sacred buildings. After thoroughly discussing the restoration the with Parish chairman and committee, she chose paint types and colors to blend with the existing ceiling. The Archdiocese recommended that Art First also specify the new floor surfaces; she chose glorious porcelain floor tiles and designed their layout. She also found carpeting with a leaf pattern symbolic of the the healing leaves revealed to the refugees by Our Lady of Lavang ... read more

Grace Memorial Episcopal Church

“Dear Mary, I want you to l know how delighted we are with the color selections you made for our sanctuary. As you know, making changes in a sacred space is always a challenge. People develop a loyalty to the familiar, often built up over many years. You added a bold touch of color that has greatly enriched the physical appearance of our sanctuary and has received acclaim from all our community .As time passed we cannot imagine the space without this distinctive treatment. Thank you again for your wisdom and gracious way of working with our committee.”~ The Reverend Stephen Schneider

Rose City Park Presbyterian Church

In this church, in N.E. Portland, our improved colors highlight the architectural details that were lost in the previous all-white color scheme. We specified new bronze metallic paint for the decorative grilles, and unified the stained woodwork with darker structural accents.

Church hall with Cafeteria and Play Area, St. Mary Magdalene

St. Mary Magdalene's church hall serves many functions: a school cafeteria, a hall for worship, weddings, dances, and meetings.
The previous bland paint and flooring contributed nothing to the purpose of the space as the location for special occasions. With new paint color design, artwork she designed for the floor, and carpet she had specially made for the room, McMurray of Art First presented the community with beautiful solutions for all their requirements. The remodeled venue brings a community together with style and renewed significance. And, the new design incorporated the existing furnishings in a fresh and wholistic way, saving money for the parish.

For the carpet, we designed a unique, spirited pattern incorporating the motif and colors of the original windows.  For the new marmoleum flooring, Art First designed a maze motif to provide the school children with a game to play with a deep spiritual significance. Based on the famous maze of Chartres cathedral, our simpler maze represents the same pilgrim's journey through life whilst seeking an eternal home. The pattern was laser-cut and inlaid into the new and inviting floor that we designed coordinating with the the custom carpet colors.

    School, Education Room at San Francisco S.P.C.A.

    For the Education Room, Mary McMurray designed a bold and playful color scheme, with murals of trees enlivening and opening up a natural feel for the room where city kids get a hands-on experience of the animal kingdom. The tortoise enjoys his new desert scene environment and sometimes tries to walk into the diorama. Birds, rabbits and gerbils also benefit from their improved environment; they like these colors better than the old white paint.

    Other municipal clients include: