Ram Papish and his mural

Toledo-based wildlife artist Ram Papish has painted a mural featuring a life-size, three-dimensional walrus head and other marine mammals at Oregon Sea Grant's Visitor Center at the HMSC.

For over 20 years, Papish worked as a biologist studying birds and other wildlife, primarily in Alaska. His illustrations have appeared in many publications, including the Handbook of Oregon Birds and Afield: 40 Years of Birding the American West, both published by Oregon State University Press.

This is his first 3D mural, which displays two donated walrus tusks protruding from a papier mache walrus head that seamlessly transitions into a two-dimensional acrylic painting.

A wood and metal frame under the papier mache provide support for the head, which features whiskers made from turkey quills. Other painted animals in the mural include Stellar sea lions, a California sea lion, a harbor seal, and Pacific herring.

Oregon Sea Grant commissioned the piece as a way to display the two tusks, which were donated, along with seven other tusks, by the Lee A. Hotchkiss Trust in December 2015.

(Photo: Oregon Sea Grant)