Oregon’s Garden – AC Hotel Project

Oregon’s Garden – AC Hotel Project,  888 S.W. 3rd (SW 3rd and Taylor), Portland, OR (4’ x 12’)

Art consultant Heidi McBride was contracted to assist with placing dozens of artworks throughout a new downtown Portland hotel with art that represented Oregon and would create a very unique space for visitors to connect with a sense of place. The design team had some interest in my artwork that she shared with them and I was asked to propose a piece that would fit the space they had designated for me. While initially being intrigued with my drawings on paper, the space that the hotel management settled on, in their minds, required a three dimensional artwork. I proposed taking my box images and making them true boxes – I offered them a concept that would keep my pen, ink and ink wash images housed in an actual box but they would be backlit so the plants would float off the walls. Using different materials and working with various other craftsmen and contractors we pulled off a project that opened with the hotel in February of 2017. I proposed having the work embedded in a large niche in the wall which would hold the boxes and would allow me to play with issues of depth and space in yet a different way. My past history working with electric lighting (many years ago in art school!) in no way prepared me for this adventure. This commission clearly pushed my art and skills to new places. Complications from finding a workable paper that could hold my would pen and ink images, to electrical lighting that could accomplish my visual goals, to finding a dimming system so I could control light density – were all major challenges that were not simply solvable. Working with Dale Pope, an extraordinary craftsman, to build the boxes and help me think through the mechanics of all this was critical. He was an equal partner in this effort and I owe him so much for helping me make this piece a success.

Installation and Process Video