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Green Line Public Art Tour: Portland Mall

14 artists were selected to create more than 40 sculptures as part of the 2009 revitalization of the Portland Mall. Artists developed work with a sense of history for the historic North Mall and a theme of sustainability for the progressive university district in the South Mall. In the central Mall, 10 new sculptures were added to expand the collection of regional sculpture in downtown Portland.

Click on a thumbnail below for a photo, description and audio narrative.

Overview:

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Cairns, 2008

Cairns, 2008

Christine Bourdette

On 5th and 6th avenues, between Hoyt and Glisan streets, and on NW Irving Street at Union Station

To create her series of sculptures for the Union Station area, Christine Bourdette was inspired by the man-made stacks of stones that have traditionally served as landmarks for navigation and as memorials. Cairns consists of a series of five stacked-slate forms that mark the path to the light rail stations near Glisan at NW 5th and 6th.

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The Legend of the Green Man of Portland, 2009

The Legend of the Green Man of Portland, 2009

Daniel Duford

On 5th and 6th avenues, between Glisan and Burnside streets

With The Legend of the Green Man of Portland, Daniel Duford created a false legend encompassing many of the varied, transitory communities that have called Old Town and Chinatown home. The piece consists of two sculptures and eight "story markers" over a 10 block area that provide fragments of the story, depending on their routes through the neighborhood.

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Burls Will Be Burls, 2009

Burls Will Be Burls, 2009

Bruce Conkle

On 6th Avenue, between Burnside and Ash streets

Burls Will be Burls, by Bruce Conkle, is a tribute to snowmen and to the forests of the Pacific Northwest. The cast bronze figures of Burls Will be Burls represent what might happen when a snowman melts and nourishes a living tree—water is absorbed by the roots and carries the spirit of the snowman up into the tree where it manifests itself as burls.

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Lodge Grass, 2000

Lodge Grass, 2000

John Buck

On 6th Avenue, between Oak and Stark streets

The title of John Buck's Lodge Grass refers to a Montana town originally settled by Native Americans and to the name for a range of plants used by indigenous peoples to make shelters. The artist has used related symbols and imagery for the figure's head and shoulders.

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Reading the Street, 2008

Reading the Street, 2008

Mark Richardson Smith

On 5th Avenue, between Oak and Stark streets

Mark R. Smith's Reading the Street consists of a series of glass panels with images of silhouetted figures arranged in horizontal rows. Through body language and gestures, the images are meant to be read and deciphered like text, as the work addresses the complicated nature of human interaction in crowded urban thoroughfares.

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Daddy Long Legs, 2006

Daddy Long Legs, 2006

Mel Katz

On 6th Avenue, between Stark and Washington streets

In Daddy Long Legs, Mel Katz combines elements of sculpture and painting to create a counterpoint and contrast that add to the complexity of the work. The artist's father was a tailor, and growing up he was influenced by watching him work with templates to cut pattern pieces.

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Floribunda, 1998

Floribunda, 1998

Mark Calderon

On 5th Avenue, between Stark and Washington streets

Floribunda, one of a series of works Mark Calderon made in the late nineties, was inspired by the hairstyles found in Japanese Buddhist sculpture of the 12th and 13th centuries. Floribunda is the only free-standing work from this series, and the design and pattern of the hairstyle envelops the entire form, creating a finished work that is quite abstract.

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Pile, 2009

Pile, 2009

Malia Jensen

On 6th Avenue, between Washington and Alder streets

Artist Malia Jensen considers Pile an homage to a tougher, grittier Portland of the past. The crate represents Oregon's tradition of hands-on work and the phonebooks mark affection for the disappearing tactile aspect of information and searching. The urban birds travel between a paved-over city and an airborne wilderness, hinting at what has been lost.

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Whistlestop for an Organ Teacher, 2009

Whistlestop for an Organ Teacher, 2009

Chris Bruch

On 5th Avenue, between Alder and Morrison streets

Chris Bruch designed Whistlestop for an Organ Teacher to be a small island of stillness amidst the urban hubbub and dissonance of the city. Whistlestop refers to an earlier era when politicians campaigned across great distances from trains, while "stop," in organ terminology, means a rank of pipes that all speak with a similar voice.

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The Responsibility of Raising a Child, 2004

The Responsibility of Raising a Child, 2004

Rick Bartow

On 5th Avenue, between Yamhill and Taylor Streets

Rick Bartow weaves Native American symbols of parenting and life cycles throughout The Responsibility of Raising a Child. The sculpture started out expressing the difficult circumstances of single parents, but by placing the infant in the basket it becomes a hopeful, encouraging and optimistic work.

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Puzzle Tower 1, 2007

Puzzle Tower 1, 2007

Chris Gander

On 5th Avenue, between Salmon and Main streets

Puzzle Tower, by Chris Gander, consists of five basic geometric forms designed as an exploration of symmetry and visual balance. These structural and architectural forms invite viewers to speculate and find meaningful personal references from something unknown or unfamiliar.

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City Reflections, 2009

City Reflections, 2009

Patti Warashina

On 6th Avenue, between Salmon and Main streets

Patti Warashina's City Reflections is in the heart of Portland, where business, civics and culture come together. The strong female figure has both a classical and minimal form, to which the dog acts as a counterbalance, while the black shapes on the sculptures reference elements of the human body and reflect the shapes and shadows of the surrounding buildings.

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Continuation, 2009

Continuation, 2009

Michihiro Kosuge

On 6th Avenue, between Columbia and Clay streets

With the five sculptures that make up Continuation, Michihiro Kosuge reused red granite from an earlier sculpture and fountain installation on the Portland Mall. To create relationships between the sculptures while allowing each one to stand on its own, the artist sculpted pieces with interconnecting visual elements that include repetition, tension and stability.

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Urban Hydrology, 2009

Urban Hydrology, 2009

Fernanda D'Agostino

On 6th Avenue, between Mill and Hall streets

With Urban Hydrology, Fernanda D'Agostino reflects some of the environmental science taking place at PSU in an attempt to thread the needle of beauty, abstraction and content while appealing to both academic and casual viewers. Twelve oversized diatoms carved in granite are sited in the biofiltration strips unique to the the southern portion of the Portland Mall.

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