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Wednesday 07.23.14

« Monday Links | Main | C3: Initiative Open House & Block Party »

Public art in Portland winning awards

RACC just announced that two pieces, Jorge Pardo's Streetcar Stop for Portland and Inversion +/- by Lead Pencil Studio were cited as two of 37 outstanding public arts projects completed in the United States in 2013.

Pardo_inside_Night_1_sm.jpg
Streetcar Stop for Portland (detail inside at night) photo Jeff Jahn

Both projects certainly were site considered works that went far beyond last year's Nepenthes travesty, also commissioned by RACC for its, "Quirkyness." I've been writing about it for a L O N G time but quirky just isn't good enough in Portland anymore (yes you too Art Beat) and as PORT's interview with Pardo explored last year... doing something excellent and successful is never an accident. Pardo's project is the most successfully ambitious public art project in RACC's history.

I'm more reserved about Inversion +/-. I feel like the ghost warehouse idea is a nice way to capture loss and renewal but the execution of 2 of the southernmost of the 3 sections feel clumsier than the final most northern one. The Northernmost element traces an outline rather than filling out a volume and it is far more elegant. Overall, the metal supports that hold these structures up simply come off as clumsy... making them difficult to distinguish from the rusting remnants of some signage scaffolding. LPS has done better work... particularly the ethereal sign project at the US Canada border. In public art OK can be seen as a noteworthy achievement.

Overall, take a bow RACC... but don't let it go to your head... inconsistencies between projects, which vary as much in quality as Nepenthes and Streetcar Stop for Portland are endemic of room to improve. The great news is that they now have experience with strong international-standards worthy projects.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on July 23, 2014 at 14:45 | Comments (0)


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