Light Pole Sculptures
Artists: Vicki Wilson & John Larsen
Dedicated on May 1, 2019
The Clackamas County Arts Alliance in partnership with the City of Oregon City and Downtown Oregon City Association commissioned Vicki Wilson and John Larsen to create site-specific art for Historic Downtown Oregon City. The main goal of the project is to continue the series of unique aerial sculptures highlighting a gateway entrance and marking a pathway into and through Historic Downtown Oregon City. This is the second series of sculptures in the Bloom Boom project. They are attached to existing light poles and were designed to enhance the streetscape, be welcoming, and signal people (using all modes of transportation) that they have arrived at a special destination.
Photos courtesy Whitney Deirckman.
Artist team Vicki Wilson and John Larsen were tasked with creating a unifying element throughout Main Street’s business district. They were inspired by the Art Deco and Art Nouveau designs used on the business facades and wanted to incorporate the architectural history of the area. They used the Art Nouveau technique of transforming architectural structures into plant forms and the Art Deco language of bolted planar metal. Once the form was established, they continued using the design sense of these art movements to create pieces that referenced the area. Some works reference the natural world through native plants; others reference the unique architecture of Oregon City’s Main Street District and a few more speak to the history and future commerce in the city. The lantern effect at night was of particular interest to the artists as the use of color, light and shadow, positive and negative space has been a favorite design challenge of theirs.
As they spent more time around the community on Main Street, they became aware of the symbolic aspect an opening flower has in this place. Oregon City is growing, waking and exploding into the city it will become. Residents seem energized for the changes and they are thrilled to contribute to the momentum.
Art Selection Steering Committee
- Nick Dierckman – Local Resident, Community Volunteer
- Don Slack – Local Resident, Business Owner
- Bunny Lewis – Artist, Local Resident
- Lynda Orzen – Artist, Local Resident
- Liz Hannum – Interim Executive Director, Downtown Oregon City Association
- Wes Wilson – Utility Maintenance Specialist, City of Oregon City
- Cheryl Snow – Executive Director, Clackamas County Arts Alliance
Project funding provided by:
Metro Enhancement Grant – City of Oregon City
Clackamas County Cultural Coalition Grant
Programs Manager: Suzi Anderson – [email protected]