Sunday, June 09, 2013


This installment in obscure stuff around town takes us to the Multnomah County offices at SE Hawthorne & Grand Avenue. Flanking the main entrance are a pair of ornate bronze panels, the left one depicting a rural landscape, the right showing urban scenes. This is Connections, a 2005 piece by the Northwest sculptor Wayne Chabre. His description of it:

The Multnomah Building houses the business offices of Multnomah County, the most populous county in Oregon. These two panels frame the main entry, and represent the urban and rural aspects of the county. Bridges, roads and water images are metaphors for the County’s many governmental functions. Bridges are the central design element on the urban panel; they allow a city divided by a major river to function as a cohesive whole, as the County “bridges” many diverse communities, facilitating cooperative action and successful societal functioning.

In the rural panel, the arterial (County) roads converge from the periphery as capillaries in the circulatory system, supporting urban life by the work of the agricultural base and the dramatic beauty of the Columbia Gorge scenic preserve. These panels also suggest Portland’s connection to the Pacific Rim with the oblique reference to the Asian scroll.

The Portland Public Art blog liked it, which is rare praise indeed.

Connections Connections Connections Connections Connections Connections

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