Thursday, January 01, 2015

Oregon Grape

So this is probably one of the more obscure public artworks I've covered here (so far). The Portland city parks bureau has a maintenance yard in outer SE Portland, at SE 89th & Flavel, next to the Springwater Trail. The facility was renovated back in 2012, and they decided to use their mandatory "2% For Art" budget on decorative gates to the yard. A design panel selected Oregon Grape, a striking design by Joe Larralde, a local tattoo artist. His description of the project:

This project was inspired by my background in Polynesian Tattooing. I used geometry to create flow and movement across the design. I chose to incorporate Oregon Grape leaves to relate the project to both the Parks and Recreation department and the City of Portland. I chose to show the leaves in their fall color of red, which provides good contrast and creates the palate of black and red, reminiscent of Native American artwork of the Pacific Northwest. Lastly I chose to incorporate Swift birds in flight, which are swallow like birds that migrate through our region in the fall.

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