Tuesday, November 01, 2016


Next up is another installment in our occasional tour of TriMet MAX art. Art along the westside Blue Line can be sort of hard to figure out sometimes; TriMet's official guide doesn't always mention titles and sometimes doesn't even name the artists, and I don't feel like I can do a proper public art post without knowing those two things. For example, take the group of decorative brick carts (i.e. benches that look like carts) at the Elmonica MAX station at SW 170th. TriMet's description of the station explains that Westside design team artists and Don Merkt echoed the act of transplantation—moving objects, plants and people from their original environment to a new place. Three brick carts symbolize transplanting, transporting, transforming.. At some point I ran across an RACC page that was a bit more specific, saying the group of carts was called Transplant and was created by Merkt. Unfortunately if you follow that link now you'll get an ugly IIS server error; I don't know whether it's a website error or the page has been deleted without redirecting to a nice 404 page, but it's been this way for months now. Anyway, I seem to recall there was a longer description on that missing page, though I feel like I understand the general concept already without a longer description. Still, it's too bad, if only because quoting a extended block of art lingo makes one's blog post look a bit larger and fancier.

In any case, this humble blog has previously visited a few other artworks by Merkt: Driver's Seat on the downtown transit mall near Union Station, Water, Please at the city water pollution lab next to Cathedral Park, and On TV at the cable access studio building on NE MLK. I think there's also something of his along the new MAX Orange Line, but I haven't gotten around to Orange Line art just yet.

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