Monday, September 28, 2009

"Art Contemplates Industry"

Last May, I and 40 other artists and photographers were allowed to tour the recently decommissioned Bull Run Powerhouse outside Sandy, OR. We took photographs, painted and sketched. We have each produced one special piece of art inspired from this experience. The art will be on display in a traveling exhibition, and the first showing is coming on Oct 3rd!

My painting is inspired by American modernism, which was an art movement inspired by the technological and industrial advances that occurred during the early 20th century. So when I had an opportunity to create art about The Bull Run Powerhouse, which was built during that time, naturally I was intrigued. The architecture reflects the beauty and craftmanship that were regularly put into public buildings at that time.

(Here is a little pic of me finding an elk horn on the premises. We were all pretty excited about the find!)

As we passed through the Control Room (which looked like it was retrofitted into the Powerhouse in the early 60's, and then became frozen in time,) I spied a ream of blueprints on a desk. Now, my father and older brother Erik are civil engineers ("Peterson Structural Engineers") I grew up drawing on the back of my father's blueprints. So something about those blueprints really caught my eye! I contacted
PGE, which is the current owner of the property, and I was able to choose several blueprints. I have mounted a blueprint onto wood panel, and I am creating the painting right on top of it.

Here is a picture of the painting-- almost done. I tried to leave the blueprint visible through the painting, sort of like the painting and the blueprint where a duet. One thing that makes this particular blueprint so special is that there are corrections drawn onto the blueprint. If you look closely, you can see the words “Battery Room” and “Control Room”, along with scribble-marks and penciled in walls and doors.

The first venue and reception will be in Government Camp, at the Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum. Reception Oct. 3, 2-5 p.m.

Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum 88900 E Hwy 26, Business Loop, Government Camp, Oregon 97028
503.272.3301 ~

For more information, visit:

BTW- Peterson Structural Engineers have designed the bases for multiple large-scale public sculptures. Its pretty cool and you can see some pictures at:

Sponsored by:
Willamette Falls Heritage Foundation & Portland General Electric