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An Outdoor Gallery for a Holiday

Lake Oswego, which I now call home, is a close-in suburb just south of Portland, Oregon with a population of about 37,000. The city center is small and, like my New York City neighborhood, easily walkable which I take advantage of on my rounds of errands.

The town has an arts council which has created a sculpture exhibit called “Gallery Without Walls” - various pieces rotated in and out over two-year periods. Some of them are sponsored by local businesses and volunteers raise funds, select the works, oversee installation, management and cleaning.

All the pieces are for sale, but at prices ranging from $6,000 to $48,000, I won't be owning any of these and anyway, I prefer them out in public – there is one on nearly every corner.

Only recently did I discover (I can be slow sometimes) that the camera in my cell phone is of much better quality than the digital camera I've owned for about three years; it makes much nicer pictures. So over the weekend, I walked the town streets and photographed some of the sculptures to show you.

It's a nice thing for a blog post on a holiday, don't you think.

Las Carpas
Las Carpas by Mark Clarson

A Boy and His Dog
A Boy and His Dog by Julie Martin

Man Eating Dog Tood
Man Eating Dog Food by Richard Beyer

First Footsteps
First Footsteps by Jim DeMetro

Seraphim by Jay Moody

Arc of Peace
Arc of Peace by Lorri Acott Fowler

Complement II
Complement II by Merrilee Moore

Bastet by Robert H. Foster

Sunbathers by Ken Patecky

Spirits of Light
Spirits of Light by Nancy Clough

I'm not certain, but I don't think this one, below, is part of the exhibit. It is set in a little garden off the sidewalk next to a commercial building and may be my favorite corner of the town.

Children and Ducks

It is almost shocking when I'm on my way to the drug store, the bakery or the bank to be confronted with these sculptures - even the ones I'm familiar with now - among the pedestrians, cars and delivery trucks whizzing past.

What I've noticed is that I pay much more attention to them on the street than I would in a gallery or museum. They are unexpected here, particularly so many in a small area, and make every mundane shopping trip an adventure.

You can see more of the sculptures and better photos of the ones I've shown you here, here and here.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Lyn Burnstine: My Cantilevered Life


Lovely! Lucky you. Dee

These are great! I love the so called "public art'. There's lots around Knoxville too. I agree that you notice it more out and about than you do in a museum or gallery. Thanks for sharing!

My gosh! What a bunch of cool art to have in a town that size!! Wonderful!

I agree about outdoor art. The juxtaposition of human-made and nature-made creates something really memorable.

That was an insightful comment about noticing the art more in a public setting than in a gallery. I get overloaded quickly in a museum (with the exception of the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia). Not only do you see it in a context in which it stands out - you see it over and over in different ways. And, lots of dogs! Woof woof!

Wow--that is a lot of public art for a place the size of downtown Lake Oswego. I like the Spirits of Light especially. I posted a few photos of our local hot springs yesterday on my blog to honor the holiday weekend.

Hope you will take more pics of your downtown. Like you, I'll take Manhattan (the Bronx, & Staten Island too) as my #1 choice but a small, walkable town near Portland sounds wonderful. (I trust that Man Eating Dogfood is one of the cheaper statues.)

Refreshing art in a refreshing state. I used to live in Oregon and miss it for its alternative view of living. How wonderful to have such artist pieces in your downtown. An idea that towns can imitate as it integrates art with people. thanks for all the nice photos. -- barbara

Absolutely delightful, thanks.

Those are great and nice photos of them. I especially liked The Sunbathers.

This is just further confirmation that your move was the right decision. What a really neat place to live.

I wonder what Ollie would think of the Egyptian cat, Bastet.

My favorite is "First Steps."

I'm tickled that you're enjoying your new town so much. Isn't Complement II clever!

"Museum overload"? Oh yeah, I can relate to that. The five museums that I consider the best. Are the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, the Museum of Modern Art (also NYC), The Guggenheim (NYC), The Louvre (you know where) The Musee D'Orsay (same) (I'm really impressed with the stuff here) The Musee Branly (A quite recent addition to amazing Paris scene) and maybe, the MOMA and the Guggenheim in LaLa land.

But I get overload in all of these after about two hours and in lesser collections my attention span might be much shorter.

I hope the town keeps some of the sculptures. Outdoor art is the best for just the reasons you state, Ronni. These are great! Everyone should click on the links because there are some really stunning pieces pictured there!

I love your town's outdoor art! Your photos make me want to visit. There's no problem with vandalism?

Loved this blog Ronni. I too find that my cell phone takes pretty darned good pictures. And the idea of being able to be running my errands and stumble upon a stunning or humorous or thought provoking piece of art is just marvelous. Thanks also for sharing the links. Oswego seems like a rather hip place. New York this summer has been unbearable. We've all been hiding from the brutal heat.

These are truly wonderful. What riches your town has. Thanks for the photos

These sculptures are all interesting. First Footsteps and Spirit of Light catch my attention, as well as the last secluded-appearing corner you show.

My little city has one outdoor sculpture that immediately comes to mind. This post prompts me to think I should share it in the future since my attention is always drawn to it.

I guess I came late to this party! Everyone else saw these in Sept.; I'm seeing them in Dec. Anyway, what a great idea -- I love that they're out in public instead of walled into a museum. And they're nice -- nice sculptures, nice photos. Also, was interested to learn that there's an Oswego, OR. Only Oswego I knew about is Oswego, NY, on Lake Ontario where there's a SUNY campus. So . . . many thanks for the eye on your world. Happy holidays!

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