WOU in the news: Beautiful Places: An Artist’s Eye View

Story published on Willamettelive.com


The Oregon Garden

879 W Main St


503 874 8100

The Oregon Garden offers more than 80 acres that showcase the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest. Over 20 individual themed gardens and related attractions are available for visitors to wander through and enjoy the spectacular views and native plants.

What could possibly improve on this beautiful, restful scene?  Art installations of course.

So for the second year, the Garden is presenting “Art in the Garden” featuring three outdoor art installations by local artists.  The pieces can be seen  from July 10 – September 30 with regular garden admission.

Art in the garden came about because the staff of the Garden was interested in something that would  bring attention  to the Gardens, appeal to visitors, and be a good fit for the general setting.  They are also supportive of art and artists, so this program is a great fit.  Artists are picked both through a call to artists and through invitation. Interested artists should look for a call to artists at the end of the summer.  This year’s featured artists include Tyler Brumfield, Paul Jenkins, and David Hillesland.

Brumfield, who was born and raised in the Willamette Valley, studied sculpture and graphic design at Western Oregon University. His primary medium is wood, because of its versatility in use, natural beauty, and abundant supply. He seeks to pair well-designed art with a conceptual context to which viewers can relate.

Jenkins is a direct metal sculptor from Silverton who became interested in metal work in high school.   He earned a BS in Industrial Design, and spent many years employed as a senior sculptor, mechanical designer and assembler. Before he retired, he worked with Michael Curry Design on the Broadway production of “The Lion King” as well as on the Utah Winter Olympics. His piece, a sculpture of a “Mantid” (praying mantis) made of galvanized sheet steel and stainless steel wire and painted with automotive paint, is titled “XLM” (Extra Large Mantis).

Hillesland, a self-taught  professionally apprenticed sculptor,  finds beauty in the rough forms that lie within each piece of wood.  He takes great satisfaction in refining the natural elements of the wood, seeking the form that lies within. Hillesland will also be teaching chainsaw carving workshops at the Garden on July 18 and August 8; for more information, visit www.oregongarden.org.

An opening reception will be held on July 10 from 7-10pm with live music, appetizers and wine tasting.  The featured artists will talk about their installations and inspiration.  Tickets are $15 and available online.  The Gardens are handicapped friendly and a tram runs a loop which will include each installation site.

The Oregon Garden seeks to welcome and inspire all visitors with an appreciation for the extraordinary ecology of the Pacific Northwest, and to provide an educational experience for gardeners of all skill levels and ages. Art in the Garden is a great reason to visit and enjoy this unique place.

The Art in the Garden program is  sponsored by Capitol Subaru and Oregon Cordless Tool System. Oregon Garden offers memberships that help support new improvements and visitor programs. Visit www.OregonGarden.org or call (503) 874-8100 for more information.