Thirteen down, two to go.
That was Arts Council of Lake Oswego Public Art and Program Manager Kelsey Ferreira's tally of the sculptures being de-installed from the Gallery Without Walls on July 27. The on-loan sculptures were being removed to make room for the 15 new additions to Lake Oswego's nationally recognized public art program. The process is one that requires many volunteers working alongside Ferreira and other Arts Council staff members and contractors.
The delicate balancing act of moving 15 large-scale artworks from public places requires flexibility, attention to detail and the dedication of knowledgeable assistants such as Bob Liddell and Jeff Wiens.
Liddell has been a volunteer with the Arts Council for more than a decade, as a board member, chairman of the Public Art Committee and as the head volunteer on sculpture changeovers. His professional experience as a building contractor prepared him for whatever an installation may present. From wielding a hammer drill or knowing which Titan bolt will withstand two years of wear and tear, to determining whether a crane can safely attach to a sculpture, Liddell has been a key part of the public art program in Lake Oswego.
Wiens and his wife, Kathleen, have been enthusiastic participants of Arts Council activities since their arrival from California two years ago. He helps prepare the site, ensuring everyone is safe and secure, and gets to meet new and interesting artists in the process.
"Without the knowledgeable help of volunteers like Bob and Jeff, we wouldn't have such a successful and well-run program," Ferreira said. "They provide not only the physical assistance, but serve as our unofficial historians. When questions arise, we know where to turn."
The de-installation is completed, and the new sculptures will be appearing throughout the downtown area in the next few weeks.
"Watch for the new sculptures and come watch the installation," Ferreira said.
She plans to place signs at the locations telling citizens when they could expect to have the new sculptures installed. "It's fun to watch the sculptures being installed, and exciting to see the new art in place."
To celebrate the new collection in the Gallery Without Walls, the Arts Council of Lake Oswego is hosting Unveil Your Art! a public celebration of the new sculptures to take place at Millennium Plaza Park beginning at 11 a.m. Aug. 13. This year's celebration will feature food from The Dump Truck (serving sweet and savory dumplings) and local favorite Nola Donuts, and wines from World Class Wines, plus more items. There will be kids' activities, entertainment, drawing rallies and more.
To learn more, visit artscouncillo.org.