Artist Chosen in The Metropolitan Artist Competition
Hoyt Street Properties recently announced that Seattle artist, Ann Gardner, has won the extensive regional search to find art for The Metropolitan, a landmark urban renewal project in Portland’s Pearl District. Gardner will create one-of-a-kind work for the building’s sweeping two-story lobby, a prominent site for building residents and neighborhood pedestrians.
“We’re thrilled that the work of this outstanding artist will grace The Metropolitan lobby,” said Tiffany Sweitzer, President and CEO of Hoyt Street Properties. “The goal of the artist project was to showcase regional talent, and Ann Gardner is a great example of this region’s unique creative culture,” Sweitzer added.
Taking a contemporary approach to the ancient art of mosaics, Ann Gardner carefully arranges thousands of pieces of fine, reflective glass to create works that are both meditative and luxurious. Gardner’s concept for The Metropolitan, entitled Sliver of Light, features a slender vertical panel of small rectangular shards. The clear glass is swirled with white and backed with imitation gold leaf. In the artist’s words, “My intention for the piece is to give the interior of the building a sliver of sunlight.” Ann Gardner’s work has earned many awards and appears in numerous public spaces, private collections, and museum collections throughout the United States including the Seattle Art Museum, Detroit Institute of the Arts, and the American Craft Museum in New York.
Gardner was one of three finalists selected from a pool of 110 applicants representing all corners of the Pacific Northwest. Artists based in Oregon and Washington were eligible to vie for the $25,000 project commission. Other competition finalists were Naomi Shigeta and Kelly McLain. Originally from Gunma, Japan, Naomi Shigeta holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Oregon. Shigeta’s sensitive and powerful minimalist paintings have drawn widespread critical acclaim, including an appearance on the cover of Artweek magazine. Shigeta is represented by the Augen Gallery in Portland and resides in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Kelly McLain is a highly accomplished and experienced glass artist and educator based in Seattle, Washington. Her work has been commissioned to appear in numerous public spaces including the Boise Airport and Seattle Children’s Museum.
Finalists were charged with developing and presenting site-specific proposals for The Metropolitan lobby. A selection panel comprised of seven representatives from the Pearl District arts, business, and residential communities steered the process of determining the winning design. The panel included Kristina Butters, Director of the Butters Gallery, and Victoria Frey, Executive Director of the Portland Center for Contemporary Art (PICA). Three future residents of The Metropolitan also served on the panel: Martin Bleek, Craig Boretz, and Hugh d’Autremont. Other panelists were John Meadows, Principal at BOORA architects and project lead on The Metropolitan, and Tiffany Sweitzer of Hoyt Street Properties.
“The selection panel had a challenging task, working with such a talented candidate pool,” Sweitzer said. “But the outcome of the collaborative process yielded the perfect match for a very special space.”
Hoyt Street Properties will host public events designed to offer community members an opportunity to learn more about The Metropolitan artist search, the finalists, and the winning concept selected for the lobby space.
“We wanted to involve the community throughout the course of this project,” Sweitzer noted. “We are planning special events in coordination with project landmarks, such as an exhibition of the three finalists’ proposals and an unveiling celebration when The Metropolitan and Ann Gardner’s work are completed.” Details about upcoming artist project events will be announced as plans further solidify.
Slated for completion in Fall 2007, The Metropolitan will bring unprecedented height to the Pearl District and will house luxury condominiums, innovative live/work units, and street-level retail space. Designed by Portland-based BOORA architects, the project has drawn attention for its elegance, artful design, and integration of green building practices. The lobby will be integral to the first impression for residents and guests and will be highly visible from sidewalks and the streetcar line. For more information about The Metropolitan, click here.