THS offers opportunity to view rarely seen public art

City Recreation Manager Julie Ludemann (left) and Tualatin Arts Advisory Committee Chair Janet Carr unveil a painting from the city’s Visual Chronicle Collection of the Ki-a-kuts Bridge during an Aug. 2 presentation at the Tualatin Historical Society. Barbara Sherman/Tualatin Life
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The Tualatin Historical Society is lifting the curtain on some long-hidden pieces of public art at the grand opening of an exhibit Saturday, Aug. 19, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Heritage Center.

“Crawfish Eating Contest” by Peggy Mojé from the city’s Visual Chronicle Collection. Barbara Sherman/Tualatin Life

Over more than 25 years, the city’s Arts Advisory Committee has purchased more than 300 paintings, sculptures, photographs, sculptures and other media that depict historical events along with ordinary life in Tualatin.

City residents and visitors have always enjoyed the sculptures and murals along with the Art Walk that are in plain sight for all to see. But more pieces that have been stored away far from the public eye will now be available for viewing during the Heritage Center’s show.

Tualatin Arts Advisory Committee Chair Janet Carr and city Recreation Manager Julie Ludemann gave a preview of the upcoming show during a presentation at the Heritage Center on Aug. 2.

“I am incredibly proud to be part of this collection,” Carr said as Ludemann offered a PowerPoint presentation of photos of pieces in the city’s art collection, starting with a merry-go-round that was part of the old Kmart store.

“Pumpkin Fields” by Cie Goulet from the city’s Visual Chronicle Collection. This piece is reproduced on a traffic signal box wrap at the corner of Southwest Boones Ferry Road and Southwest Sagert Street. Courtesy/City of Tualatin

“We have 120 pieces of visual art that chronicle Tualatin and its history, and there are 52 pieces in the public art collection,” Carr said as a familiar painting of Tualatin cows by Jeannine Miller in 1996 was displayed. “Lots of art has a historical context to it.”

One of the most popular examples of public art is the signal box wraps, starting with the first one at Warm Springs and Boones Ferry.

Other paintings shown during the presentation included “Sagert’s Barn” by Wendy Dunder in 1997; “The Guardians” by Arvie Smith in 2001; “Summer – Koch Farm” by Janet Rothermel in 2008; “Tualatin Commons” by Jennifer Flores in 2012; “Life Will Always Find a Way” by Redstone Rodolfo Serna in 2021; and “Mother Beaver and Pup” sculpture by Georgia Gerber in 2005.

According to Ludemann, the Tualatin Arts Advisory Committee was formed in 1997 when the City Council appointed the first members, and it has nine members plus a student member.

At the end of the presentation, a curtain rose to reveal a painting of the Ki-a-kuts Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge that is part of the city’s art collection.

Everyone is invited to attend the unveiling of 13 pieces of the city’s art collection at the Heritage Center, located at 8700 S.W. Sweek Drive, on Aug. 19; the collection will remain on display afterwards.

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