1 % for Art
When the Library was opened in September 2000, two pieces of art were selected by committee of the Percent for Public Art of the Oregon Arts Commission.
One piece installed outside the West Portico is called, "Three
Elements" by Michihiro Kosuge.
Michihiro Kosuge - "Three Elements"
three stone sculptures outside the Hamersly Library are by Portland artist,
Michihiro Kosuge, a Professor of Art at Portland State University, who has numerous
installations in Oregon, Washington, and California, including many commissions
for public buildings.
Shelley Socolofsky - "Soliloquy"
The tapestry that hangs in the main stairwell inside the Hamersly Library was woven by Salem, Oregon artist and former instructor at Sprague High School, Shelley Socolofsky. Socolofsky has numerous installations throughout Oregon, including many in public buildings.
Socolofsky uses "Gobelins Tapestry" technique - a method developed in Europe during the middle ages from centuries old cloth making traditions. Tapestries were used as a narrative documentation of the times and were considered extremely valuable. They were often traded for prisoners of war and decorated the insides of war tents, churches, castles and houses to prevent draft.
Artist's Design Concept: Upon ascending the staircase, the tapestry's imagery begins to unfold - as a journey of discovery and new awareness - a metaphor that is appropriate for a place of discovery through expanded knowledge such as a university library.
There is an 'opening' within the maiden's forehead - a cloudscape suggesting imagination, open-minded thinking, creative expansion and a search for new ideas. Her hair flows upward above her head. Her hair begins to transform into winter tree branches. At the top of the tapestry she has metamorphosed into a tree. There are baby birds in the tips of her branches - mouths open, upward symbolizing drinking in new knowledge, new thoughts, and new ideas.
Excerpts from a Anne Sexton poem, are woven into the tapestry down each border. The text is legible yet subtle; its intention is meant more for rhythm than to be read literally.
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