As you can see, Albany’s new art installation is the result of work that is both heavy-duty industrial and extremely intricate. But to appreciate it, you have to get close.
You have to step right under the petals of these 12-foot-tall renditions of Oregon wildflowers in order to see the images of pollinators — butterflies and bees among them — that artist Dee Dee Morrison cut into those curved sheets of steel.
I wrote about this art project Friday night after it was put up during the day. Monday I got the first chance to take a look during daylight. Here’s another view.
From a little farther away, the individual pieces of the sculptures are harder to make out, getting mixed up with what’s around and behind them:
Their visual impact is diminished by the distance the four pieces are from each other. In the original design, before it was changed for reasons of cost, the flowers were more numerous and close together, and they worked as a single composition.
The Albany Arts Commission chose this site for the project — at Ninth and Lyon — because it was at the entrance to downtown and would be seen by people coming down the Pacific Boulevard off-ramp to Lyon Street.
On Monday, though, this was the view from the direction of the off-ramp:
You’d think that a construction like this belongs on a hill so you look at it from below against the sky, not from a distance and against a cluttered background.
There are no hills downtown. So it was placed in this spot, and if you want a proper impression, you’ll just have to park your car and take a walk until you stand under the petals to see what is there.
One more thing. City officials and everybody else have been calling this a work of “public art,” which it is. But it needs a name, a name worthy of the effort and skill that a talented artist put into this work. (hh)