A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

To fix the lights on those steel flowers

Written February 23rd, 2021 by Hasso Hering

I went there on Feb. 19 to check on the lights, but in daylight that was a mission in vain.

Changing colored lights are a significant nighttime feature of the four steel sculptures in the grassy area near the Pacific Boulevard off-ramp to Lyon Street in downtown Albany. But lately they’ve not come on.

“Any idea why our $80k hasn’t been lit at night recently?” asked Rhea Graham, one of the readers of this site. She was referring to the amount of money the city council approved as the cost of this example of public art. The installation was completed just before Christmas in 2020.

I went by the place on the bike the other day, on the 19th, and I didn’t see any lights. But it was daytime, so how could I? Presumably the lights are programmed to come on at night.

That’s what Parks and Recreation Director Kim Lyddane told me. But then Rhea replied that the lights had been out at night for a couple of weeks or so.

So, how come?

Tom Valentino, who handles facilities maintenance for the city parks, went to check it out Monday, and today I heard of the result from the parks director: “Tom went and looked at it and found water damage to the controller.  He is working with the artist to get it resolved.”

The artist, Dee Dee Morrison, has her studio in Greenville, S.C. Let’s hope she has an idea for fixing whatever is wrong. The lights are kind of cool, but only if they work (hh)

I went back at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, and sure enough, no lights on the steel flowers.



10 responses to “To fix the lights on those steel flowers”

  1. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    $80K…for this? And it doesn’t light up?

    Geez…how stupid.

    Just proves that Albany city government spends a lot of taxpayer money on what Albany city government wants, not “essential” things/services that taxpayers need.

    But I suppose that’s the point.

  2. Jack says:

    So $80,000.00 for art that is enjoyed by only a few. Driven past where its at, have never seen. Purchased from an artist across the country. So much wrong with this whole picture!

  3. Rhea Graham says:

    Thank you, Hasso! I figured something was broken and knew you’d get to the bottom of it. You’re amazing like that.

    • William Ayers says:

      Yup I’ll second that “Thank you Hasso!” Lord knows I pipe up quick enough if I differ with Hasso so I think it only fair to say thanks for the great service this newsletter provides to the community. Many positive effects produced and appreciated by many I’m sure.

  4. Leroy says:

    I havent seen those, but i do see the Albany Tower can you update us on the back lighting of Albany on the tower it was very cool when it went in, but at the time the tower was installed LED lighting was not commercially viable,
    Also the Western Craft and previous home of real oberto destruction going on.

  5. James Engel says:

    If the electrical expense for those lights is included in any proposed “fee”..I’d say leave them off! In fact, cut them down & sell for scrap. To lessen the cost of the new “fee” of course.

  6. Carla A Mundt says:

    Why did it have to be an out of state artist? Bidding?
    As a third generation Oregonian, I am appalled we could not find someone in Oregon. Albany resident 34+ years.

    For example Google — poppies Jacksonville Oregon

  7. Tammy says:

    It is the towns responsiblity to support its local everything and everyone. NOT supporting a local artist and spending 80plus on scrap metal is sad and a disrespectful slap in the face of all Albanys town folk. Shame!

  8. centrist says:

    Seems some folks can only satisfied through heaping negativity on others.


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