Portland Walking Tours

New Art in Front of the New Hotel on the New MAX Light Rail line

May 30th, 2008

If you’ve been on the Transit Mall, you’ve seen endless construction since January 2007. It’s easy to spot the construction for the new Green Line MAX Light Rail, which will start running in September 2009. And when you’re on SW Clay street, you can’t help but notice the construction for the new Hotel Modera.

If you looked through all the mess this morning, you may have spotted a new piece of public art in the midst of all this construction. Award-winning artist Michihiro Kosuge has created an interesting abstract sculpture by reusing granite removed from 6th Avenue as a result of tearing up the Transit Mall. Michihiro, a former professor of art at Portland State University, has an ability to mold giant rocks into acclaimed works of art and that has made him one of the Northwest’s most collectible sculptors since the 1970’s. This picture of Michihiro and his new artwork may not do the piece justice, but this 1,200-pound sculpture can be viewed in the 6th Avenue courtyard of the new Hotel Modera at at 515 SW Clay St. 

When you join the “Best of Portland” tour, we explore why there’s so much public art in Portland. A good portion of that is because of the various Percent for Art programs. With this new Green Line MAX Light Rail, approximately $750,000 (!) has been allocated to fund the Transit Mall art program, which works out approximately 1.5 percent of eligible project funds.