Two artists have been selected to put artwork in two Bend roundabouts.
Michael Stutz proposed a sculpture called “Golden Squirrel’s Wondrous World” to Bend’s Art in Public Places. It will be installed at the Empire Avenue – Butler Market Road – NE 27th Street roundabout in Northeast Bend.
Here’s how AIPP describes it.
The woven steel wheel connects the timber mills from Bend’s past, the rolling wheels of cars, and a hamster wheel— humorously representing the routine of daily life. Inside the wheel are silicon bronze strips in blue and green hues where the sunlight will sparkle through the openings. The circle of life center curves out like a partial globe, evoking the waters of the Deschutes River and our blue Earth. Atop the 24 ft. sculpture will be playful golden squirrel offering a striking presence above the traffic signs and cars at this busy roundabout.
“This sculpture playfully celebrates the region’s connection to nature, and the familiar routine of peoples’ daily lives. I am honored to have my art become a part of your exceptional community in Bend,” Stutz said in a statement.
Joshua Wiener’s “You and I” will go in the roundabout at Brookswood Blvd and Powers Road.
You and I is made up of five figures (12 ft x 4 ft x 3ft) that will appear in motion, changing position and creating new perspectives as you pass through the roundabout. The five stacked figures are made of a heavy-gauge steel with a rich patina that will be a stunning color against the Oregon sky and the natural environment. The figures appear industrial and contemporary offering complex shapes, yet somehow achieving a state of play.
“I am ecstatic to create this piece with you in Bend. I am so moved by the landscape and people. This art will celebrate our connectedness with play and imagination,” Wiener said in a statement.
AIPP said it took public input on the sculpture choices. Among the comments they received:
“I like how the squirrel greets us and the swirling colors of the center” and “It is beautiful with a bit of whimsy.” (Golden Squirrel’s Wondrous World)
“It is fun, active and colorful” and “The energy and playfulness fit the neighborhood well.” (You and I)
The non-profit Bend Foundation provides the funding for public art in Bend, AIPP said. The foundation is funded by Brooks Scanlon and Brooks Resources Corporation, and community donations.