On Valentine's Day before I made it to Pioneer Courthouse Square, I came upon sculptor Melvin Schuler's "Thor," one of the public art pieces that dot two downtown Portland avenues, SW 6th and SW 5th, also known as the Portland Bus Mall. In January, 2007, when TriMet moved the bus operations to SW 4th and SW 3rd so that renovations to the mall could take place, including adding light rail, TriMet moved the public art for safe-keeping--here's what TriMet had to say about the process: Nearly all of the existing public art sculptures on the Mall have been temporarily removed to protect them during construction. The sculptures will be cleaned and refurbished, then relocated along the Central Mall at sites more congenial to viewing them in the round.
In the past few months as construction nears completion, some pieces have been placed in their new sites. "Thor" is one of them, created by Schuler in 1977. It's copper on redwood. It's on SW 6th between SW Taylor and SW Yamhill. Here's the view as I walked closer to it.
And here's the other side of it, looking southward.
Wouldn't that curved section make a great place to take a photo of someone special? At eight feet tall and a lovely verdi gris, it would make an effective backdrop.
Here's an interesting bit about sculptor Schuler:
A professor emeritus from Humbolt State University, Schuler received his BA and MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, CA and studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, Denmark. He carves his sculptures from recycled old-growth redwood. In order for the work to weather the out of doors, he covers it with copper in the same way that the hulls of the American clipper ships were covered. The copper is placed shingle-like and fastened with bronze nails, hammered and then a cold patina is applied. His works can be found in many distinguished private and public collections throughout the US.