Friday, August 7, 2009

Public art on the MAX Yellow Line--seen from the light rail train

All facts found at TriMet's Web site, including the story of the Yellow Line at the bottom of this post, and this about Art on Interstate MAX Yellow Line

Artwork at every stop along the MAX Yellow Line draws from the history and culture of the area to create a unique identity for each station.

With over 40 local artists contributing artwork and 75 community members participating in forums and committees, the art along MAX Yellow Line is a proud reflection of a historically rich and vital part of Portland.


We boarded a train around 10 a.m. for our two-hour tour. I couldn't get every shot I wanted due to being inside a moving train car, so I missed art at some stations completely, and at other stations, I only got tidbits. To have done a better job, I would have had to get off at every stop, walk around, look, take photos, wait for the next train. Since I had an appointment for a haircut and perm, and since I was part of an organized tour, I was a good girl and stayed with our tour guide Valerie Otani's plan. I am very glad that I did, but one of these days I want to go back and take a more in-depth look.

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Interstate/Rose Quarter Station: Brian Borrello presents a three-part metaphor for displacement and change. Illuminated metal trees generate their own electricity from solar panels.

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A virtual campfire flickers with light at night, surrounded by stainless steel stump seats.

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Wide view.

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N. Prescott St. Station: Works by Wid Chambers and Heidi Kirkpatrick are reproduced in porcelain enamel on steel. (I don't know which is which. Valerie explained that the idea was to open the public art up to more than sculptors with these works on TriMet's boxes that contain something important to the trains, can't remember what exactly.)

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N. Killingsworth Station: Adriene Cruz and Valerie Otani celebrate the vibrant multiculturalism of the Killingsworth community. Glass mosaic on columns recalls the colorful patterns of African Kente cloth.

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Guardrail panels were inspired by South American textiles. Cast-concrete benches evoke the carved wooden stools of Africa.

The MAX Yellow Line is a 5.8-mile (9.3 km) (not including segments downtown shared with other lines) route in the Metropolitan Area Express light rail system in Portland, Oregon. The route, which opened May 1, 2004,[1] runs between downtown Portland and the Portland Expo Center. It is also known as the Interstate MAX because the majority of the line runs along Interstate Avenue in North Portland.

The Yellow Line is the newest MAX line currently in full operation. Originally, it was conceived as part of a north-south light rail project between Vancouver, Washington, and Milwaukie to be built using city funds, but that plan was rejected by voters. TriMet then learned that a majority of the residents of North Portland had voted in favor of the original plan, so they decided to build this new line without using city funds. To do this, they convinced the City of Portland to create an urban renewal district along the proposed line, which made them eligible for matching federal funds with which they could finance the construction of the MAX line. The project was finished four months ahead of schedule at a budget of $320 million, $25 million under budget.[1] The presence of the line has also caused a great deal of redevelopment along its corridor.

The Yellow Line will move to the Portland Transit Mall on August 30, 2009.[2] Additionally, there are plans for extensions at both ends, from downtown Portland southward to Milwaukie as part of the so-called MAX Orange Line (which will likely be a Yellow Line extension), and from the Expo Center into Vancouver, Washington, via Interstate 5 and SR-500.

9 comments:

Jim K said...

ahead of schedule and under budget? Maybe you should have the contractors set up a workshop for Washington DC.

I like the solor trees.

gogouci said...

Great series. It's been such a long time since I've taken a ride on the MAX. Thanks for the tour.

brian stout said...

i like the solar trees too, very cool!

Don and Krise said...

Thank you for the great photos and narration. I'd like the "big wigs" that planned the light rail system in Seattle to take a lesson in staying on budget.

AmyR said...

What a lovely idea to spruce up the metro system. It's got to make one's commute a little brighter to see all this art daily.

I don't have much nice to say about Los Angeles light rail, so I'll just say they should really talk to the folks in Portland.

tapirgal said...

That was all very interesting. I loved the Kente cloth motif. Portland does a good job with urban sculpture. I only wish they'd connect the Max train to the train/bus station!

tapirgal said...

Lynette, thanks so much for the MAX news about finally going to Union Station. It will be much more appealing for those of us who sometimes take the bus to and from Astoria to town or the airport. More options :)

AVCr8teur said...

Those are unique tree solar lights. I like them. Glad to see no graffiti on any of the posts or boxes.

Sherry Stewart said...

I was always curious about this station, thanks!