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Artist profile: Lillian Pitt

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Lillian Pitt will be joining us for First Friday on May 2, 2014. A Native American artist from the Big River (Columbia River) region of the Pacific Northwest, Pitt was born on the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon. She is a descendent of Wasco, Yakama, and Warm Springs people.

04_SS_1-whitePitt is one of the most highly regarded Native American artists in the Pacific Northwest. Her works have been exhibited and reviewed regionally, nationally and internationally, and she has been the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions. Her awards include the 2007 Earle A. Chiles Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the 1990 Governor’s Award of the Oregon Arts Commission, which declared that she had made “significant contributions to the growth and development of the cultural life of Oregon.”

Primarily a sculptor and mixed media artist, Lillian’s lifetime of works include artistic expressions in clay, bronze, wearable art, prints, and most recently, glass. The focus of her work draws on over 12,000 years of Native American history and tradition of the Columbia River region. Regardless of the medium she chooses to use, Lillian’s contemporary works are all aimed at giving voice to her people.

“Everything I do, regardless of the medium, is directly related to honoring my ancestors and giving voice to the people, the environment and the animals. It’s all about maintaining a link with tradition, and about honoring the many contributions my ancestors have made to this world.” While glass is her most recent medium, Lillian continues to create works in all of the various media she is known for, including clay, bronze, jewelry, prints, and mixed media.

Lillian’s works are found in personal collections, art galleries and museums. They are also found in numerous public spaces including parks, schools and cultural institutions throughout the region. Her most recent public works are featured at the Vancouver Land Bridge, one of the seven “confluence” projects along the Columbia River, designed by internationally renowned architect Maya Lin.

Just as her ancestors would have done, Lillian makes creative use of whatever materials are available and appropriate to the task at hand. Lillian’s most recent works are made from the mediums of cast glass and fused glass.

Lillian says, “I love using glass because of the sense of depth I can create in my sculptures, and because it helps me to create the kind of spiritual quality I’m often trying to achieve.”

Be sure to join us on First Friday and meet this unique artist and learn more about her work and technique.

Images: Shadow Spirit in the Grasses; Dreamer

Lillian Pitt is back in the Gallery

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We are pleased to have artist Lillian Pitt back in the Gallery. Lillian Pitt is a Native American artist from the Big River (Columbia River) region of the Pacific Northwest. Born on the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon, she is a descendent of Wasco, Yakama, and Warm Springs people.

04_SS_1-whiteShe is one of the most highly regarded Native American artists in the Pacific Northwest. Her works have been exhibited and reviewed regionally, nationally and internationally, and she has been the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions. Her awards include the 2007 Earle A. Chiles Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the 1990 Governor’s Award of the Oregon Arts Commission, which declared that she had made “significant contributions to the growth and development of the cultural life of Oregon.”

Primarily a sculptor and mixed media artist, Lillian’s lifetime of works include artistic expressions in clay, bronze, wearable art, prints, and most recently, glass. The focus of her work draws on over 12,000 years of Native American history and tradition of the Columbia River region. Regardless of the medium she chooses to use, Lillian’s contemporary works are all aimed at giving voice to her people.

“Everything I do, regardless of the medium, is directly related to honoring my ancestors and giving voice to the people, the environment and the animals. It’s all about maintaining a link with tradition, and about honoring the many contributions my ancestors have made to this world.” While glass is her most recent medium, Lillian continues to create works in all of the various media she is known for, including clay, bronze, jewelry, prints, and mixed media.

Lillian’s works are found in personal collections, art galleries and museums. They are also found in numerous public09_SS_6-CoolGreen spaces including parks, schools and cultural institutions throughout the region. Her most recent public works are featured at the Vancouver Land Bridge, one of the seven “confluence” projects along the Columbia River, designed by internationally renowned architect Maya Lin.

Just as her ancestors would have done, Lillian makes creative use of whatever materials are available and appropriate to the task at hand. Lillian’s most recent works are made from the mediums of cast glass and fused glass.

Lillian says, “I love using glass because of the sense of depth I can create in my sculptures, and because it helps me to create the kind of spiritual quality I’m often trying to achieve.”

Lillian will be present at our next First Friday on December 6, 2013. Take advantage of this special opportunity to meet this unique artist and learn about her work and technique.

Images: Shadow Spirit in the Grasses; Spirit Bird Standing Alone

Play in the Gorge, but dine in Troutdale

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Now that we are about to enter the summer season, we thought it would be nice to share some travel highlights for when you’re in the area. This week we would like to share some restaurant recommendations for when you when passing through Troutdale on your way the Multnomah Falls. We are fortunate to have many excellent choices right here on “main street” otherwise known as East Columbia River Highway. All of the restaurants listed are family friendly and many offer outside seating as well.

  • Ristorante Di Pompello: fantastic Italian food featuring a full variety of classic dishes (vegetarian offerings, too). Lunch and dinner options, including fine wines and beers. Così delizioso!
  • Troutdale General Store: breakfast, lattes, soups, sandwiches, desserts and an old fashioned ice cream; or just skip all that and pick up some yummy candy.
  • Celebrate Me Home: enjoy breakfast pastries, sandwiches, salads, soups, and coffee drinks, all in the comfort yourwe mean theirliving room.
  • Siam Sushi: awesome Asian food in the Thai and Japanese traditions. Over 2 dozen sushi rolls to try, along with noodle and curry dishesOMG!
  • Ye Olde Pub: just as you would imagine; pub fare including steaks, hamburgers and frosty beverages. Cheers!
  • Brewligans Bottle Shop: enjoy some of the best microbrews the Northwest has to offer. Pair you brew with one of their signature gourmet hot dogs and park it on the picnic bench.
  • Taste of Village: if you’re craving Chinese food, make this your stop. Choose from a full menu of all your favorites. Try one of the house specialties or something new, but don’t forget the fortune cookies.

So remember to make time for us on your way to the Gorge or on your return. Troutdale is full of interesting shops, galleries, and parks.

Photo by T. Park

Historic Troutdale, a little bit of history

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We love pretty much everything about Troutdale. It has all you could want; beautiful scenery, great restaurants and shops, and just enough of that old-time feel to entice you to sit and take it in. Considered the “Gateway to the Gorge”, Troutdale has a rich history, so we thought it would be interesting to share a little.

The early settlers came in 1850. and although David Buxton is noted as Troutdale’s founder, a Maine sea-captain, John Harlow actually gets the credit for planning the town and putting it on the map. Harlow raised trout on his farm, which he called “Troutdale”, hence the name of the city.  He was also responsible for convincing the railroad to build a depot at the site of his farm so he could ship his produce. Harlow died in 1883, but his widow took on the task of plotting the streets and the city itself came to be. John Harlow’s original house was torn down in the 1920’s and the only remaining structure was the home of his son, built in 1900 on the original site. That building is now the Harlow House Museum.

Aaron Fox, who was Troutdale’s first Mayor, was instrumental in incorporating the City in 1907. Because Troutdale had become a saloon town it was felt incorporation was necessary to maintain some control.

It was also in 1907 that a fire burned most of the buildings, including  the original rail depot. The depot was later replaced by a second and is now the current Rail Museum. It was moved from its original location to its present site in 1979.

In 1914, two years after women got to vote in Oregon, Clara Latourell Larsson become Mayor of Troutdale, becoming one of Oregon’s earliest female mayors. The Columbia River Highway was built and ran through Troutdale in 1916. Enterprising residents opened businesses and restaurants for travelers, but in 1925, a second fire mostly destroyed the district. This fire is believed to have resulted from an explosion of a still in the garage of John Larsson, the former mayor’s husband. The Tiller Hotel and Helming’s Saloon, both built after the first 1907 fire, are two of the pre-1925 buildings left today.

Many industries punctuated Troutdale over the years, including the American Dressed Meat Company, a lumber mill, hotel and distillery. In the 1920’s, Troutdale became famous as the “Celery Capital of the World” due to the prize-winning celery grown here. Other produce was equally as prolific, along with a gladioli bulb industry. For a time in the 1940s there was an aluminum plant, but the emissions resulted in the demise of the gladioli industry and was very detrimental to agriculture as well.

After the completion of Interstate 84 in the ‘50s traffic was diverted away from Troutdale and the city remained fairly quiet until it was rediscovered in the 60s thanks to the efforts of Mayor Glenn Otto, who later became a state senator.

If you would like to learn more about the history of Troutdale, be sure to visit one of the museums. Among the exhibits visitors will find photographs, antique farming tools and other remnants of the city’s heritage. For more information visit the Troutdale Historical Society. To learn more about Troutdale’s history go to www.ci.troutdale.or.us/history.

Today we still enjoy the benefits of what Troutdale’s founders put into motion. On the way to Multnomah Falls, via the Old Columbia River Highway, Troutdale hosts many annual events throughout the year, monthly First Fridays, and is a great stop for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or to shop antiques and beautiful regional art. If you’d like to experience the saloon tradition, we can offer a martini bar, brewhouse and wine tasting. Need a spa day, we have that, too. We are a quick 15 minute drive from downtown Portland, so plan on spending some time with us—you’ll be glad you did!