Northwest sculptor Devin Laurence Field has been commissioned by the city of Hillsboro to create a piece of public art at the new Hillsboro Ballpark, which is under construction at the Gordon Faber Recreation Complex. Twenty artists from Oregon and Washington with a demonstrated ability in creating large scale artworks were invited to apply. A selection committee comprised of representatives of the design team, Parks and Recreation Department, Hillsboro Arts & Culture Council and an artist reviewed the applications and selected Field to create a proposal for the site.
His sculpture, Barometer, will be 15 feet tall, constructed of stainless steel and will have a commanding presence at the entry plaza of the recreation complex. As described by the artist, the piece takes the overall triangular form of the baseball diamond held aloft by columns and illuminated with color changing, sound activated LED lights. The laser-cut skin of the diamond form is adorned with intricate patterns of baseball bats and balls [and other sports equipment]. Around the sculpture are various instruments people can play, a giant horn, a rattle roller, drum sets and chimes that together form a symphony of sounds. When no one is at the park there is no colored light, when there is noise it lights up the louder the noise, the brighter the light. The art is a veritable Barometer of excitement for the ballpark.
'Barometer is a much more substantial piece than the city ever thought possible with our $50,000 budget (which is included in the cost of the ballpark), but with the generosity of others the city is receiving a magnificent piece of public art for all to enjoy, said Wayne Gross, director of Hillsboro Parks & Recreation.
Field told the selection committee that he is waving his artist fee and putting the money into the materials.
I live off of Cornelius Pass, so this artwork will be in my neighborhood. This is a place I would come with my family, and I want the artwork to be something I feel proud of, not just a job I did to make money, and I am doing the most I can to make it special.
Laura and Mike McMurray, owners of the Hillsboro Hops, attended the selection committee meeting. Hours later they contacted Wayne Gross with a very generous gift of $10,000 to cover the cost of the sound activated LED lights, which are an enhancement to the design. We were so impressed by Devins donation of his artist fee and also with such a spectacular design that we wanted every component he envisioned to be included, said Laura McMurray. The gift was made on behalf of the Hillsboro Hops.
The commission of a site specific artwork at the GFRC is an especially exciting moment for the Hillsboro Arts & Culture Council. The council listed public art as one of its first initiatives in 2007 and, since that time, has consistently supported the city's efforts to build a public art program. Barometer is a very significant milestone for the program, said Cristina Caravaca, Hillsboro's Cultural Arts Program manager.