Next summer, drivers on Highway 99W might notice something different on the entrances to Southwest Main Street in Tigard.

The city is commissioning a $60,000 public art project to spruce things up near the downtown core, said Sean Farrelly, Tigard's redevelopment project manager.

The goal is to build two large public art pieces on each end of Main Street along Pacific Highway.

The city has received several applications from artists across the West coast interested in the project, Farrelly said.

There's no limit to what the installation might look like, Farrelly said, but the art should draw people into the downtown.

"It's all pretty open right now, the general intent is some piece that will be large enough to catch the eye of people driving by, also enjoyed by people pedestrians and they should be able to interact with it."

Farrelly said that the art pieces should put Main Street back on people's radar.

The downtown core has struggled to gain customers for years, and the city and other local groups are working to redevelop the area.

"People should see the art and think that downtown’s an interesting place to be, and they'll want to check it out and check out the art."

And with 45,000 cars passing by on Pacific Highway every day, Farrelly said, the art will become a significant visual landmark

In a notice to artists, the city said that the art project should show downtown Tigard as a “vibrant and active urban village at the heard of the community that is pedestrian-oriented, accessible by many modes of transportation, recognizes and uses natural resources as an asset and freatures a combination of uses that enable people to live, work, play and shop in an enfironment that is uniquely Tigard.”

That’s quite a lot for one piece of art to say, Farrelly admitted

"It will be interesting to see what the proposals are," he said.

The art pieces will likely be installed next summer.

Farrelly said that there's a chance that future art projects could be installed downtown along Main Street or near Fanno Creek.

The project is paid for with funds from the downtown Urban Renewal District, Farrelly said.

A citizen committee will look at the proposals next week and come up with a shortlist of choices before eventually making a recommendation to the City Council.

Interested? It's not too late to apply.

Artist applications are due by Monday, Oct. 15.

For more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The art project is open to artists from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Mondana, Nevada and California.

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