Salem, Oregon -- A new site-specific courtyard by Oregon artist Lee Imonen, as well as a portrait of namesake Edward C. Allworth and two additional works by Oregon artist April Waters, are now installed at the Edward C. Allworth Veterans' Home in Lebanon, Oregon. The suite of public artworks is located in the main entrance, front lobby and the Canteen (or café) of the building, located at 600 North 5th Street, and may be viewed during regularly scheduled building hours: 8 to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The works were commissioned through Oregon's Percent for Art Program.
Recognizing the need to establish a model of veteran care for the 21st century, the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs (ODVA) developed the Edward C. Allworth Veterans' Home, a facility where older veterans receive the skilled nursing attention they need in a supportive and comfortable community environment. With that in mind, CB Two Architects, in collaboration with NBBJ Architecture, designed a new type of veterans' home based on the "small-house" concept and the Department of Veterans Affairs Community Living Centers design guide.
The Allworth Veteran's Home Art Selection Committee sought to commission two distinct projects. The first, a site-specific work on the campus central courtyard that would inspire the community to remember the contributions of our veterans and inspire future generations while providing a site of respite and reflection for the Homes' more than 150 residents, their families and guests.
Imonen's work, "Reflection Plaza," is intended to help define a sense of place, complementing art that already exists within the home. By creating both individual and group seating opportunities in the "Reflection Plaza," Imonen created an environment that draws people in to sit quietly or to gather and visit with one another. Imonen explains, "My intent with 'Reflection' is to create a space that inspires while fostering a sense of shelter and belonging. The plaza environment should feel like an extension of the valley's natural surroundings, as if the landscape and the Home's architecture have become interconnected."
The "Reflection Plaza" is designed to create a place of respect for veterans of each of the five branches of military service. At the heart of the design is a basalt reflective pool from which water flows without end. This basin serves as the hub, the center-point of five radiating spokes. Each spoke spreads across the plaza, and together they fully define a circle of space. Separately, each section contains private seating spaces for individuals, families or small groups. Together, the five become one larger space, which can function as a gathering and meeting space for the Allworth and Lebanon communities.
Continuing ODVA's tradition of honoring facility namesakes, artist April Waters was commissioned to paint a portrait of Edward C. Allworth. Waters is known for her paintings of the creeks and rivers of Oregon. Her paintings are considered by many to be restorative and are currently in many of Oregon's hospitals, medical clinics and wellness centers.
Working from photographs and personal history from Allworth's family including portions of Allworth's original uniform, Waters' portrait commemorates Allworth and his company's attempted crossing of the Meuse River, for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor. "In this portrait, I sought to illustrate Major Allworth's bravery, steadfastness and optimism. It was in France, on the banks of the Meuse River, that he helped to bring an end to World War I," Waters explains.
Additional purchases include two original oil paintings including "Seal Cove, Salmon River Estuary" and "Wizard Island, Crater Lake," which was included in the 2012-2015 Art in Embassies exhibition, "Contemporary Artists of the Pacific Northwest." The work is viewable along the east and west walls of the OVHL Community Center.
Oregon's Percent for Art Program
Oregon was one of the first states in the nation to pass Percent for Art legislation, placing works of art in public spaces throughout the state. Since then, the Percent for Art Program has maintained a commitment to the placement of permanent art of the highest quality in public places. Committees of local citizens across Oregon make selections. The overall collection enhances the state's public spaces and contributes to our well-recognized quality of life.
Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs
The Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs (ODVA) serves and honors the state's veterans through leadership, advocacy and strong partnerships. ODVA is dedicated to its mission of over 70 years, to help veterans and their families thrive in Oregon. ODVA provides a wide variety of services to the Oregon veteran community, including the operation of its two Veterans' Homes, in Lebanon and The Dalles. Learn more about ODVA at: www.oregon.gov/odva
Oregon Arts Commission
The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. Nine commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine arts needs and establish policies for public support of the arts. The Arts Commission became part of Business Oregon (formerly Oregon Economic and Community Development Department) in 1993, in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon communities. In 2003, the Oregon legislature moved the operations of the Oregon Cultural Trust to the Arts Commission, streamlining operations and making use of the Commission's expertise in grantmaking, arts and cultural information and community cultural development. The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature and with federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust.
More information about the Oregon Arts Commission: www.oregonartscommission.org
-30-Attached Media Files: Artist April Waters speaks at a recent event to mark the art’s installation. , Waters’ painting of Edward C. Allworth , Lee Imonen's exterior plaza