Moda Tower Gets New Artwork Ahead Of Major Renovation
Urban Renaissance Group recently unveiled a new public art installation by local artist-designer Brad Johnson at the Moda Tower office building in Downtown Portland, which the company manages. "Ponderosa Pelts" is a mixed-media installation celebrating the Columbia River Gorge region’s prolific Ponderosa pine, while working to raise awareness of its vulnerability to invasive bark beetles.
The display is part of a new public art installation endorsed by the Regional Arts and Culture Council’s Public Art Committee in 2016, and is being done in conjunction with a major renovation of Moda Tower’s main lobby that is planned to begin later this year.
With images meant to accentuate the bark’s complexion, select trees were captured by Johnson with high-resolution images. Like the work of a taxidermist embellishing the hide of a specimen, the photographic "pelts" were then cut apart, reassembled, laminated and variously accentuated.
Johnson began his work as a painter and digital artist in the late 1980s. His public art commissions often bring the natural world to an urban environment through large-scale scenes like recent installations at the Yard building, and in the lobby of the Yeon Building, another Urban Renaissance-managed Portland property.