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Palisades Neighborhood Association's gift of art draws rave reviews at Lakeridge High School

Photo Credit: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Meyer Sign Co. workers put in place the art installation Elements at Lakeridge High School on Jan. 8 , the day before the unveiling ceremony.Lakeridge High School senior Will Larson lingered by a new, vibrantly colored art installation on campus, still taking it in after an unveiling ceremony on a cool morning last Friday.

Larson says Palisades Neighborhood Association’s gift to the school serves as an inspiration to students and brings the community together.

“I’m definitely grateful to the organization for helping beautify this part of our school,” Larson says. “It adds something of lasting value.”Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO: MIKE HELLE - A crowd gathered last Friday, awaiting the unveiling of the new 'Elements' art installation.

The three vertical panels, each measuring 3 feet by 10 feet, are mounted on steel pylons and now serve as tall sentinels outside the school’s art wing. One panel of “Elements” signifies leaves and grass, another represents the sun and flowers and the third depicts currents of water.

The neighborhood association — with a grant from the city for the $9,000 project — chose to place the artwork at Lakeridge because it is an important part of the community and lies in the heart of the neighborhood on Lake Oswego’s southern side, association chairman Rick Eilers says.

Lakeridge students seem to be warming to it. Junior Sam Willis says the Palisades panels could enrich curriculum for art classes.

“It’s really cool,” she says. “It adds a lot of liveliness to this part of campus.”Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO: MIKE HELLE - Pulling off the rainbow parachutes covering the new art installation were (from left) the school districts Executive Director of Secondary Education Joe Morelock, Principal Jenn Schiele and  Palisades Neighborhood Association Chairman Rick Eilers.

Ceramics teacher Mike Helle says the investment of the surrounding community in the school already is impacting students like Willis and Larson. “It was well-received by our students,” he says, “and shows them how much they are cared for.”Photo Credit: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - The three 10-by-3-foot panels that comprise 'Elements' represent three elements: one panel signifying leaves and grass, one the sun and flowers, and one currents of water.

A gathering mostly of students burst into applause after Eilers, Principal Jenn Schiele and Joe Morelock, the school district’s executive director of secondary education, removed rainbow-colored parachutes covering the three portions of “Elements.”

“I was pleased; I felt like they liked them,” says “Elements” designer Tammy Starner, a Palisades resident. “They clapped right away.”

Palisades Art Committee member Gail Parrick says the association received a referral for Starner, who is knowledgeable about creating durable, outdoor vinyl artworks such as Lakeridge’s new installation. Meyer Sign Co. of Tigard put it all in place and aided Starner with graphic design.

“We feel that the school, they’re concentrating on teachers and classes, and there isn’t a budget (to buy) art per se,” Parrick says, “so we felt that this would just be a win-win for the neighborhood and for the school.”

Palisades Vice Chairman Jay Betts says the colorful art installation came during a season when everyone could use a little cheer.Photo Credit: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - The $9,000 art installation at Lakeridge is courtesy of Palisades Neighborhood Association, which received a grant from the City of Lake Oswego.

“Here we are, we’re into the winter solstice,” Betts says. “It looks like typical Oregon weather: gray, cool days. We especially, especially looked at artwork to figure out the most creative color we could get. Instead of just all blues or all red, you see each one has three or four blended tones. A green goes to a light green and maybe a yellow.”

The project is part of the city’s Neighborhood Enhancement Program, which awards grants to improve neighborhoods, and Lakeridge is a big part of the community, Eilers says.

We “are very grateful to the Palisades Neighborhood Association and Rick Eilers for considering us as a recipient of this amazing artwork,” Schiele says. She got a sneak peek of the finished product the day before the ceremony, when the artwork was being installed.

“She was just overwhelmed with it, which was really what we wanted,” Eilers says. “It’s a good, positive project.”

Photo Credit: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - The new art installation appropriately stands right outside of Lakeridge's art wing.

By Jillian Daley
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