Arts Council of Lake Oswego announces 2021 People's Choice winner
For Portland artist Terresa White, owls represent clarity of vision and spiritual insight.
"I hope humans begin to perceive more clearly how interconnected we are with each other and with all beings," White said. "If we can see the nature of our connections, I think we will begin to understand how dependent we are upon one another and so make decisions and even small actions for the common good rather than individual benefit."
White was selected as the Arts Council of Lake Oswego's 2021 People's Choice winner. Her bronze and steel sculpture, "Dependent Arising: Owl & Lemming," is on display in downtown Lake Oswego at A Avenue and 2nd Street as part of ACLO's 2020-22 rotating outdoor Gallery Without Walls exhibit. White's piece was selected to join the city's permanent collection in summer 2022.
"I'm super excited because I have family in Lake Oswego and I lived in Lake Oswego for a minute," White said. "I really love it there."
From April 1 through May 31, more than 400 people voted — ballots were limited to those working or residing in Lake Oswego — on their favorite art installation. And more than 50% of votes cast were in favor of White's sculpture.
This year there were five sculptures nominated by a committee of city leaders, artists, board members and residents: White's "Dependent Arising: Owl & Lemming;" "Unrestrained Force" by artist Breezy Anderson; "Delta Hill Riders" created by artist Rory Doyle; "Words" by artist Sharon Warman Agnor; and "Vertebra: Ocean Verde" crafted by artist Dave Haslett. The pieces ranged from photography to bronze, steel and glass work.
"Artist Terresa White is Yup'ik Eskimo and French Canadian and is inspired by Yup'ik stories of transformation. Her artist process continues to be a healing medicine for herself and her family," read a recent ACLO press release. "The faces of her masks and the gestures of her figures emerge from memories — those passed to Terresa by ancestors and her own. The work is contemporary, exploring traditional themes and their interplay, confluence, and divergence, with urban life in the Pacific Northwest."
White said her piece is about interconnection and how human survival is related to the survival of other "beings on the planet." She said the owl portion of the sculpture signifies the predator but the reality is that without the lemming, the owl wouldn't survive. She scaled the lemming larger to show its importance.
"For me, that is meaningful for humans as well," White said. "Everyone is equal and we need to consider where we are in a social-economic hierarchy and look at all sorts of divisions — what I consider false divisions and classifications of people."
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.