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The Arts Council of Lake Oswego and artists put up the sculptures this week around downtown.

PMG PHOTO: COREY BUCHANAN - Artist Joel Heidel stands with his metal sculpture on A Street, which represents migration.

Observant pedestrians strolling through Lake Oswego streets this week may spot a series of new sculptures to admire and ponder.

The Arts Council of Lake Oswego is installing 12 new artistic pieces in the downtown area as part of the Gallery Without Walls program. The council is conducting this effort in anticipation of its annual celebration 3-5:30 p.m. Sept. 18 at City Hall.

Nicole Nathan, the executive director of the arts council, said the organization conducted a call to artists last fall and then a committee selected the pieces that are going up throughout town. The sculptures, which sit along A Avenue and First, Second and Third streets, will be in place for two years. Nathan noted that there are around 50 city-owned sculptures in the community.

"I think they add huge points in terms of bringing livability, creativity and bringing artistic expression to our city," Nathan said.

The executive director added that this year's artists come from across the United States and Canada. She highlighted Canadian artist Xin Meng, who made a sculpture called "The Breeze" which sits at the corner of Third Street and Evergreen Road and features a human figure with their arms wrapped around their knees. Nathan said that, to some extent, artistic meaning derives from the beholder.

"I think that's the beauty of the pieces. Some are very representational; some you can figure out right off (the bat). Some of them you have to spend a little time with and see what speaks to you," she said.

PMG PHOTO: COREY BUCHANAN - Artist Joel Heidel's piece is one of 12 new sculptures around downtown Lake Oswego. Artist Joel Heidel affixed his metallic sculpture, which includes pieces from an I-Beam used for a construction job and has contours that represent human migration by foot, next to Simply Posh on A Avenue Wednesday, Aug. 17.

"It's how we got to where we got. This area here represents the idea of looking for a place to be and it also represents four directions," he said.

The longtime artist appreciated the fact that his work will be publicly viewable.

"I like when things are in public places. You don't have to go to a special place. It's in your environment and it's free for everyone," he said.

PMG PHOTO: COREY BUCHANAN - Canadian artist Xin Meng's sculpture "The Breeze" sits at the corner of Third Street and Evergreen Road.

The Gallery Without Walls celebration will feature art created on the spot and for purchase, as well as the chance to meet the sculptors, the dedication of the annual People's Choice Award and the chance to see the ARTspace Gallery exhibition, "12x12x12: A Celebration of Community."

For more information on Gallery Without Walls, visit artscouncillo.org/gallery-without-walls/tour.


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