RITA A. LEONARD - Heres some of the underpass artwork by Horatio Law on Powell Boulevard in Brooklyn, collectively called Velosaurus. Its created from recycled parts of bicycles. At first glance, you might think TriMet had unearthed a fossil when building the flyover ramp for the MAX trains to cross S.E. Powell Boulevard. But a second and closer glance would tell you that, no, it’s public art! Bones never had gears like that.

The Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project features abundant public artwork along its path, including two unique dinosaur skeleton murals placed along the Powell Boulevard underpass beneath the Union Pacific and MAX light rail crossing at S.E. 17th. Just prior to the September 12th Orange Line opening, protective coverings were removed from the murals, exposing the two sets of four panels, each installed along the bikeway/walkway walls. The artwork conveys a sense of “lurking danger” in the dark passageway, as well as both Portland’s bicycling and recycling cultures, since the “skeletons” are made of recycled bike and skateboard parts, embedded in concrete.

Mural artist Horatio Law created the artwork, collectively called “Velosaurus”, with a vision of transportation images in mind. He realized that white painted bike parts could be arranged to resemble dinosaur bones, and collected a supply from several local bike shops. The underpass site suggested geological diggings to him, and the backgrounds are rendered in brown earth tones.

White bike fenders make admirable dinosaur ribs, separated by bike pedal vertebrae. The north panels represent two creatures meeting or fighting each other, while the south panels present a more serpentine image, bounded at each end by dinosaur skulls resembling a Triceratops and Tyranosaurus Rex.

The images put one in mind of archaeological exploration while celebrating Portland's growing cultures of biking and skateboarding.

Pedestrians and passing drivers stalled in Powell Boulevard traffic can admire the creativity expressed in these unique “public art” murals, reliving images of the fantastic ancient era when dinosaurs ruled the earth.

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