Woven Chakras


September 12, 2012—Alberta Main Street Installs Public Art – Alberta Alignment: Woven Chakras

Alberta Main Street announces the addition of seven new permanent public art sites, created by local design team Rhiza A + D. The installations attach to existing bus railings at NE 13th, 18th, 21st, 24th, 27th, and 30th Avenues. Fostering the development of Alberta Street as a world-class arts district was identified as a primary goal at Alberta Main Street’s community visioning session; the additional public art within the district strengthens the district’s reputation as a vibrant creative community.

The Alberta Main Street Design Committee invited over 25 local artists to submit design proposals for the project asking them to address nine overall goals. Larry Holmes, Design Committee Chair shared, “The project goals were not insignificant. We asked artists to propose installations that created a street identity inspired by the texture, character and diversity of the community, provided continuity from end to end, but with diversity of form and concept and satisfied appetites for exciting and provocative sensory experiences. We really asked the impossible so couldn’t be happier that we got everything we asked for and more!”

The Design Committee overwhelmingly selected local design team Rhiza A + D’s proposal:

CONCEPT: The terms arterial, spine, and core are typical urban planning terms that relate city to the human body. We conceive of Alberta Street as a living entity and each stop as a locus of a unique energy – like a chakra (originating in Hindu texts, chakras are said to be centers for the reception and transmission of energies permeating from a point on the physical body.)

INSPIRATIONS / PARTS: Woven patterns- particularly Kente cloth – serve as a metaphor for the fabric of a community. The repetition of parts in our installation will provide rhythmic structure to the street while distinguishing colors will help to identify stops and intersections. Glyphs- or iconic carvings- serve as lyrical, sculptural, or even whimsical markers. These pieces are weft to the warp of the Woven patterns.

SITE: Horizontal, translucent, graphic and fabric-inspired woven patterns intermix with iconic glyphs that serve as sculptural placemakers. The installation progresses chromatically and thematically from west to east (or east to west) celebrating distinct intersections, or chakras. While each stop is a variation of a different color of the spectrum, the rhythm, materiality and progression of the installations along the length of the street create a singular, interconnected experience.

“This project was a true collaborative effort. Installing public art for more than 30 years, I’ve encountered many reactions. The woven chakra installation on Alberta Street is THE MOST positive public art installation experience I have ever been involved in. Hats off to the Alberta Street neighborhood,” Ean Eldred, Rhiza A + D.

Alberta Main Street, a Portland Main Street program, advances efforts to develop Alberta Street as a vibrant, creative, and sustainable commercial district serving residents and visitors to the community. The funding for the installation comes from the Alberta Main Street District Improvement Grant provided by the Portland Main Street Program. More information about Alberta Main Street can be found at albertamainst.org.

rhiza A+D architecture and design is located in Portland, Ore. Partners Ean Eldred, Richard Garfield, John Kashiwabara and Peter Nylen have realized civic, cultural, commercial and residential projects through their interdisciplinary practice of architecture, interiors, furnishings, planning, public art, art installations and performance-based works. For more information please visit rhizaaplusd.com