New Public Art Finds Common Threads in Beaverton’s History and Future

The first of four public artworks have been installed near the site of the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, currently under construction. The work adorns the Beaverton Central District parking garage and can be seen at the intersection of Southwest Rose Biggi and Southwest Crescent Avenues. The seven-story tall artwork was created with perforated painted aluminum panels and artwork was designed by local artist team Addie Boswell, Van Cooley, Sara Siestreem, and Antwoine Thomas. The artwork shows two child artists, representing the creative future, growing out of Beaverton’s history. Repeated patterns reference the bounty of nature, Indigenous art forms and modern industry. 

The young artists are shown involved in their work representing the creative future of the area. They grow out of the history of the bottom half, which is grounded by native plant species, including the Oregon White Oak, acorns, horseradish and more. A beaver dam also grounds the piece, as the beaver’s work on the swampland created the fertile conditions that that encourage the diversity of agriculture we see today. 

There are three basketweave patterns included (copyright Sara Siestreem — Hanis Coos). The patterns draw from the Indigenous history of the area. The basic plaiting is made of dried cattails, the crab basket pattern in the girl’s dress represents water, earth and sky in its twining, and the diamond shapes in the boy’s shirt are traditional symbols of the salmonberry. This is the first berry to appear in spring, and is thought to give the salmon directional help for spawning. 

“Common Threads” was made possible through the city’s 1% for Art Program. Funding for this garage comes from the Beaverton Urban Redevelopment Agency (BURA).