As I walk around Portland, I see more beautiful mosaics. Maybe because the materials can be recycled things like broken dishes and tiles, or even bits of machinery, mosaics are a popular medium for public art. Also, these materials are strong enough to last outside, winter and summer, even through Portland’s wet and dry cycles.
Some of them are group projects, like those outside the Buckman School or inside the Sunnyside School. These have an informal feeling and are very friendly. Looking at them, you can almost hear the kids and adults chatting and joking as they put the tiles in and get their hands goopy with grout.
Other mosaics are extremely complex and delicate, showing real artistry in their design and execution. These beautiful works of art, out for everyone to enjoy, need to be respected and protected.
I give major credit to many of the local businesses and organizations for sponsoring the artists of these wonderful works. They make Portland not just weird, as the bumper sticker says, but more handmade, more personal, and more beautiful.