Installation of Dan Corson’s “Nepenthes” now underway

PA Corson NW 5th-NW Davis SWArtist Dan Corson and RACC are currently installing Nepenthes, a series of four illuminated sculptures along NW Davis Street. These glowing sculptural elements are inspired by the carnivorous plants called Nepenthes, which are named after the magical Greek potion that eliminates sorrow and suffering. By referencing the patterns of native Oregon native and other carnivorous plants and inserting a quirky expression of nature into an urban environment, these sculptures celebrate Old Town Chinatown neighborhood’s unique and diverse community.

This project represents the fulfillment of an opportunity that developed during the Portland Mall Project to increase pedestrian connectivity between Old Town/China Town Festival Streets and the Pearl District. In conjunction with Old Town/Chinatown stakeholders, the Mall design team created a pathway along NW Davis Street, via a sculptural lighting design, which links the music and cultural activities of Old Town/Chinatown to the activities in the Pearl District, also along Davis Street, such as galleries, the Museum of Contemporary Craft and Portland Center Stage, and vice versa.

The Portland Mall design team, lead by ZGF, hired artist Dan Corson to create a series of sculptural lighting elements. TriMet ultimately asked the Regional Arts & Culture Council to take over the project on behalf of the City of Portland public art collection. RACC then put together a panel that included some of the original stakeholders as well as other artists and neighbors to work with Corson on the refinement of his sculptures. RACC worked with Portland Transportation on the exact placement of the sculptures.

To arrange a site visit and/or interview with the artists, contact Kristin Calhoun at 503-823-5111 or