FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 27, 2019
Portland, Ore – The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), Leach Botanical Garden and Portland’s Russo Lee Gallery are pleased to announce a dedication event for Northwest sculptor Michihiro Kosuge’s Contemplative Place installation at Leach Botanical Garden. The dedication, which will be held in the Upper Garden at Leach on Friday, September 6 at 10:30 a.m., offers a unique opportunity to meet the artist and experience the scale and setting of the this newly relocated basalt stone installation in a lush forest setting.
About Contemplative Place: In 1996 artist Michihiro Kosuge designed and installed a striking set of carved and shaped stones in the northwest corner of East Portland’s Ed Benedict Park. The installation was designed to provide a place where park visitors could sit and quietly contemplate the relationship between the massive basalt blocks and the points of the compass marked by the tallest stones. The landscaped park setting around the stones worked in concert with the artist’s thoughtful layout to foster a sense of quietude and spirituality. The installation was also meant to provide a spot for the 911 call operators—who worked next door in Portland’s Emergency Communications Center—to decompress whenever needed. Changes in traffic volume along Powell Boulevard, and the subsequent placement of a skateboard park directly adjacent to Contemplative Place, led to conditions that worked directly against Kosuge’s intent.
The major renovation of Leach Botanical Garden which is now underway presented a remarkable opportunity to relocate this important work of public art to a spot where it can once again serve its original purpose. The wooded grove Contemplative Place now inhabits allows the installation to once again work in concert with its setting and provides for the addition of a significant work of public art to this marvelously evolving garden. Those who attend the dedication will also have a chance to learn more about the renovation of the Upper Garden at Leach.
About the Artist: Known for his sculpture and stone installations throughout the NW and beyond, Michihiro Kosuge was born in Tokyo and studied sculpture at Tokyo Sumida Technical School of Architecture. After coming to the United States in 1967, he continued to focus on sculpture and received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1970. After moving to Portland in 1978 Kosuge began teaching at Portland State University. He remained at PSU until he retired from teaching in 2003 as Chair of the Department. Always prolific, Kosuge’s studio practice remains active as witnessed by his current exhibition at Russo Lee Gallery which runs through August 31.
Dedication Time and Place: Join the artist, staff from Leach Botanical Garden, RACC, and the Russo Lee Gallery for the dedication of Contemplative Place in its new location at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, September 6. Leach Botanical Garden is located at 6704 SE 122nd Avenue in Portland. The event will be held in the Upper Garden. Due to construction, parking is limited to the Creekside Parking lot with the dedication site accessed vis the Manor House entrance.
For more information about the event and the art, contact Keith Lachowicz email@example.com. For information about parking visit the Leach Botanical Garden website or contact Jo Shintani, firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find out more about the renovation of the Leach Upper Garden here.
The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and oversees a program to integrate arts and culture into the standard curriculum in public schools through The Right Brain Initiative. RACC values a diversity of artistic and cultural experiences and is working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity and the arts. For more information visit racc.org.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Hawthorne, Director of Community Engagement, email@example.com, 503.823.5258.