Like trees planted to prevent erosion, the Riverscape Sculpture Series are now in place and anchor two public courtyards at the shifting edge between Pearl District development and the Guild’s Lake Industrial Sanctuary.
The three sculptures celebrate the work and the story of master penman, train crossing watchman, and Greek immigrant Tom Stefopoulos, who worked in the network of railroads that covered the heavy industrial NW section of Portland. The pieces adapt some of the imagery and stories around Tom’s unsanctioned public art – the Painted Columns of the Lovejoy Ramp. Once adorning a grid of concrete pillars beneath an automobile viaduct, Tom’s paintings turned sooty infrastructure into a mysterious, temple-like space. Although the ramp is demolished and the paintings have largely disintegrated, we hope the Riverscape Sculpture Series help to carry Tom’s story into the future.