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    \ Gather, 2021

    GATHER, 2021
    Painted aluminum. (include photo rendering and detail of one element)
    Artist: William Schlough
    Located on the north side of the garage wall at Rose Biggie and Crescent Street.

    The Fender’s Blue butterfly is an endangered species native to the Willamette Valley. As pollinators, they symbolize the spreading and sharing of art; as threatened wildlife, they signal the urgency for preserving cultures through creativity.

    Gather depicts a kaleidoscope of giant Fender’s Blue butterflies migrating from the brush of Beaverton Creek to the Creekside Garage, entering the structure through a large, open sliding door. The butterflies, realistically rendered, are placed at different distances on the garage wall, creating varying shadows and depth of space. One butterfly on either side floats out past the edge of the garage, providing the piece with a feeling of lightness and flight.

    The trompe l’oeil-painted doorway is surrounded by yellow pollen dust. The pollen not only speaks to the butterflies’ role as carriers of culture, but also creates a magical aura around the doorway, inviting viewers to imagine what lies inside the garage—and beyond.

    There’s a light above the doorway, guiding the butterflies to their destination. At night, the light illuminates the doorway and the nearby butterflies. Butterflies not in the doorway’s direct vicinity remain only dimly lit, by moon and city light, asking viewers to imagine that, still, more butterflies are on their way.

    Gather uses the scale and drama of the large concrete wall as a catalyst for the work. The subtle inconsistencies and lines in the concrete provide a man-made, heavy juxtaposition with the organic lightness of the butterflies.

    Whether intentional or not, Gather will speak to the unique and trying time in which it was created. The piece is a reminder that, sooner or later, we will all be able to “gather” again.

    This artwork was made possible through a commission by the City of Beaverton in partnership with the Beaverton Urban Renewal Agency, and funded by the City’s 1% for Art program.