Medium: Carved Basalt
Location: Hillsboro Civic Center Plaza
150 East Main St, Hillsboro OR
Though public access to the sacred sites of the Columbia Gorge is limited, Native American artist Lillian Pitt wanted everyone to have the opportunity to experience these ancient symbols and their power to heal and teach. She was able to do so when she and her team were commissioned to recreate the Columbia riverbed and surrounding cliffs for the Civic Center Plaza. Reproductions of petroglyphs are carved into the 31 basalt stone columns that define the landscape areas of the plaza.
Lillian Pitt is a Native American artist from the Big River (Columbia River) region of the Pacific Northwest. Born on the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon, she is a descendent of Wasco, Yakama and Warm Springs people. She is one of the most highly regarded Native American artists in the Pacific Northwest. Her works have been exhibited and reviewed regionally, nationally and internationally, and she has been the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions. Her awards include the 2007 Earle A. Chiles Award for Lifetime Achievement and the 1990 Governor’s Award of the Oregon Arts Commission, which declared that she had made “significant contributions to the growth and development of the cultural life of Oregon.”
Primarily a sculptor and mixed media artist, she works in clay, bronze, wearable art, prints, and most recently, glass. The focus of her work draws on over 12,000 years of Native American history and tradition of the Columbia River region.
“Everything I do, regardless of the medium, is directly related to honoring my ancestors and giving voice to the people, the environment and the animals. It’s all about maintaining a link with tradition, and about honoring the many contributions my ancestors have made to this world.”
Her work is featured at the Vancouver Land Bridge, one of the seven “confluence” projects along the Columbia River, designed by internationally renowned architect Maya Lin.
Artist Website: lillianpitt.com
Check out more photos of Hillsboro's Public Art Collection in our Flickr Gallery.