Medium: Stainless Steel, LED lighting
Dimensions: 11’ x 10’ x 2'
Location: Shute Park Branch Library, 775 SE 10th Ave, Hillsboro, OR 97123
Shute Seeds is the work of Arizona artist Blessing Hancock. “My source of inspiration is the seed as a representation of planting, growth, and community life in Hillsboro. The sculpture is a circular array of seeds that form a projection mosaic, casting colorful lighting onto the facade of the library building.”
Because of Shute Library’s location in the heart of the Hispanic community, Hancock received background information on the pioneering Mexican families who settled in Hillsboro, many of whom live nearby. Via Skype, Hancock met with a Latino resource group, representing a range of ages and backgrounds, to hear their stories and their perspectives on the community they call home.
The meetings inspired Hancock’s artwork. Hillsboro’s agricultural traditions and the theme of people putting down roots led to the concept of Shute Seeds, where individual "seeds" join together to form a unified whole. Once she had developed her concept, Hancock invited the public to design seeds.
Over a period of months, visitors to the library, local students, and the general public contributed to the artwork. She gathered more input at a summer fiesta at Shute Library and at the 2015 Celebrate Hillsboro festival. Public art selection committee member, José Barraza, Assistant Principal at South Meadows middle school encouraged his art teacher, Brian Cook, to involve student artists. Joselene Roman and Erich Flint were two of the students selected to create designs that became part of the sculpture.
“Engaging the local community in the creative process is an important aspect of my artwork. Through this process, the values and ideals of Hillsboro are represented and visitors will feel more connected to the sculpture.”
Blessing Hancock owns Skyrim Studio Inc. which focuses on site specific sculpture. She utilizes her BFA in Sculpture and MLA in Landscape Architecture to create innovative work for public spaces. By using standard materials in unexpected ways, she creates one-of-a-kind experiences. Each piece is an original, site-specific work that was “born of place” and speaks of the surrounding people and culture.
Community engagement is an essential component of her work. A skilled teacher, she loves fostering the talent in others.
Hancock has completed monumental sculpture projects throughout the world and has extensive experience working with city agencies, project teams and community groups.
Artist Website: blessinghancock.com
Photos by Rick Paulson.