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The Grand Staircase

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by John Groth

Image of glasswork in Civic Center Lobby Stairs Creation: 2005
Medium: Glass
Discipline: Integrated Element
Dimensions: 56' x 3'
Location: Hillsboro Civic Center
150 East Main St, Hillsboro OR
Exhibition: Permanent


Bands of color lead the eye upward in the glass stairway of the Civic Center. The design evokes the rolling hills of the Washington County landscape created from precise tessellated shapes, a reference to the silicon forest industries. The artist wanted to show Hillsboro at the conjunction of natural beauty and the innovative science. As is often the case in public art, the artist’s vision also included practical problem solving. John Groth created custom colored sheets of glass, fusing many colors together, and then used a water jet to cut very precise shapes that were pieced together like a puzzle and laminated to tempered safety glass.

Artist Bio: Image of full stairway glasswork in Civic Center Lobby
John Groth works on public and commercial glass and multimedia art projects, as a coordinator, fabricator and designer. He has solved the problem of fusing glass with clay and incorporated this technique into his public installations. Through his business, WaterJet Designs, John assists other artists with fabrication and technical needs for their private and public art projects. He also hosts workshops with glass artists from out of state and has provided his expertise with glass fabrication for such internationally known glass artists as Narcissus Quagliata, Preston Singletary, Jun Kaneko and the Bullseye Glass Company.

Artist Websites:;