Art at Hillsboro baseball park to respond to Hops fans with lights and music
HILLSBORO, Feb 26, 2013 (The Oregonian - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Barometer readings will be in style this summer at Hillsboro's new 4,500-seat baseball ball park.
But the pressure measured won't be in the atmosphere, rather in the noise generated by the Hillsboro Hops faithful.
The $60,000 art piece proposed by Devin Laurence Field is called "Barometer," and the stainless steel colossus is designed to be interactive in more ways than one.
When it's completed and installed by early June, city officials hope it will serve as an inviting and interactive centerpiece for the $15.2 million ball park. Equipped with LED lights that will respond to noise (home runs cheers anyone ), Barometer is designed to engage fans on the concourse between the field and adjacent Hillsboro Stadium.
The Hillsboro Parks & Recreation Commission approved the final designs for Field's project at its meeting Tuesday morning.
"Baseball is all about the total experience," Hops General Manager K.L. Wombacher said. "From the moment they come into the parking lot to the moment they get home."
The franchise wanted some sort of artwork in the central plaza to create a "sense of arrival," Wombacher said. The franchise's former home, in Yakima, didn't have a signature art piece, according to Wombacher.
Valerie Otani, Public Arts Program Supervisor, described the 15-foot three-column design as "substantial." Field is forgoing an artist fee on the project, she said, and is using that money to invest in the project's materials as a way of giving back to the community.
The proposal is sizable: three stainless steel painted columns, bridged together by a laser-cut baseball diamond-inspired shape adorned with LED lights. The diamond will have baseball bats, balls and other sports equipment cut into its exterior.
Designs include a variety of steel musical instruments -- a horn, rattle, drum sets, and a handle that will activate chimes inside one of the three columns.
The instruments will be permanent fixtures at the site. The colorful LED lights will line the edges of the diamond shape and light up only when there is noise.
Wombacher said the interactive features, in particular, are exciting.
"Kids can be involved with it, they can interact with it," he said. "They can take their picture."
Otani said the stainless steel is high-quality, long-lasting and easy to maintain.
The $15.2 million total price tag included $50,000 for public art, but the commission approved spending an additional $10,000 on Field's piece. That will come out of the Cultural Arts Budget.
Parks Director Wayne Gross said the fact that all the money is going to the materials allows for a more sizable project. "This is frankly a lot more than we thought we'd get for our money," Gross said.
Field will be responsible for installing the piece. The Hops first home game is scheduled for June 17.
Other items on the Parks & Recreation Commission's agenda:
- A fourth city community garden site was approved. A half-acre parcel on the former David Hill Elementary School property will be converted to a community garden. The southeast corner of the Miller Education Center West property on the corner of Southeast Fifth Avenue and Walnut Street will eventually be home to 45 garden plots. The $30,000 project was approved and accounted for in the Parks Capital Improvement Plan budget in Nov. 2011.
- Commissioners also signed off on slight price increases for Shute Aquatic Center fees and rental fees for the Hillsboro Stadium.
- The newest park in the city also has a name: Magnolia Meadows park. The property is close to existing Magnolia Park. Currently known as "Parks at Tanasbourne," the city hopes to start work on the project, previously approved in Nov. 2011. The Parks at Tanasbourne developer went bankrupt, according to a staff report, and the park wasn't completely developed. Designs include natural play areas to accompany the nearby traditional play areas of Magnolia park. The area is southeast of Northwest 190th Ave and Park Ridge Way.
(this post was updated with reaction from K.L. Wombacher)
-- Andrew Theen
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