On Tuesday, November 1, 2011, a ragtag crew of sculptors, welders and students installed a public art project in downtown Oregon City. Created by Oregon sculptor, Lee Kelly, and called moontrap (lowercase m is intentional), this sculpture was commissioned by the Rotary Club of Oregon City and gifted to the citizens of Oregon City, past present and future.
Lee, father of this blog’s author, has lived in Oregon City since 1963. And despite his lengthy residency, moontrap is his first piece of public art in his home town. Go anywhere else in the state and you’ll see quite a bit of Lee’s work.
Moontrap is located on Railroad Avenue and Eighth Street, anchored to the large concrete wall that separates the railroad tracks from the city.
The idea for moontrap was sketched on a paper napkin one evening at Winestock, our local wine stop, almost a year ago. The idea was to make a connection between the natural world of the basalt bluffs and Singer Creek above, and the human built world of industry and commerce. The title of the sculpture comes from Moontrap by Don Berry about the rowdy, raucus early days of Oregon City, and the compromises that had to be made in order to live with civilization.
At the dedication a few days later, Railroad Avenue was filled with citizens of Oregon City, members of the Rotary Club, Winestock folks, and friends from distant Portland, all celebrating a new work of public art in Oregon’s first city. Art and the rain—two good reasons to take shelter and create fellowship in this funny old town.
Here are some photos taken by The Theory on November 1, 2011: