I was just going sit down and write about the WOW bright orange Alexander Liberman sculpture just sitting by itself behind the Jamieson Fountain, but to understand why the Liberman is sitting there, you have to understand how it got there.

You have to understand why Maya Lin ISN’T there and that Tanner Creek Park thing is a placeholder workup. And you need to know Ed Cauduro is Portland’s great collector of sculpture, and helped get the short-lived Pearl Arts Foundation off the ground.

If you’re interested in Portland and interested in its art, know Arlene Schnitzer pushed open the doors past Mr. Otis and the Arlington Club titterers, first with the Fountain Gallery which colonized what Bill Naito much later labeled “Old Town.” (The Fountain Gallery folded in the 80’s into the Laura Russo gallery.) All sorts of extravagant art + culture waded into provincial puddletown via Arlene.

So give Arlene the floor – and tell her story. Take a few minutes and read her brief oral history of her civic and aesthetic work.

From the enormous Louis Bunce in the Portland Convention Center to the Performing Arts Center, for decades Arlene has been a light hand, gently urging folks to consider something nicer to look at. Or listen to. Or feel.

Start with Arlene. Then I can write about the rest.

Above is just a section of the impossible-to-photograph Louis Bunce at the Portland Convention Center.