Some think of OHSU as a sanctuary, a hospital, a school, a research center. I think of it as a public gallery where the art never showed up. How much has been spent on building OHSU? Billions? How much of public building funds is dedicated to the arts in Portland? Just one or so percent.

But unless it’s tucked away in private offices, the minimal art which hangs on the thousands of walls of OHSU doesn’t come close to one percent of the cost of those buildings. Clearly there’s been some exemption or side-deal which has sidetracked the art.

Let’s spend a few days and show off the treasures which do grace the walls and halls. All artworks shown are in public areas, outdoors or in non-clinical areas. I spent many hours wandering all the buildings and was never stopped or queried – but I never go anywhere I am not certain is available to everyone. If you go to look at OHSU as part of Portland’s great gallery, please keep to this same standard so we can all continue to enjoy the same relaxed atmosphere.


Lin Xia Jiang is a Prof. of painting at Buffalo State. His exquisite, Untitled – Chinese Vase #2 is hung in a dark and stuffy cafe in the entrance of the West Wing of the Hospital.


In a overflow cafeteria in the basement of Baird Hall, is Shirley Gittelsohn’s Pattern #15, which you’d cross-off as a naive student painting, too big – 10′ x 6′ and poorly executed – with the exception of the color, which is quite bright and cheery, especially bang yellow daffodils set in a blue Chinese pot. Perhaps if just that section were cut out and framed…


An abstract by C Cole, a NY gallery artist, hangs without a tag in the East Entrance of the main hospital. Probably the art at OHSU which is not tagged are gifts from well-wishing donors. Not my style. My guess is this donation is the direct result of a post-divorce house-cleaning.

More later.

Advertisements