Industry and Arts Program

Willamette Falls Heritage Foundation
Industry and Art Initiative

The opportunity for accomplished artists to capture and translate their images of old industry at the falls--through plein aire 'art jams', and the accessibly priced Dan Robinson event poster project-- are two aspects of our Industry & Art initiative.One of the foundation's most innovative preservation strategies, the "Art Contemplates Industry" project interprets historic industrial structures through the eyes of fine artists.

The T.W. Sullivan Hydropower Plant in West Linn was the site of our first "Art Contemplates Industry" event, in 2007. The collection was on display for seven months, from September 2007 through April, 2008, in three venues in Clackamas and Multnomah Counties. It is currently back in the hands of the artists but has been gathered in an exhibit catalog funded by the Arts Alliance and available in several area libraries and from the foundation.

Artist Lisa Wilcox, sketching at a T.W. Sullivan downstairs porthole window.

"Art Contemplates Industry--Hawley Powerhouse," was our second art jam, staged June 26-27, 2008 at what was originally called the Hawley Pulp and Paper Company Powerhouse at Black Point on the Oregon City side of Willamette Falls. In the case of Hawley, the collection has become a memorial to the little powerhouse, which was torn down shortly after PGE allowed us to bring in the 17 artists whose work makes up the collection. All proceeds from any art sold in these collections go to the artists.


Artist Daniel Robinson catching a scene on the Willamette below Hawley Powerhouse.

 Our preservation-through-artistic interpretation continued in 2009-2010 with an exhibit focused on the Bull Run Powerhouse, in Sandy. That amazing collection opened at the Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum October 3, 2009 and ran through January 3 there, before being exhibited at the Sandy Public Library in Feb/March 2010, at the West Linn Public Library in April, and then in the corporate offices of PGE's Hydro Engineering department through August.

Artists who've sold their pieces from these collections include Shelley Hershberger, Leslie Peterson, Zeb Andrews, Jonell Covault. Artists with work featured in the Portland Art Museum's Rental/Sales Gallery are Christopher Mooney, Sue Allen, Leslie Cheney-Parr, Phil Juttelstad and Kevin Farrell.

A spin-off of this project is the creation of a sister project by the Estacada Arts Commission, which has worked with PGE to create similar opportunities for artists at the old powerhouses and dams on the Clackamas River.

"Art Contemplates Industry" Series

Marvel at the views of artists of three historic Clackamas County hydropower plants, as documented in our collection of project catalogs. See Bull Run Powerhouse, T.W. Sullivan Powerhouse, and the Hawley Pulp and Paper Company Powerhouse (no longer in existence) through the eyes of some of the region's finest artists and photographers.

                                                                       updated 2014