Artist Lynn Basa's artwork for the entrance lobby of the Multnomah County Central Courthouse in Portland, OR. Project fabricated by Bullseye Studio, funded by Multnomah County Percent for Art, and managed by the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

Lynn Basa’s Prominent Courthouse Artwork Installed!

November 12, 2020

Bullseye Studio is proud to announce that our courthouse project with Artist Lynn Basa is installed. Her 25’ x 71’ glass artwork now presides over the lobby of the new 17-story Multnomah County Central Courthouse in Portland, OR. Composed of 120 5′ tall x 3′ wide panels made entirely of kilnformed glass, the 1,775-square-foot artwork has begun its work of reflecting aspirations for justice and hope to generations of Oregonians.

Basa chose Bullseye Studio to translate her work from encaustic to glass based on a prior collaboration that successfully realized her mosaic columns for TriMet’s Orange Line stations. For the courthouse project, Bullseye Studio developed a process able to translate Basa’s original encaustic artwork to glass. It involved mapping the artwork on canvases of opalescent white glass and then painstakingly coloring it with frit (crushed glass). While the scale of the undertaking was unprecedented, the methods used to realize it sprang naturally from a special set of techniques referred to as “painting with glass.”

Basa’s artwork brings vibrant color to the courthouse lobby, its second and third stories, and outside its entryways. The artwork also offers a uniting vision inspired by Basa’s conversations with people from all levels of Oregon’s justice system. These included the Artist Selection Panel, courthouse judges, employees, and formerly incarcerated community members. Through its representation of a metaphorical landscape, the artwork reflects the rippling passage of behavior, through redemption and rehabilitation, that is sought in the community justice process.

Without a deft and supportive collaboration between many partners, this monumental project could not have been realized so successfully. Many deserve glowing recognition. Multnomah County Percent for Art funded the visionary project, with Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) managing it according to the standards that make them national leaders in public art administration. SRG Partnership, Hoffman Construction, Tim Carey Studio, Keylight+Shadow, Biella Lighting Design, and Multnomah County each provided expertise and flexibility that made Bullseye Studio’s coordination and making of this massive project not only possible but smooth. Finally, the artwork’s safe and successful installation is a credit to the creative grit and technical innovation of Artech.

Installation timelapse provided by Multnomah County. Installer: Artech.

But of course this project, and the resulting collaborations, only came into being because of artist Lynn Basa. Her trust in the expertise and commitment of Bullseye Studio, along with her readiness to imagine her encaustic painting translated into kilnformed glass—and magnified 100x its size—made it all possible.

Original encaustic artwork by Lynn Basa.

Thanks to these collaborators and many others, Oregon now houses a singular work of public art. Furthermore, public artists from around the world now have a prime example of how kilnformed glass can translate fine art, at monumental scale.

Lynn Basa’s glass artwork for the entrance lobby of the Multnomah County Central Courthouse.

To learn more about Lynn Basa’s artwork for the Multnomah County Central Courthouse, and to view a portfolio of fabrication images, please visit its project page.

And if you’re an artist or arts administrator who wants to explore possibilities for translating varieties of work into large-scale kilnformed glass, please contact us. We look forward to connecting with you.