Multnomah County Central Courthouse Lobby Artwork

Lynn Basa

Artist Lynn Basa’s 25’ x 71’ untitled 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 to partner with Bullseye Studio to translate her work from encaustic to glass based on the success of her prior work with Bullseye Studio’s team creating mosaic columns for TriMet’s Orange Line stations. For the courthouse project, Bullseye Studio developed a different process for translating Basa’s original encaustic artwork to glass which involved mapping the artwork on canvases of opalescent white glass and then painstakingly applying and fusing colored frit (crushed glass). While the scale of the undertaking was unprecedented, the techniques used to realize it sprang naturally from a proven set of techniques referred to as “painting with glass.”

Now installed, Basa’s artwork brings vibrant color to people in 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. A metaphorical landscape, the artwork reflects the rippling passage of behavior, through redemption and rehabilitation, that is sought in the community justice process.

Funded by Multnomah County Percent for Art and managed by the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), Bullseye Studio worked closely with SRG Partnership, RACC, Multnomah County, Hoffman Construction, and the engineering firm KPFF to realize this massive project. Installation of the artwork was performed by Artech, with lighting design by Keylight+Shadow and Biella Lighting Design.

Designed by SRG Partnership/ CGL Ricci Greene, the new courthouse is located at Southwest First Avenue and Madison Street.


Time-lapse of the artwork installation, courtesy of Multnomah County.