Northern Lights

Martha Pfanschmidt

Northern Lights is a kiln-glass installation designed by Martha Pfanschmidt for the entrance lobby of a 16-story condominium tower, The Casey, in Portland, Oregon’s Pearl District. Developed by Gerding Edlen and designed by GBD Architects, The Casey was the first condominium in the country to receive LEED Platinum certification. The project attracted attention for this accomplishment as well as for the integration of art throughout the building.

“Residents and the community will be inspired and surrounded by art.” – The Casey web site

When Gerding Edlen came to Bullseye to develop site-specific features for this new residential high-rise, they also requested our guidance in selecting local artists for their vision of art existing throughout. One artist we proposed was Martha Pfanschmidt, a painter and printmaker (and now kiln-glass artist). Once chosen, Pfanschmidt created a colorful, patterned, two-dimensional set of artworks that would accentuate the height of the lobby.

Pfanschmidt collaborated with Bullseye technicians to translate the art into the multi-layered, kilnformed installation, which she titled Northern Lights. The primary components of Northern Lights are a set of 4 backlit panels measuring 23” x 15’ (with one as tall as 18’). The Casey represents an exemplary partnership between developer, architect, artist, and fabricator.

In all, fifty artist-designed glass panels are showcased at The Casey. In addition to Northern Lights, Pfanschmidt made a series of smaller glass works for the residential elevator lobbies called “The Four Seasons.” Other artworks include Catharine Newell’s glass portrait of Casey Jones for the exterior of the building and a glass spire, a set of vertically placed glass panels that run nearly the full height of The Casey on its south exterior, designed by GBD Architect’s Dustin White. Made in Bullseye glass, the spire was fabricated by Fireart Glass.

Northern Lights