Mayor Jerry Willey has selected a pastel painting by Amanda Houston for this year’s entry into the City of Hillsboro Public Art Collection.
“Quintessential Eve,” inspired by vistas and sunsets west of Jackson Bottom Wetlands between Hillsboro and Cornelius, was selected from 40 submissions, according to a Public Art Program news release. The call for submissions asked for artwork representative of the city’s landscape, views or landmarks.
The selection is now on display at Hillsboro Civic Center’s auditorium.
Houston’s work was selected once before: In 2012, the Public Art Program’s first year, said Cultural Arts Program Supervisor Melissa Moore. The piece, titled “Jackson Bottom Mist,” was also pastel, and created in plein air. Sandra Pearce’s work was showcased in 2013.
“As an artist today, you really have to slice the income pie in many ways,” Houston said in the news release. “When public art opportunities come up they are coveted projects because they give the chosen artists so much exposure, so it was really an honor to have been chosen a second time.”
Houston grew up in Africa and Saudi Arabia, and now lives in Cornelius, according to the release. She made the career switch to painting, which allowed her to spend more time with her husband and children than other jobs she’d held, a few years before “Jackson Bottom Mist.” Her previous jobs included an apparel designer and director for global apparel businesses.
Now, Houston has work featured at seven art galleries in Oregon and Washington. She participates in art festivals and has been juried in two national shows over the past three years, according to the release. She also shows at two wineries, works with interior designers to create commissions for clients, and sometimes teaches drawing classes.
A selection committee reviews submissions and makes recommendations, but ultimately the selection is the mayor’s decision, Moore said. Willey will present limited edition prints to business leaders and dignitaries from around the world, while the original painting will display at the civic center until next year’s winner takes its place.
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