|A new site-specific courtyard by Oregon artist Lee Imonen, as well as a portrait of namesake Edward C. Allworth and two additional works by Oregon artist April Waters, are now installed at the Edward C. Allworth Veterans’ Home in Lebanon.
The suite of public artworks is located in the main entrance, front lobby and the Canteen (or café) of the building, located at 600 N. 5th St., and may be viewed during regularly scheduled building hours: 8 to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The works were commissioned through Oregon’s Percent for Art Program.
Recognizing the need to establish a model of veteran care for the 21st century, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA) developed the Edward C. Allworth Veterans’ Home, a facility where veterans receive the skilled nursing attention they need in a supportive and comfortable community environment.
With that in mind, CB Two Architects, in collaboration with NBBJ Architecture, designed a new type of veterans’ home based on the “small-house” concept and the Department of Veterans Affairs Community Living Centers design guide.
The Allworth Veterans’ Home Art Selection Committee sought to commission two distinct projects. The first, a site-specific work on the campus central courtyard that would inspire the community to remember the contributions of our veterans and inspire future generations while providing a site of respite and reflection for the Home’s more than 150 residents, their families and guests.
Imonen’s work, “Reflection Plaza,” is intended to help define a sense of place, complementing art that already exists within the home. By creating both individual and group seating opportunities in the “Reflection Plaza,” Imonen created an environment that draws people in to sit quietly or to gather and visit with one another.
“My intent with ‘Reflection’ is to create a space that inspires while fostering a sense of shelter and belonging,” Imonen explained. “The plaza environment should feel like an extension of the valley’s natural surroundings, as if the landscape and the Home’s architecture have become interconnected.”
Continuing ODVA’s tradition of honoring facility namesakes, artist April Waters was commissioned to paint a portrait of Edward C. Allworth. Waters is known for her paintings of the creeks and rivers of Oregon. Her paintings are considered by many to be restorative and are currently in many of Oregon’s hospitals, medical clinics and wellness centers.
Working from photographs and personal history from Allworth’s family including portions of Allworth’s original uniform, Waters’ portrait commemorates Allworth and his company’s attempted crossing of the Meuse River, for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
“In this portrait, I sought to illustrate Major Allworth’s bravery, steadfastness and optimism,” Waters said. “It was in France, on the banks of the Meuse River, that he helped to bring an end to World War I.”