Sculpting Tualatin’s History Through New Art Installation

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Caitlin Feldman
The Times (Pamplin Media)

After months of work, sculptor Joseph Rastovich helped place his “Lazy River” sculpture in Tualatin last week.

Standing 20 feet tall, the winding steel installation sits on the west side of Tualatin Commons Park and is most visible from Martinazzi Avenue between Tualatin-Sherwood Road and Nyberg Street.

True to its name, the sculpture’s distinctive shape was chosen to represent the Tualatin River, an integral part in Tualatin’s very existence. The shape also represents a mastodon tusk, which Rastovich wanted to include as another important part of Tualatin’s history. Covering the sculpture are 32 embossed icons, which further tell the story of Tualatin, past and present.

“The Tualatin Lazy River sculpture very much tells a story with all the icons and the abstract symbolism of the form,” Rastovich said. “Basically, it’s kind of like this static storyteller to tell people the history of Tualatin, where Tualatin is now and about the things that have gone on. It’s nice to be aware of what has happened in your local area.”

This sculpture is one of eight public art pieces that Rastovich has created since his first at age 18. Now 23, the artist has already been sculpting for seven years and doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon. He feels that public art pieces are an essential element of cities and wants to keep contributing his voice.

“Public art is really great because it creates a space,” Rastovich said. “Personally, I believe it increases the quality of life for the people who interact with the sculptures. It just creates monuments that are a break from the linear world of the city … They make people think. They can make people inspired to do different things. And they also, in many ways, help tell a story.”

To see Tualatin’s story as Rastovich sees it, visit his “Lazy River” sculpture at 7880 S.W. Nyberg St.

 

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