The City of Hillsboro, Oregon, has posted a call for Artists to propose to the City what they could design and install at Shute Park.
The art will be installed near site of the old Chief Kno-Tah wooden sculpture that was installed in 1985 by world-renowned artist Peter Wolf Toth. The Chief stood for decades before being removed by the City once they believed it was damaged and unable to be repaired. The removal of the 25-foot-high artwork was highly controversial and pitted Hillsboro community members against each other. On one side were those who wanted him gone at all costs- believing he was a risk to health and safety and or a poor depiction of our native people, the Atfalati. The other side included a team of local businessmen and fans who had raised the money to repair the Chief and move him to Harvey Marine, where he would have joined Harvey the White Rabbit as the Westide’s favorite attraction.
In the end, the City removed him in 2017 during the middle of the night, and his remains were destroyed. That happened a few hours after representatives of Peter Wolf Toth delivered a cease and desist order to the City asking them to either repair his work or give the statue back to him and/or the group who sought his repair. The Chiefs exit left a hole in Hillsboro as a generation or two of kids grew up here knowing him and stopping for family photos.
A survey was put out online in 2018 to the people of Hillsboro, which asked what people wanted to see go on the site to replace the Chief. Hundreds responded, and while we do not have the results, a majority wanted to see something put on the location to honor the first people of the land. The Herald has asked for those results and will update this story when they arrive.
THE OPPORTUNITY IS AT HAND-
All that said, if you are an artist or a group of artists, and you think you can be the team to make this happen, now is your chance! You have until November 6th to complete your proposal and win the day! The information is below, and we sure wish the best to all of you!
If you wish to leave a remembrance for Chief Kno-Tah feel free to drop by his Facebook Page- https://www.facebook.com/SaveChiefKnoTah
- Application Deadline: November 6, 2023
- Budget: $245,000
- Eligibility: Open to artists over the age of 18 living in the U.S.
The City of Hillsboro seeks an artist or artist team to create a new interactive and engaging public artwork for Shute Park, Hillsboro’s oldest and most active park. The community desires an artwork that will celebrate the diversity of Hillsboro, the natural environment, or both through an artwork that is sculptural or site-integrated, will serve as a central gathering place within the park, and that will be interactive or engaging for park users of all backgrounds and abilities.