CARVED GRANITE SCULPTURES
Placed along the walkway, these sculptures combine beauty and function, as they provide seating by the gardens and fountain. They were created by Masayuki Nagase, whose work was selected through a national competition.
"The overall theme of my artwork for the Walk of the Heroines is the expression of the quality of common strengths of the women who are honored in this park. My main inspiration for this work comes from the following quote from the Tao Te Chin:
Under heaven nothing is more soft and yielding then water.
Yet for attacking the solid and strong, nothing is better;
It has no equal.
The sculptural benches are carved with abstracted designs based on the circular ripple wave movements in water. These water movements are a metaphor of the impact and influences of the women honored in the park and the significant achievements in their lives. The design also suggests the interconnectedness between heroines as individual waves are part of a whole entire ocean."
The signature sculpture mounted on the stage wall was created by Linda Stein, whose work was chosen in a national competition. This bold, life-size figure is named Knight of Tomorrow 574.
"Knight of Tomorrow 574, made of bronze, represents the heroism of all women by signifying an "everywoman" who has met the challenges of history and contemporary life. My participation in Portland State University’s Walk of the Heroines is a natural progression in my own goals as a feminist artist honoring the heroism of women in all societies and all eras.
It is partly a response to running from my Ground Zero studio during 9/11. This experience – combined with childhood fears, my feminist abhorrence for gender inequality, and our contemporary culture of Perpetual War – led me to contemplate themes of Protection, Parity and Peace.
My feelings of vulnerability, insecurity and powerlessness coalesced into a desire to create an iconic form that symbolized the strong, protective, heroic female image providing the sense of safety I sought, and a symbol of our humanity.