Hilary Pfeifer, Portland Open Studios Artist No. 61, has been a full-time artist for over 25 years. Her living comes from a variety of arenas, including a studio practice of sculptures and mobiles, a more commercial production line of wood animals, holiday figures, and wedding cake toppers, and many public art pieces in the Portland area. She will have examples from each of these parts of her practice at her studio during the October tour.
“I always have some outside reason for creating my work. One example that will be featured at this year’s open studio is my recent GLEAN residency, where I was allowed to gather art materials from the public area of the dump in 2016. My studio practice focuses on the places where humans and nature battle for power and at that residency I took inspiration from the falconers stationed at the Metro Waste Facility who train their raptors to control the pigeons, crows and seagulls who would otherwise overwhelm the functions of the dump.
During this year’s tour she plans to feature her abstract natural wood sculptures. In which she uses over 75% found wood. She has created a body of freestanding sculptures and mobiles that are made from scrap donated to her from artists and furniture makers, as well as salvaged materials from her recent residency at the Metro Waste Facility (the Dump) where she pulled a lot of materials destined for the landfill and gave them a second life.
Hilary is currently working on an outdoor sculpture, which will be installed in early August, for the Lake Oswego Arts Council’s ‘Gallery Without Walls’. Her vision is that the piece will be a stack of forms with carved patterns inspired from nature and Moroccan geometrics, and inspired by the outdoor living that was a big part of her childhood in rural Oregon. “It’s exciting to be part of this nationally-acclaimed public art exhibition, which features over seventy permanent and loaned works of art which are placed all around the city.”