Portland Tram Tower Lighting

Artist:    Anna Valentina Murch


Artist Statement

The Tram tower will be lit to reflect seasonal changes in the Portland sky and environment and will generally respond to lunar and solstice cycles.  The subtle color shifts will connect to the hues of the water images in the Gibbs Street Pedestrian Bridge elevator. Dichroic glass filters will be changed every month, on the first working day of each month.

Color sequence

In January the cool Mediterranean blue light will be followed in February by Pale amber light which will crescendo into the Warm amber light of the March, Spring Equinox.  In many cultures this time coincides with the beginning of the year (Passover, Easter, the beginning of the Indian calendar).   Blue green follows in April ( a complementary color to mark the change), the Green  in May when Portland gardens are verdant succeeded by the  Primary blue of June, when the deep blue of the sky at twilight seems to last the longest and seems the most prominent. This is followed by the contrast in hue and complementary color of Pale amber in July, the usual beginning of the summer in Portland. In August bright Sky blue leads to the Amber of the September Harvest Moon. October sees the building of intensity of the blues with Mediterranean Blue followed by the darker Blue green in November and the intense  Primary Blue in the winter solstice month of December.

Equinox & Solstice rhythms

The warmest amber tone is prominent in the Spring and Fall Equinox (Literal translation ‘Equal night’) months, March and September. In the months of the Solstices, in June the sun reaches its highest position in the sky and is the longest day of the year and December the longest night of the year and the beginning of the return of light. In my monthly calendar the richest blue will mark this in the sequence.

This sequence of color brings the Portland Tram to even more prominence as it changes with the season. The lighting of  River Wrap, the glass of the elevator tower, will slowly shift from warm white to cool white, each will bring out the different colors in the glass, and acting as a subtle, dissolving shift in light that will be complemented by the color of the Tram Tower.