Parks Conversation Series

Force of Nature: Portland’s Parks, Past, Present and Future

Presented by the Portland Art Museum and the University of Oregon’s John Yeon Center. Organized in conjunction with The Art of the Louvre's Tuileries Garden, on view at the Portland Art Museum through September 21, 2014.

Hosted by Randy Gragg, Director of the John Yeon Center and Editor at Large for Portland Monthly.

Portland Art Museum Members free; non-members $20*, seniors and students $17*. Advance ticket purchase recommended.

*Non-member ticket price includes one free admission to The Art of the Louvre's Tuileries Garden. To redeem, present the ticket stub at the Museum Box Office during regular Museum hours.


Beginnings: An Evening with the Olmsteds

6 p.m. (free documentary screening at 4:30 p.m.)

Miller Gallery (Mark Building, 1st Floor)

Frederick Law Olmsted invented the American public park and landscape architecture as a tool for public health and social cohesion. His philosophy and picturesque park planning and design defined cities from New York and Buffalo to San Francisco. So, too, Portland, through his stepson John Charles Olmsted, who designed our 1903 parks plan.

Join Laurence Cotton, principal researcher of PBS’s new documentary Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America, and local parks historians Henry Kunowski and William Hawkins (whose great-uncle collaborated with Olmsted on the design of Terwilliger Parkway) for excerpts from the documentary and an overview of the Olmsteds’ impact on Portland, what we’ve preserved of the legacy, and what, if we are careless, we will lose.


There will be a 4:30 p.m. special FREE screening of Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America.



Legacies in the Making: An Evening with Portland’s Recent and Current Parks Directors

6 p.m.

Whitsell Auditorium

From the Eastbank Esplanade to Jamison Square to Powell Butte Nature Park, Zari Santner during her three-decade tenure at Portland Parks & Recreation shaped the most recent legacy of the city’s plazas and green spaces. Appointed in 2011, current director Mike Abbate is poised to build the next phase of Portland parks, but in much different times. Together, Santner and Abbate will offer an insiders’ view of the history they inherited, the opportunities they’ve made and missed, and their hopes for the future of one of the country’s most respected parks systems.



The Next Portland Parks

6 p.m.

Whitsell Auditorium

Join a fast-paced evening of the design and critique as six leading local landscape architects share their award-winning work and some unvarnished thoughts about the good, bad, and ugly of past Portland park designs. The evening will be capped by each presenting design concepts for the next generation of Portland parks, ranging from a redo of the waterfront to new parks for the East Portland to entirely different concepts for what a “park” might be. Participants: Jonathan Beaver (2Ink Studio); Charlie Brucker (Place Studio) Kurt Lango (Lango/Hansen); Carol Mayer-Reed (Mayer/Reed); Chelsea McCann (Walker Macy); and Jeff Schnabel.



The Big Country: The Willamette Valley as a Park

6 p.m.

Whitsell Auditorium

Retiring Baby Boomers desiring outdoor recreation, foodies and wine connoisseurs coming for the comestibles, climate refugees fleeing soaring Southwest temperatures—the population of the Willamette Valley is near certain to soar. Can we welcome the hordes without losing what we treasure about the valley? Four visionary thinkers ponder the possibilities: award-winning regional planner John Fregonese; urban naturalist Mike Houck; Mark Davison, Metro’s parks and natural areas manager; and Charles Goodrich, director of the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word at Oregon State University.



Images courtesy of Portland Parks and Recreation.


In celebration of The Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Garden, we invite you to share your experiences of Portland’s parks. Capture them in a photo and post them to Instagram tagged with #captureParklandia.

Your photo may appear on the Museum’s online Instagram feed and in one of the Tuileries Garden exhibition galleries.

Click to learn more about #captureParklandia.


Organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, the Toledo Museum of Art, and the Portland Art Museum, Oregon,
with the special collaboration of the Musée du Louvre, and the generous participation of the Musée Carnavalet Histoire de Paris.

© 2014 Portland Art Museum