Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Visitors from Lake Oswego Reads enjoy tour, history of PCC’s only totem pole

Story by Celina Baguiao. Photos by James Hill. | Start the discussion

The Sylvania Campus in Southwest Portland welcomed more than 25 guests from the Lake Oswego Reads Program on Tuesday, Feb. 2, to visit the campus’ “Welcoming Pole.” Participants heard the history and symbolism of Native artist Richard Hunt’s 30-foot totem while visiting the College Center, which houses the artwork. The totem pole had spent more than 13 years in the woods above the Performing Arts Center to welcome visitors to Sylvania. Last year, once the new atrium to the CC Building was completed as part of PCC’s bond obligations the totem was moved to the space after it was repainted by Hunt and Visual & Performing Arts Dean Gene Flores and installed as a cornerstone to the renovated space

The Lake Oswego Reads Program is spearheaded by the Lake Oswego Library to promote an enjoyable common reading experience for the entire city and promote the public library as an educational and cultural hub for the community. This year, the organization chose to read “Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher” by Timothy Egan, which accounted the life of Edward S. Curtis. Starting in 1897, Curtis spent 30 years of his life photographing Native North Americans.

The “Welcoming Pole” was one-of-eight stops in the Portland area that focused on Native American art and is part of a two month-long celebration of the book and Curtis’ photography.

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