Author: Chris Pero

Portland photographer, Kirk Jonasson, one of Pero Design’s favorite artists to hang and commission is as local as they come.

Born in Portland and educated in Oregon, Kirk is a self-taught photographer who still likes to do things the old fashioned way. He uses real film, a medium formate SLR and prints his own pictures in a dark room – making his images authentic representations of the exact moment he captured with no “photoshopping.” Kirk’s abstract images capture the extraordinary in the every day.

According to Kirk,

“For me, effective use of the camera as an art instrument extends beyond skilled documentation. Ready made beauty in a grand landscape is of less interest to me than the excitement to be found in compelling images of commonly overlooked or even outwardly mundane, subject matter.”

Kirk avoids post-production manipulation of color and composition and prints the full frame images he has captured. He believes that to alter the original image in the darkroom or via computer would devalue his intuitive process – his way of finding “magic” while in the field. We couldn’t agree more!

Want to see more of Kirk’s work in person? He’s having a show called Inner Landscapes from September 11 – October 5 at the Chessman Gallery, a nonprofit art space inside Lincoln City’s Cultural Center.

Like what you see? Contact Pero Design to view a full portfolio and coordinate the right Jonasson work or commission for your space!


CenterCal Properties, LLC is a retail development leasing agent with shopping mall properties around the Northwest. Their Bridgeport Village office recently chose some super-cool historic photos of Tualatin to highlight the colorful history of their locale.

Black and white photos included the Tualatin Fire Department, farming fields, old cars, historic schools and farming equipment. These guys are an expert team of realtors and really know their stuff about leasing out retail space, but they weren’t too sure of what to do about framing and hanging their pictures in the fairly modern and very white-walled office space they have down there. Bring in Pero Design!

They decided to print the photos on canvas and gallery wrap them for a clean and simple fit to their minimalist space. This also let the subject matter of the photograph speak for itself without any influence of a frame. These pictures looked so great, we installed them on security hardware so they wouldn’t accidentally walk off with a quick-handed history buff. Yes, security is another reason to call in your art consulting expert.

If you’ve made an investment in art or photography to hang in your public space, I’m sure you’d rather not have it swiped. A professional hanger can install it for you in a way to keep it safely on your walls. The photos look great and our client and their other tenants are delighted with the way it all turned out. So delighted, Pero Design has been challenged with finding a way to artfully hang more photos in this open stairway. I’m thinking a really cool mobile could act the part of an artistic chandelier. What do you think?

Pero Design had another chance to work with the visionary commercial interior designer,Kirsta Pettis of Sisu Design Group for this new NoPo location of World of Smiles Pediatric Dentist.

World of Smiles wanted a space geared toward their primary patients: kids. But, they wanted it to be interesting enough and stylish enough for the accompanying adults, too. Krista is not afraid to use color in her designs and came up with this sort-of “subway” line design concept that helps navigate the open structure of work space in the clinic. Suspended panels were to further privatize some areas of the open space.

We were challenged with finding a combo of color and art to coordinate with the fun floor pattern. Suspending acrylic panels can be problematic. If you add art or other elements and want them to be an effective size, they get very heavy, very quickly. Our solution was to make the panels smaller and surround them with a lighter product.

Enter acoustical felt. I’ve been wanting a chance to use the densely colorful Filz Felt on a project and World of Smiles was perfect. The felt increases the panel size and lightens the load as well as provides excellent sound absorption for the busy clinic, while still maintaining an open feeling. The strong colors also act as a de facto frame for the artwork. The art is mounted behind the clear acrylic in this case. This combo of felt and acrylic panels would work great for any open office or clinic space. Artwork can be mounted under the acrylic or the acrylic itself can be printed with pattern and texture.

Congratulations to World of Smiles on North Albina! World of Smiles opens to patients on Monday, August 10.

What more can I say about how much I love encaustic paintings for commercial and large spaces? Obviously, they are kind of a thing for me (see: Perodesign features local NW art for first hanging at new studio space ).

Encaustics spark my curiosity and draw me in – I wonder, “what is this?” Some have little treasures embedded in the wax. Encaustic painting is an ancient Greek technique that was derived from the waxing process used to caulk ships. When color was applied to the wax the ships could be decorated. The slow build up of colored wax on easel paintings created a rich, deep pigment and an optical effect that was more lifelike then the tempura painting also being done at that time. Plus, its greater durability made it even more appealing. Our modern ability to keep the beeswax and resin used in the medium heated throughout the creative process has brought this ancient style back into the modern art sphere. Encaustics work great in a space where people have the time to really look and explore a work of art – a place where the mind can wander.

I’ve personally enjoyed encaustics in doctor’s offices and massage rooms. They are great for waiting rooms of any kind. I’ve recently met encaustic painter, Annie Darling while I was sourcing work for a large client. I know, I know! I usually push the Pacific Northwest artist angle, but I just can’t help myself from sharing her work. (She’s from Portland, ME, so that’s close enough, right? Plus, she’s a Duck.) A self-proclaimed “encaustic rebel,”

Annie started working with the wax without any formal training. Her works blend encaustic with oil, graphite, gold leaf and acrylic paint. She is heavily influenced by the natural world. I think Annie’s work really captures the viewer and inspires a creative through process. Find out more about Annie at anniedarlingart.com.

Contact Pero Design for information about large-scale purchasing or commissions with Annie. Pero design will be the local liaison, visiting your space for sizing, quantity and color consults or for discussing how you can commission Annie to create something just for your space.

Are you a Northwest artist with one of these ABCs? If “yes” then Chris Pero Design may have a job for you.

We are looking for new artists to represent to our clients for potential purchase and place, commissioned works and even an opportunity to show in our gallery space. We do ask that the artists we work with are timely and communicative as well as can keep a lid on a project in process until the client is ready for their full reveal. We’re not looking for anyone who wants to undersell an art consultant – we are in this work together for the benefit of all and like to keep our partnerships authentic.

We are looking for some specific work related to ongoing projects in the following areas:

  1. Work that represents our home in the Pacific Northwest, particularly the Portland Metro area leading out to the Gorge — especially if you have a new way of telling that story
  2. Metal work and sculptures
  3. Glass work — architectural and fine art
  4. Works that can be hung from the ceiling

There has been a fair amount of research done on the effect of art on patients as a visual experience and as a hands-on experience in the form of art therapy.

As an art consultant, I do a lot of medical clinics — from pediatrics, to oncology, to mental health, to hospitals and basic family practices. There is a science-based reason for why you see so much nature and florals on the walls of doctor’s offices. Authors Roger Ulrich and Laura Gilpin explored this topic thoroughly in their study and subsequent publication “Healing Arts: Nutrition for the Soul.” Combining scientific research and anecdotal field work, they developed art selection guidelines widely used for the healthcare industries. You can find out more about these guidelines at the Center for Health Design’s website at www.healthdesign.org/chd/research/guide-evidence-based-art but the essence is that depictions of nature are calming and provoke feelings of peace and well-being in us.

The Cleveland Clinic’s own studies on patient experience with art in hospitals and clinics went further to suggest that the art should not call attention to the patient’s suffering, but rather help them to feel comfortable and soothed. In my own work, there are some obvious choices to be made for certain clinics, and some not-so-obvious things to consider and avoid. The simplest approach is often the best, and for pediatric facilities, art full of color and playfulness make the most sense. The more quirky and active, the better for helping to distract kids from whatever has brought them to the doctor, or dentist, in the first place. People who must return again and again to a clinic because of chronic suffering benefit from relaxing and soothing images that create a positive “escape” or dreamland (here comes the nature part) but consideration should be made to rotating artwork because of the repetitive nature of these visits.

I would point out Providence Cancer Center as a top example of floral and landscape choice. Photographs of aspirational imagery, e.g. emotionally positive examples of humans being active perhaps despite physical imitations are a good choice for physical therapy centers. Before and after pictures of actual patients can be artfully displayed under certain circumstances like medical spas and orthodontists.

One area that is often overlooked during planning is the exam rooms. A patient may feel relaxed in your beautifully outfitted waiting room, but if your exam room is full of medical diagrams and pictures of ailments provided by the pharmaceutical company, I would hazard a guess that heart rates are going to rise again while they wait for the doc. Take into consideration what brought your patient to the clinic to begin with, and be sensitive to their complete journey from waiting room to exam room to check-out. Some “no-nos” I have seen include too much red in a cardiovascular clinic, pictures of babies and children in a reproductive medicine office, and posters of childhood diseases in a pediatrician’s exam rooms. It’s great to think outside the box — after all, who wants to see another X-ray image of a floral? Your art consultant has the experience and research to help you identify the best fit for your clinic and your patient.

Building owners and leasing agents — your lobby is your interactive business card. It’s the first thing that people see and it sets the tone of your location and “brand.”

What kind of tenants do you want to attract? When potential residents of both the business and residential kind visit your building they are going to consider how their guests and clients will respond to the first impression they have. Is it hip and fresh? Does it inspire? Does it speak youthful creativity or sophisticated elegance? Is it cutting edge or old school northwest? No matter what your answer, neglecting to invest in the right “vibe” for your elevator lobby can send the wrong message to potential tenants and result in lower occupancy.

Here are some ideas for different spaces:

Corporate office buildings: Tailor your lobby and elevator bays to the type of tenants you want to attract. For example, use geometric and abstract art for technology tenants. Medical and mental healthcare offices: Floral or fine art works best to create a soothing and calm environment. Boutique hotels: Focus on local art or artists in travel-oriented theme.

Historic to residential conversions: Archival photographs representative of the building or neighborhood. Keep in mind that different age demographics are inclined to different imagery. Younger tenants may be more drawn to edgy and contemporary art. Yet, in the case of empty nesters who are choosing a modern high-rise condominium, the edgier art works just as well to meet their aspirations to regain some youth. An art consultant can help you to choose the correct art, and the framing style, for your space and make sure that it coordinates with the existing interior elements, including strong carpet patterns or other surface textures.

Don’t forget, your art adds to the perceived value of your building and supports your brand and leasing efforts. Stand out from your competitors and fill those spaces with prosperous tenants!

So there I was, minding my own business, when I ran into my old friend and local NW artist, Molly Cliff Hilts.
Molly and I go way back — she is one of the first artists I hung when I was starting out as an art consultant and framer. I hung her Giclée prints in 2007 for Care Oregon. Her work is full of life and color. It’s a great fit for large spaces like commercial lobbies, open restaurants (you can check out Molly’s work at Manzana Grill in Lake Oswego) as well as the Teardrop lounge in NW Portland and other places where viewers can approach the work from a distance.

It seemed fortuitous that I would run into Molly — her work would make the perfect fit to inaugurate the new studio gallery space I have just taken with Red Flower Productions down in the vibrant NE industrial area just off of Interstate Avenue. The neighborhood is flourishing with new creative spaces and retail and restaurants like Beam & Anchor and Broder Nord.

Molly wanted a chance to hang some of her older works that haven’t been seen in awhile. We are going to show some of the Encaustics that feature fruit and foliage — perfect pieces for a restaurant or larger private kitchen/dining room.

Molly’s encaustics really draw you in. They catch the eye and then inspire the viewer to look more closely in a process of discovery. The work appears surreal at first, and it challenges you to linger upon it as your eye-mind connection makes sense of the image. They can give you a really satisfying “a-ha” moment.

The pieces range from $4800k – $6600k and in size from 50″×30″ to 60″×60″. I invite you to join us April 23 from 5-7pm for a wine and cheese reception celebrating our new studio and to see the works in person. You may also call (503) 349-0587 to set up an appointment.

Join us!

Opening celebration of Perodesign and Red Flower Productions new studio gallery
April 23rd, 5pm – 7pm
Location 820 N River Street, Portland, Oregon 97227

The patient experience begins when they walk in your office door. Art chosen to suit and brighten your reception area will provide attractive and calming spaces for patients to relax and gather their thoughts before their health care visit.

Jonathan Nourok's photographs of flowers and leaves are filled with bold colors and evocative shapes that are both familiar and wondrous. His images provide space for the eyes and mind to wander. Whether the appointment is routine or emergent, Jonathan Nourok's close up floral-scapes will transform your reception or patient rooms into cheerful and calming spaces.

Whatever the color story or visual style that best suits your practice, the artist can accommodate. Prioritize your patient experience with detailed and dynamite artwork from one of the West Coast's best!

The patient experience begins when they walk in your office door. Art chosen to suit and brighten your reception area will provide attractive and calming spaces for patients to relax and gather their thoughts before their health care visit.

Jonathan Nourok’s photographs of flowers and leaves are filled with bold colors and evocative shapes that are both familiar and wondrous. His images provide space for the eyes and mind to wander.

Whether the appointment is routine or emergent, Jonathan Nourok’s close up floral-scapes will transform your reception or patient rooms into cheerful and calming spaces. Whatever the color story or visual style that best suits your practice, the artist can accommodate.

Poppy Flax Triptych by onathan Nourok

Poppy Flax Triptych by onathan Nourok

Prioritize your patient experience with detailed and dynamite artwork from one of the West Coast’s best! [/vc_column]

IMG_2891 IMG_2887 IMG_2890

Allan Leahy is a local photographer, and this dental clinic has his work throughout. We start here in the lobby. The printer we used for this piece did a salon mount on the back side of acrylic with stainless stand offs. The stand offs were chosen as it worked really well with the finishes the client and designer selected.

In the surgery center, which was not complete when we took these photos, we presented the photos on acrylic without a frame. The cleat we installed them with raised them off the wall about 1/2″. The pieces are secure on the wall, and create a window like feel.