Original artwork


Laura Bender of Site Painters recently completed this motion-filled work on commission for a client of Pero Design. We spoke to Laura about her process and insight on the commission process.

How do you begin/prefer to begin the process of a commission?

I’ve been doing commissioned work for a number of years. I first meet with the client, consultant or interior designer and we discuss the theme and what they are looking for. Recently, for Chris Pero, we explored figurative work for a project. Both my abstract and figurative work is often based on painted paper collages. Ultimately its directed by the client. For instance, a hospital might want something playful for pediatrics, while a restaurant might want something more sophisticated. My work (with my husband, John Early) is often described as lively and fresh, so people seek us out for those qualities. The color palate can be adjusted by the client; I try not to duplicate their exact colors but to enrich the color experience.

What is your process for reviews and revisions?

Of course clients like to see where the project is going. With our experience and close listening to the client we are usually able to nail it with only minor tweaks. Our portfolio helps the client see our range and our drawings and mock ups are clear and descriptive. 

Do you prefer to paint directly to surface or on a mobile medium?

I like working on a hard surface, usually stable wood panels — even in the studio we tend to do hard surfaces.

How easy is it to hear and apply the feedback of non-artists on a commissioned work?

Once again, a client comes to us because they already like the style. Requests for changes are usually easy to fulfill. Working with Chris on this recent project has been great. The work develops especially smoothly with a sensitive consultant or interior designer on a project. They can keep everyone in touch and on the same page with project timeline, expectations and budget. Whether through a consultant or directly with the client, communication makes all the difference in a successful experience for everyone.

What was your most exciting success this past year?

We got to do a really interesting body of work for Dallas Children’s Hospital. The installation included murals for the lobbies and the treatment rooms. We also did cut-out panels of animals. The murals started as collages done in our studio , scanned, and enlarged four times the size of the original and printed on acrylic panels in Texas.. It was an elaborate project, and very fulfilling and well facilitated by a local art consultant.

How has your work changed in the past 5 years, 10 years?

We used to do a lot more on-site work directly on the walls. I’m not sure if it’s the market or us presenting installable options. Most projects can’t schedule much on site painting time. Also I feel we are now more fully able to integrate all of our strengths as artists into our designs.

Embarking upon a commissioned piece of art for your company should be an exciting adventure, one that brings leaders in your organization together and helps to illuminate shared goals, visions and aspirations. This process can often uncover latent ideas about your company history, culture and future visions. It can also be fraught with subjective opinion, conflicting ideas about process, budget and more.

Utilizing a professional art consultant can help your group to identify the proper artist in addition to establishing a clear budget, process and timeline. The consultant will also help stakeholders to manage expectations, coordinate reviews with the artist as the work is in process and correctly mount, frame and install your new artwork. Finally, your consultant can help you enhance your original concept by engaging with all key stakeholders, including the artist, and facilitating the sharing of ideas, resulting in a more cohesive and successful outcome.

With that being said, there are still some best practices your group should consider before undertaking the commission.

  1. Be clear about the aims of the commission and what you hope to achieve by it. Consult widely with the members of your organization who will be in regular visual contact with the final piece of art, or whose customers will be in regular visual contact with the final piece of art.
  2. Decide what decision makers will be key stakeholders in the process and aim to keep the group small and focused. Art is a difficult thing to decide on by committee. Art and individuals preference on art is a subjective experience. Identify and define the selection process to be used and who will participate in the process. It is essential that all those who will be in a position to say “yes” to the final design are involved from the outse, from the drawing up of the brief through to the final selection. It should be a manageable group, which has the ability to remain involved throughout the whole process.
  3. Honor the revision timeline. Along the way with the process of commissions there is a point where a request for more revisions is too late. So the stakeholders involved have to be available for the designated revision opportunities.

Good communication and a cohesive decision making group can help to make the commission experience, along with a good consultant, smooth and successful, culminating in a work of art to be proud of for the lifespan of your company or organization.

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

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]

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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.

This is always a fun update. The photos are taken on media day by the Trailblazers great marketing team, selected and we then print them. After we have the prints, we finish them by mounting on 3/4″ bamboo with Portland’s eco-conscious display company, Plywerk.

They layout is not easy. It’s a puzzle without a guide, so we move them around quite a bit till it just works. It is a lot of fun when the puzzle is solved.

In addition to new players, Pyramid’s Tap Room at Schonely’s Place inside the Moda Center got a fresh coat of paint and some more photos. We took the old pieces off the wall and after it was ready we did a new layout for the photos, added a more and installed, just in time for the WINNING season opener.

The Jersey case was done a couple years ago, but the light was on it just right, so had to show you. This is a display case for 3 retro jerseys. We wanted them to float in different layers so we worked with bars and cables from Arakawa to make this work.

There is a refreshing update every year

There is a refreshing update every year

The walls have been repainted, and we a=rearranged the artwork on the Tap Room at Moda Center, just in time for the winning first game!

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There isn’t a space in the Tap Room that doesn’t scream Rip City.