Tualatin Valley Creates is working to grow the region’s public art portfolio with a delightful new twist – music-making seating! Thanks to the support of County Commissioners Rogers, Willey, Schouten, Harrington and Treece, TVC was awarded funding in early 2020 to commission four new works in what is being called a “Musical Benches Public Art Collection.”

TVC worked closely with regional stakeholders including Beaverton Downtown Association, Tigard Downtown Alliance, Forest Grove Art Commission, Self-Determination Resources, Inc., THPRD, and Ackerly at Timberland to develop this collection.

The designs below were selected from among 33 submissions for dynamic, engaging functional art. The review panel, comprised of representatives from Beaverton, Tigard, Forest Grove, and Cedar Mill, paid special attention to the manner in which each bench would be uniquely interacted with, whether played, plunked, bonked, or cranked.


Artist: BEN DYE

Installation site: THPRD’s Timberland Park, 11600 NW Stone Mountain Ln, Portland, OR 97229

Installed Fall 2020

Ben Dye specializes in large-scale public sculpture that enables communities and institutions to make a meaningful statement about their historic origins and contemporary aspirations. He enjoys designing iconic pieces that create a sense of shared identity for the community and become a destination, inviting people to engage with the art; to look closer, to touch, and explore.

Ben’s mechanical expertise drives him to take on difficult projects while refusing any notion that “it can’t be done.” He views his work as a personal challenge; a daily test of his own ability that he answers with the completion of each project.

See more of Ben Dye’s work at www.bendyesculpture.com


Installation site: Curiosities, 12550 SW Main Street, Tigard, OR 97223

Installed Spring 2021

Jill Torberson is the principal and owner of Weld Metal Works. Jill creates all manner of custom steelwork including site-specific and historically relevant artworks on both large and small scales. She has worked on many collaborative projects throughout her career.

Jill has studied printmaking, ceramics, mixed media sculpture, and metal arts, including welding and blacksmithing. She is a frequent guest artist at The Oregon College of Art and Craft, an alumni artist from The Museum of Contemporary Craft, and has exhibited works with the Mark Woolley and Guardino Galleries in Portland, Oregon, and the Zeek gallery in Salem. She is also on the Oregon Arts Commission pre-qualified list of artist for 2020-2022.

See more of Jill Torberson’s work at www.jilltorberson.com


Installation site: Self-Determination Resources, Inc., 12770 SW 1st St, Beaverton, OR 97005

Installed Spring 2021

Matt Burney is a metal artist based in Springfield, Oregon.  In 2015, he founded SO Metal, LLC. as a custom fabrication studio.  He specializes in creative metalwork, which often falls somewhere between art and engineering.  His career began in mechanical engineering in the pressure vessel industry and has evolved into interactive sculpture and creative fabrication for other public artists. His passion is driven by functional and interactive pieces that feature reclaimed steel and mechanical components.  Recycled metal and natural finishes tell a story of the passage of time, and add a layer of character that new materials can’t duplicate. Curiosity and exploration drive his process and are the desired effect on his audience.  The functionality of a piece draws the user in, encouraging an interaction or closer inspection, which rewards with a second layer of curious detail.

Matt Burney’s work can be found in public and private collections across the country, online at www.sometalfab.com, or on Instagram @so.metal.


Installation site: Heart of Forest Grove, corner of A Street and 21st Ave, Forest Grove, OR 97116

Installed Fall 2020

Born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, Jud Turner credits his parents for providing him and his brother the freedom to explore [their] interests. Jud says “[we] were given early access to tools, materials and a lot of unsupervised time. We built forts, roller coasters, skateboard ramps, moats, tunnels, etc. But with this freedom came high expectations – a premium was placed on education and creativity when I was growing up.”

Jud recollects that he had always drawn, painted, sculpted and tried to make some sort of tangible record of his experiences and impressions of the world around him. He received training in drawing and painting at the University of Oregon, under Professor Ron Graff and the late Professor Frank Okada, both renowned artists and educators. In the early 1990’s, he transitioned to sculptural works as his main artistic output, focusing on direct welded steel work and found object assemblages.

Jud’s studio, The Oblivion Factory, is located in industrial west Eugene, Oregon. Jud is surrounded by creativity; his wife, Renee Mahni is also a sculptor. Jud says “[he] spend as much time as possible at the studio welding, working, and laughing.”

See more of Jud Turner’s works online at www.judturner.com

Thank you to our supporters and partners helping to make this project a reality