Jill Torberson is an artist, educator, and musician from Portland, Oregon.
Primarily, Jill works in steel, creating custom ironwork for homes and public spaces throughout the metro area.
While in Portland, 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 shows with the Mark Woolley and Guardino Galleries in Portland, Oregon.
Aside from her gallery shows, Jill has several commissions involving custom steel fabrication for residences in the Portland area. She is a licensed contractor and certified welder, and creates custom gates, trellises, fences, railings, fireplace mantels and screens, as well as site-specific art for both indoor and outdoor placement.
Some public art venues include Maryhill Museum Outdoor Sculpture Invitational Exhibition in 2007. Two works of sculpture were specifically made to fit into the landscape of the Columbia River Gorge. One piece, "Fertility Petroglyph", remains in the museums permanent collection.
Portland General Electric Company hired Jill to create art for The Alder Street sub station Portland's Belmont neighborhood. The concept was to create work that captures the eye, while not completely obstructing the power station. Project is 60 linear feet by 8 feet high, and is the first of it's kind for PGE.
PGE also has Jill's work in the Hydro Electric offices in the World Trade center in Portland, as well as a sculpture in their public relations office.
Jill has done other custom work for the Portland General Electric Company, including participation in "the Power House Project", where invited artists tour historic hydropower facilities, and create art which then travels for educational purposes throughout Oregon.
3 other public works include the following:
Hoyt Arboretum in Portland, Oregon. This commission was to create site specific and functional ironwork to adorn the public visitor's center in Washington Park. Marvel 29, St. John's, in Portland, Oregon. Site specific and historically relevant work for the lobby of a new market rate-housing complex on the East end of the St. John's Bridge.
Grout Elementary School, 2015. Hand built replicas of the St. John's Bridge and the Freemont Bridge. Each is 6 feet high, and 10 feet long, and cantilever 15 feet above a bio swale to serve as rain diverters for the garden. The bridge pieces where a collaboration between the PTA and the artist. The work had to pass both a structural engineering test, as well as a welding test.
Aside from her work in art, Jill is a musician, and plays the horn in several groups in Portland, including the Columbia Symphony Orchestra, the Portland Festival Symphony, and the Northwest Horn Orchestra. She is a member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 99, and is an active freelance and orchestral musician.
Along with her music and artwork, Jill is an adjunct faculty member at Portland State University. She works in the School of Architecture, teaching metal shop skills to the students in the school of architecture.
1.Her interest in jettisoned materials is well understood by us, given our own interest in markers of rural Maine living, especially those from the past, those at risk of fading away completely.
Torberson's contribution is not wholly that of resurrecting forgotten effects. She has an encompassing ability to transform literal into figural - to essentialize the already-defined into basic elements - elements she then utilizes to signify what was. She does all this, and in the process creates something entirely new.
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Torberson's work communicates an encouraging lesson about design; namely, to not take it for granted. Ubiquitous expression of function is just that: An expression - one of a possible many –
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2.Literally a "Jill" of all trades, Woodstock neighbor Jill Torberson has her hand in ceramics, printmaking and mixed media. But our favorites are her metal garden sculptures. Among her items sold at Dig, her work ranges from the abstract (like her Two Birds, One Stone garden sculpture) to the practical (like her reclaimed metal stair railing). Not only is her work locally made, but it's often made from recycled materials found in Portland.