Public Art

Compass Rose Mosaic



Created in the studio of Illahe Gallery, artist Sue Springer created this colorful compass mosaic to help orient students and park visitors to the cardinal directions and to provide a beautiful, interesting and interactive point of entry to the Demonstration Gardens.  The mosaic includes mountains, landmarks and rivers of the surrounding landscape and helps visitors and students alike orient themselves in the natural world.  A workshop was held at the Nature Center in August of 2011 which allowed  community members to make pieces representing plants and animals which were then included in the mosaic.

The Peace Wall

The Peace Wall in front of the Ashland Public Library


“Rio Amistad”



“Rio Amistad” covers approximately 320 square feet of the Calle Guanajuato Overlook, just a short walk from the historic plaza and theaters of Ashland,  Oregon.  The large-scale ceramic mosaic was designed and created by Susan Springer, owner of Illahe Studios and Gallery and was installed over a period of several weeks by Springer and the Tileworks artists with volunteer help of many community members.

“From the River to the Sea”

Measuring 18 feet in length and 9 feet in height, this mural and natural fountain depicts the life which abounds on the beautiful Oregon coast.  Catch basins are strategically placed to direct rainwater over the colorful Chinook salmon sculptures swimming upstream to spawn.  At the West end of the mural are an abundance of sea creatures, including starfish, crabs, shells and seaweed.  A Great Blue Heron watches over the fresh water river emptying into the Pacific Ocean.

The Coastal Arts and Business Alliance, a collaboration of business leaders, regional arts groups, and community boosters, called upon Susan Springer and her staff of artisans at Illahe Tileworks to celebrate the concept of water and the coastal environment.

Alsea Bay Bridge

The City of Springfield “Between the Rivers”

The “Between the Rivers” mural measures 7’ x 14’ and was custom-designed for the City of Springfield, Oregon by Susan Springer and Illahe Tileworks.  The mural depicts a map of the city, with softy glazed tile pieces representing areas within the city limits and unglazed tile (natural clay color) showing outlying areas.  It is permanently installed outside city council chambers for public viewing.

The staff at Illahe Tileworks has successfully completed a number of site-specific commissions, as well as public and private art projects, which required close collaboration with others — from college and hospital administrators to public agency staff.  As a contractor licensed by the Oregon Construction Contractors board, Susan Springer has had extensive experience with design, fabrication and installation of similar projects across theUnited States.  With a strong background as builder and artisan, she has collaborated with architectural and construction teams, solving technical issues as they arise.

The Great Seal, Lucky Seven Casino

The “Great Seal of the Tolowa Deeni Nation” is a combination of handmade tile, mosaic and relief borders.  The circular logo measures six feet in diameter and is installed directly into the sidewalk at the main entrance to the Smith River Casino in Smith River, California.  The colors and images in the mural were adapted to complement the redwood and stone building that houses the casino, which is located on the northern California coast.  Elements of the land, sea and rivers are represented, and the border echoes the friendship weave pattern used in Native American basketry from this part of the Pacific coast.

Beginning with the tribal logo of the Tolowa Deeni Nation, the Native American tribe which owns and operates the casino, Susan Springer and Illahe Tileworks worked closely with Tribal Elders and building architects to design the mural.  The artisans at Illahe then manufactured the mural in Ashland, Oregon, over a period of several months, and transported it to the site for installation.

“The Life Cycle of the Salmon”. Oregon Zoo

“The Life Cycle of the Salmon” was created and installed by Susan Springer and Illahe Tileworks, per specifications by the City of Portland.  The brightly glazed ceramic tile mosaic depicts the physical changes undergone by the salmon as it makes its journey from river to sea and back again for spawning.  The mural measures roughly 7’ in diameter and is installed directly into the sidewalk of the Eagle Canyon exhibit, a 2004 addition to the spectacular Oregon Zoo.  This is one of many successful site-specific art projects created by Illahe Tileworks.

Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, is home to this large-scale landscape mural, custom made by Susan Springer and Illahe Tileworks.  Funding for this and other “public art” projects comes from Oregon’s 1% for Art Program, whereby all new public buildings must allow 1% of their total budget for creation of juried art, to be installed for public perusal.

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