For years, as drivers take the I-5 ramp at North Alberta Street, they've been greeted by a strange sight: a giant light-up face on the front porch of a blue house just east of the exit, with coy, half-lidded eyes framed by spiraling curls.
Homeowner Bert Gorski's ongoing public art project started out as a Christmas lights display in 2011.
"Then I thought, 'What if I papier-mâchéd the metal frame that the lights were hanging on?'" he says.
Gorski, who works as a machinist in Hillsboro, tinkered with several iterations over the years, moving from papier-mâché to wood and clear plastic. "It was for fun," Gorski says. "I learned about Arduino [an open-source electronics platform for software and hardware], and that opened up all sorts of doors." The software allowed him to run a wire conduit through the face and program LED lights to flash in different patterns.
The current face hasn't changed in a year, but Gorski tells WW to "keep your eyes peeled. The next few months, something big is going to come out there. I'm playing with other stuff to learn how to sculpt better. Once I stop learning, I'll stop. It's more fun to figure out how to do it."