Therman Statom, an American studio glass artist, is working with Jordan D. Schnitzer and Harsch Investment Properties to create a beautiful piece for an upcoming real estate development, in Portland, Oregon.
“I was delighted that he asked me to come here 'cause a) I like Portland, b) I like them and their general support has transcended any economics. I look for creative outlets and of menus and one of them is ‘What am I doing at this here with Jordan?’ I mean, here's a friend and then he has this company and everyone within this company, this Harsch company, it's pretty nice group of people, it's like a team.”
Statom has been a close friend to both Arlene and Jordan Schnitzer for over 30 years. This relationship began to flourish when Arlene Schnitzer first commissioned a piece from Statom. Recalling an early memory of Arlene, Statom warmly recalls, “she knew I liked to play golf so she took me golfing and she was this feisty woman, I was actually very, very scared of her. I remember she was in Seattle once and ... This is some time ago, I remember hiding in the woods until she left and she was talking to Dale Chihuly or something…but when she took me golfing we had this funny dialogue where I had no choice but to talk with her and ask questions. She cussed on the golf course a little bit!”
The piece Statom was commissioned for was to include a golf ball the one, Arlene had hit a hole-in-one with, on the day they golfed. Statom was taking his time to really find a purpose for the ball. A way to truly incorporate it. And, after losing the ball for a year and a half, he finally found the perfect idea, to make a maze game with it, “the idea of the game conceptually is something I was always interested in, making artworks you could interact with.
“It changed it from just a ... I mean, there's a friendship built when anyone supports your art and financially it puts you in a place where you can continue to make it and it sorta transcended that in a way because the experience of being with people was just so much fun just as a whole! I can't quite articulate it.”
“I know for sure that they wouldn't purchase or have an artwork of mine unless they were really interested. But it was really apparent to me after looking at the way they collect work that they collect work with an intent to support the artist as opposed to just collecting the most ... I go to collections and they buy art to fit into a hole…”
“Jordan's quite the opposite, actually. He looks for a logic, an artistic logic within the body of work that an artist does over a period of time. And he has an interest in the full range of what they do.”