Jill Torberson is an artist 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 was a frequent guest artist at The Oregon College of Art and Craft, an alumni artist from The Museum of Contemporary Craft, and had past exhibitions with the Mark Woolley and Guardino Galleries in Portland, Oregon.
Aside from her gallery shows, Jill does private and public commissions in custom steel fabrication 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.
Jill’s design approach to artwork and steelwork is to create pieces that are light by design. “Light” in these works refers to both the structure as well as the way in which lighting and shadow interact with the art. She allows the structural integrity of the steel do the work, which enables her to design and fabricate artwork that seemingly floats, or is light, or can be seemingly fragile. Steel is the perfect material to realize this vision of lightness and strength.
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.
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.
PHK Developemtnt compnay based in Portland. They have an interest in doing site specific artworks and architecture throughout the region. The first commission for Jill was 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. The second is an artist interpretation of the Oregon Furnace at The Windward in lake Oswego, and a third work based on Sullivan’s Gulch is due in the Spring od 2019.
Grout Elementary School, 2015. Hand built replicas of the St. Johns Bridge and the Freemont Bridge. Each is 6 feet high, and 10 feet long, and cantilever 15 feet above a bioswale 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.