Northwest artist

This project was in conjunction with Studio Kale_Art.  The artwork is by Eugene, Oregon artist Jenny Gray. Being placed outside the fitness room and  being almost life size was appropriate.  Artwork was printed on canvas and framed in a float frame.

A view from the fitness room

Laura Bender of Site Painters recently completed this motion-filled work on commission for a client of Pero Design. We spoke to Laura about her process and insight on the commission process.

How do you begin/prefer to begin the process of a commission?

I’ve been doing commissioned work for a number of years. I first meet with the client, consultant or interior designer and we discuss the theme and what they are looking for. Recently, for Chris Pero, we explored figurative work for a project. Both my abstract and figurative work is often based on painted paper collages. Ultimately its directed by the client. For instance, a hospital might want something playful for pediatrics, while a restaurant might want something more sophisticated. My work (with my husband, John Early) is often described as lively and fresh, so people seek us out for those qualities. The color palate can be adjusted by the client; I try not to duplicate their exact colors but to enrich the color experience.

What is your process for reviews and revisions?

Of course clients like to see where the project is going. With our experience and close listening to the client we are usually able to nail it with only minor tweaks. Our portfolio helps the client see our range and our drawings and mock ups are clear and descriptive. 

Do you prefer to paint directly to surface or on a mobile medium?

I like working on a hard surface, usually stable wood panels — even in the studio we tend to do hard surfaces.

How easy is it to hear and apply the feedback of non-artists on a commissioned work?

Once again, a client comes to us because they already like the style. Requests for changes are usually easy to fulfill. Working with Chris on this recent project has been great. The work develops especially smoothly with a sensitive consultant or interior designer on a project. They can keep everyone in touch and on the same page with project timeline, expectations and budget. Whether through a consultant or directly with the client, communication makes all the difference in a successful experience for everyone.

What was your most exciting success this past year?

We got to do a really interesting body of work for Dallas Children’s Hospital. The installation included murals for the lobbies and the treatment rooms. We also did cut-out panels of animals. The murals started as collages done in our studio , scanned, and enlarged four times the size of the original and printed on acrylic panels in Texas.. It was an elaborate project, and very fulfilling and well facilitated by a local art consultant.

How has your work changed in the past 5 years, 10 years?

We used to do a lot more on-site work directly on the walls. I’m not sure if it’s the market or us presenting installable options. Most projects can’t schedule much on site painting time. Also I feel we are now more fully able to integrate all of our strengths as artists into our designs.

Here I am again tricking out another dental clinic!  I love thinking of the blissful journey patients will take as their eyes are filled with sweeping photographic landscapes of our great Northwest—soothing artwork.

Dental Care Today provides dental services for both adults and children. They’ve just bought a large property for a new clinic in Hillsboro. They’ve gone with local, self-taught, photographer, Alan Leahy who captures epic scenery around Oregon and Washington.

There are over 50 pieces to be picked and hung in the space of various sizes, including some focal pieces on acrylic at the entry points. Pero Design is choosing lots of blue skin and images with good depth to help patients keep their minds engaged while the dentists make their teeth shine.

For the pediatric wing, fun pictures of exotic animals and their funky teeth should give a good giggle and help spark conversation over proper dental care. Here’s the blank canvas of the art consultant!

Portland photographer, Kirk Jonasson, one of Pero Design’s favorite artists to hang and commission is as local as they come.

Born in Portland and educated in Oregon, Kirk is a self-taught photographer who still likes to do things the old fashioned way. He uses real film, a medium formate SLR and prints his own pictures in a dark room – making his images authentic representations of the exact moment he captured with no “photoshopping.” Kirk’s abstract images capture the extraordinary in the every day.

According to Kirk,

“For me, effective use of the camera as an art instrument extends beyond skilled documentation. Ready made beauty in a grand landscape is of less interest to me than the excitement to be found in compelling images of commonly overlooked or even outwardly mundane, subject matter.”

Kirk avoids post-production manipulation of color and composition and prints the full frame images he has captured. He believes that to alter the original image in the darkroom or via computer would devalue his intuitive process – his way of finding “magic” while in the field. We couldn’t agree more!

Want to see more of Kirk’s work in person? He’s having a show called Inner Landscapes from September 11 – October 5 at the Chessman Gallery, a nonprofit art space inside Lincoln City’s Cultural Center.

Like what you see? Contact Pero Design to view a full portfolio and coordinate the right Jonasson work or commission for your space!

What more can I say about how much I love encaustic paintings for commercial and large spaces? Obviously, they are kind of a thing for me (see: Perodesign features local NW art for first hanging at new studio space ).

Encaustics spark my curiosity and draw me in – I wonder, “what is this?” Some have little treasures embedded in the wax. Encaustic painting is an ancient Greek technique that was derived from the waxing process used to caulk ships. When color was applied to the wax the ships could be decorated. The slow build up of colored wax on easel paintings created a rich, deep pigment and an optical effect that was more lifelike then the tempura painting also being done at that time. Plus, its greater durability made it even more appealing. Our modern ability to keep the beeswax and resin used in the medium heated throughout the creative process has brought this ancient style back into the modern art sphere. Encaustics work great in a space where people have the time to really look and explore a work of art – a place where the mind can wander.

I’ve personally enjoyed encaustics in doctor’s offices and massage rooms. They are great for waiting rooms of any kind. I’ve recently met encaustic painter, Annie Darling while I was sourcing work for a large client. I know, I know! I usually push the Pacific Northwest artist angle, but I just can’t help myself from sharing her work. (She’s from Portland, ME, so that’s close enough, right? Plus, she’s a Duck.) A self-proclaimed “encaustic rebel,”

Annie started working with the wax without any formal training. Her works blend encaustic with oil, graphite, gold leaf and acrylic paint. She is heavily influenced by the natural world. I think Annie’s work really captures the viewer and inspires a creative through process. Find out more about Annie at

Contact Pero Design for information about large-scale purchasing or commissions with Annie. Pero design will be the local liaison, visiting your space for sizing, quantity and color consults or for discussing how you can commission Annie to create something just for your space.

Are you a Northwest artist with one of these ABCs? If “yes” then Chris Pero Design may have a job for you.

We are looking for new artists to represent to our clients for potential purchase and place, commissioned works and even an opportunity to show in our gallery space. We do ask that the artists we work with are timely and communicative as well as can keep a lid on a project in process until the client is ready for their full reveal. We’re not looking for anyone who wants to undersell an art consultant – we are in this work together for the benefit of all and like to keep our partnerships authentic.

We are looking for some specific work related to ongoing projects in the following areas:

  1. Work that represents our home in the Pacific Northwest, particularly the Portland Metro area leading out to the Gorge — especially if you have a new way of telling that story
  2. Metal work and sculptures
  3. Glass work — architectural and fine art
  4. Works that can be hung from the ceiling

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Allan Leahy is a local photographer, and this dental clinic has his work throughout. We start here in the lobby. The printer we used for this piece did a salon mount on the back side of acrylic with stainless stand offs. The stand offs were chosen as it worked really well with the finishes the client and designer selected.

In the surgery center, which was not complete when we took these photos, we presented the photos on acrylic without a frame. The cleat we installed them with raised them off the wall about 1/2″. The pieces are secure on the wall, and create a window like feel.

The designer came to us and asked us to print some photos on canvas for their client. I asked them more about their client and thought this was a time to step outside the box and do something that fits within their business. As you can see, we had printed 3 photos on acrylic an mounted them with steel stand offs. These abstract photos by local photographer Rick Sorensen, were presented clean and simple.

For their classroom and break area, we framed another local photographer Jerome Harts photos in nice wide black wood frames. The fun photos really pop!

Acrylic can be hard to work with, but with the careful team of installers we use, we were able to out the art up flawlessly Jerome Hart photographs show of education in the classroom.

Acrylic can be hard to work with, but with the careful team of installers we use, we were able to out the art up flawlessly
Jerome Hart photographs show of education in the classroom

Common area

This is always a fun update. The photos are taken on media day by the Trailblazers great marketing team, selected and we then print them. After we have the prints, we finish them by mounting on 3/4″ bamboo with Portland’s eco-conscious display company, Plywerk.

They layout is not easy. It’s a puzzle without a guide, so we move them around quite a bit till it just works. It is a lot of fun when the puzzle is solved.

In addition to new players, Pyramid’s Tap Room at Schonely’s Place inside the Moda Center got a fresh coat of paint and some more photos. We took the old pieces off the wall and after it was ready we did a new layout for the photos, added a more and installed, just in time for the WINNING season opener.

The Jersey case was done a couple years ago, but the light was on it just right, so had to show you. This is a display case for 3 retro jerseys. We wanted them to float in different layers so we worked with bars and cables from Arakawa to make this work.

There is a refreshing update every year

There is a refreshing update every year

The walls have been repainted, and we a=rearranged the artwork on the Tap Room at Moda Center, just in time for the winning first game!


There isn’t a space in the Tap Room that doesn’t scream Rip City.