Master Penworks of Tom Stefopoulos

Hellenic-American Cultural Center and Museum Presents “Master Penworks of Tom Stefopoulos: The Hellenic Artist of the Lovejoy Columns” February 1 – March 31 as Part of the Capitol History Gateway Exhibit Program

The Hellenic-American Cultural Center (HECC) and Museum presents “Master Penworks of Tom Stefopoulos: The Hellenic Artist of the Lovejoy Columns” February 1 through March 31. This virtual exhibit will be available to explore through the Oregon State Capitol website as part of the Capitol History Gateway program. This digital presentation was funded by the Oregon State Capitol Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c) 3.

Athanasios (Tom) Efthimiou Stefopoulos was a factory worker, railroad man, commercial artist, and a champion penman. Art was his first love but pursuing this was difficult for a young immigrant in an adopted country where he did not even speak the language. In 1945, he was employed by the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railroad to work as a crossing watchman under the Lovejoy Ramp of the Broadway Bridge in Portland, Oregon. It was here that the artist created the iconic “Lovejoy Columns.” This exhibition considers the range of Stefopoulos’ art, from pen drawings to the murals that graced the Lovejoy Columns. His style is a unique blend of calligraphic lines and Art Nouveau, and his themes span Ancient Greek philosophy to contemporary world events. In style and in theme, Stefopoulos blended a myriad of influences, a result of a life lived in multiple places and among many people. Despite a life that was characterized by movement and synthesis, however, the Lovejoy Columns represent a sense of belonging to specific place—in this case, to Oregon. Stefopoulos’ art gives insight into how the artist envisioned himself in this new home.

Since the historic portion of the Capitol is not accessible due to construction until 2025, the physical exhibit will not be scheduled in the Capitol Galleria until then. For those interested in learning more about Stefopoulos, the HECC recorded a 15-minute podcast this month exploring his life and works.

For more information about future events and exhibits at the Capitol, visit

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