As filming for the eighth and final season of Portlandia begins, you can buy art from the show's set to benefit a crowdsourcing fund for the two women who were verbally abused by the MAX attacker and p:ear, a local gallery that mentors homeless youth.
The sale was organized by Bridget Larrabee, the woman behind Art Scout, the art consulting organization that has sourced all the art for Portlandia's set since Season Five. Much of the art works for sale are the original pieces that were displayed on the set (you can browse the art by the characters whose house they adorned).
The five photographs that benefit either p:ear or the women targeted by the MAX attacker are prints, which Larrabee says is for the purpose of selling as many as possible. Whether the money goes to p:ear or the MAX victims depends on the print. The three prints whose proceeds go to p:ear are all from the season six punk barbecue sketch, including a photo of a DIY grill made from a shopping cart. One of the two prints that will benefit the MAX victims is by Larrabee herself—a charcoal skull with a giant red tongue that rested on the mantle of goth couple Vince and Jacqueline.
p:ear is a Chinatown gallery that hosts monthly gallery shows as well as art-based mentorship and outreach to Portland homeless and transitional youth. The sale started at the beginning of this month, and Larrabee says it made sense for some of the money to go to p:ear because they use art as "a skill that teaches people with a passion that they are valuable individuals with a future who have something vital to contribute to this community." But after the attack on the MAX, Larrabee says she felt compelled to donate some of the proceeds to the women were harassed, too, and updated the fundraiser accordingly a few days later.
The works Larrabee provided as a set dresser for Portlandia were all loaned from Portland artists.
"In exchange for borrowing their artwork and placing them on the show, we have given the artists thank you cards, some swag and a chance to be extras on the show," says Larrabee via email. "This art sale, however, will really exhibit our appreciation to the artists who help keep Portlandia truly Portland-based."
Larrabee started working with Portlandia during filming for season three when the production team hired her to provide art for a skit about a consultant firm that provides business with bad art. She assembled a team of local artists, and they got to work painting cats with mugs, glowing guitars and up-close portraits of Macy Gray.
"Anytime the art was looking too 'good' we would have a non-artist make it bad," says Larrabee.
Art Scout's sale of Portlandia set art continues through Friday.