Lifelong residents, the youth of tomorrow and Midwestern transplants all share one thing in common: An inspiration in their gut derived from the contours and curves, the colors and lines, the quirks and personality of Portland.
As the city's population keeps growing with no indication of stopping, age and race demographics keep changing. So too do the eccentricities and backgrounds of the many artists who choose Portland as their home base.
A new exhibit at Artist Repertory Theatre's Geezer Gallery will examine just how Portland's unique charm manifests itself on the canvases of 13 local artists, ranging from 20-somethings to octogenarians.
Celebrating Portland–An Intergenerational Collaboration (opening July 1) includes work by the photographer behind the Portland Airport's welcome exhibit "Portland: East Meets West," Beth Kerschen, and portrait artist Wayne Chin, a favorite for U.S. District Court and University of Portland commissions. Fairy house architect and local painter Peter Greaver made the list too, along with Micah Krock, an Ohio native who moved here and developed an infatuation with Portland architecture.
"Within a year or two of being here, with the buildings and bridges, I just had to start painting all of that and just playing with it," says Krock.
Krock's admiration and reverence for the city of Portland reflects the attitude depicted in the works of all the artists showing pieces in Celebrating Portland. And where some of the artists may choose historical photo collages or governmental portraiture as their muses, Krock has developed an attraction to the many bridges of Portland.
His abstract depictions of Portland's bridges pop with a sense of vibrancy—still obvious and iconic representations of the structures, but imbued with the personality hidden within each that seeps out and sticks in your memory after getting acquainted with the overpasses day in and day out.
"They [the bridges] speak to me the most," Krock said. "They're so beautiful. It's all the different shapes and all the line work and play that can happen. There is so much to work with in terms of things to play with and blow out and they can almost begin to look like these crazy creatures."
Krock had hoped to be able to work with Deviation to get models of the skis and snowboards into the gallery, and Deviation pulled through. Both Krock and Mussotto will have models of their designs displayed next to their pieces in the gallery.
Celebrating Portland–An Intergenerational Collaboration will celebrate the city, itself. But, it will also celebrate the artists who call Portland their home, exploring how they express themselves and make themselves known. From depicting Oregonian politicians through portraiture, to working alongside and creating designs for local businesses, the exhibit will honor Portland-inspired art and the artists who create it.
GO: Celebrating Portland–An Intergenerational Collaborative is at Artist's Repertory Theatre, 1515 SW Morrison St., 12-6 pm Tuesday-Sunday, July 1 – Aug. 31. Artist Reception on Thursday, Aug. 18.