PCC’s Art Beat features some sweet attractions and interactions
Photos and Story by James Hill
In its 26th year, Portland Community College’s Art Beat is getting sweeter with age.
This year’s featured artwork titled “Aja, Jeremy and Jessie,” by Horatio Hung-Yan Law involves three 32×40-inch photographs constructed out of images of candy. Law’s work highlights Art Beat, which runs from May 6-10 and showcases more than 60 presentations, performances, demonstrations and workshops in music, literature, sculpture, and painting. All events, which spotlight more than 100 artists, are free and open to the public. Art Beat will spread out over all of the college’s campuses, including Rock Creek (17705 NW Springville Road), Sylvania (12000 SW 49th Ave.), Cascade (705 N. Killingsworth St.) and the Southeast Center (2305 SE 82nd Ave. and Division St.).
The featured artwork showcases a bit of visual sweetness for viewers. Each photograph’s pixels were substituted with small pictures of candy, minute details of Lifesavers and jellybeans. Modified to reflect the tones of the actual photograph, the individual images of the candy re-create the photographs of Southeast Portland students Aja Jabbi, Jeremy Weed and Jessie Nguyen. The artwork will be installed permanently at the Southeast Center during Art Beat week.
“From a distance you see the larger images, but once you get closer you can see, much like a digital camera if you blow it up too much, the pixels,” said Law, a faculty member at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and this year’s Art Beat featured artist. “It’s about how the brain ties the pixels together seamlessly.”
The featured art will be unveiled and discussed by Law from noon to 1 p.m., Tuesday, May 7, during the Southeast Center’s Art Beat reception at the Community Hall, Administration Building. He’ll discuss his artistic goals and show how people can enrich the cultural fabric by weaving art into everyday life. In addition to his reception, Law will lecture about the art and his creative process from 2-3 p.m., Monday, May 6, in the Little Theatre, Sylvania Campus and from 11 a.m. to noon, Thursday, May 9, in Room 221, Moriarty Arts and Humanities Building, Cascade Campus.
This year, the chance for the public to participate and engage with the art or artists is greater than ever before. Thanks to visual arts fairs being held across the district during Art Beat, attendees will have a chance to get hands-on as well as chat with artists during demos and lectures.
“You can sit for a portrait drawing, try your hand a stone carving and talk to artists one-on-one,” said Benjamin Buswell, sculpture instructor and Art Beat coordinator at the Rock Creek Campus. “Our goal is to encourage visitors to engage with the artists. We want you to look, ask questions and participate in these public events.”
Critically-acclaimed Portland Soul All-Stars music performance from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30, Monday, May 6, in Mt. Tabor’s Great Hall showcases classic sounds of the 1960s and 70s; and the Shanghai Woolies, created by a member of Pink Martini, will entertain from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Thursday, May 9, in the Great Hall. View all events…
Rock Creek Campus
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday, May 6 through Wednesday, May 8, the Visual Arts Fair will feature interactive workshops and demonstrations in the Building 3 mall. And from 1:30-2:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 8, in Room 102, Building 3, Colin Melloy, lead singer and composer for The Decemberists, and author of the “Wildwood” series of novels, and Carson Ellis, illustrator for The Decemberists and the “Wildwood” series, will answer questions on the nature of their artistic collaboration where music, art and creative writing converge. View all events…
Go By Train musical performance, featuring a fusion of jazz and electronica, is set to go from noon to 1 p.m., Monday, May 6, Performing Arts Center courtyard; noon to 1 p.m., Tuesday, May 7, PAC courtyard, Russell Bruner and Noelle Reese will give a swing dance demonstration; and the Hands-On Arts Festival from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, May 10, also in the courtyard, features aluminum casting, portrait drawing, photography creation, and steamrolling printmaking. View all events…
Portland Art Museum Minor White Curator Julia Dolan’s museum curation discussion from noon to 2 p.m., Monday, May 6, Auditorium, Moriarty Arts and Humanities Building; Paulann Peterson, Oregon’s Poet Laureate, gives a literary discussion from 1-3 p.m., Tuesday, May 7, Room 303, Student Center Building; and, inspired by NASA photography, San Francisco’s Renee Gertler talks about the relationship between sculpture and photography from 6-7 p.m., Thursday, May 9, Room 222, Moriarty Arts and Humanities Building. View all events…