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PCC’s Art Beat features some sweet attractions and interactions

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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.).

A photograph of PCC student Jeremy Weed made from candy images.

A photograph of PCC student Jeremy Weed made from candy images.

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.”

Highlights include:

Southeast Center

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…

Sylvania Campus

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…

Cascade Campus

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…

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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x by Billy 4 years ago

Too bad Horatio Hung-Yan Law is not aware of New York artist Chuck Close, whose work has employed this method of pixelizing images or years, and with much more interesting results. Or maybe Law is familiar with the work of Close, and was influenced?

If you know Close’s work, the piece represented in the article is a weak and silly cribbing of a great artist. But perhaps I missed something? I’d like to hear others’ reactions.

x by Gabriel 4 years ago

I don’t know if Horatio was influenced by Close, or not.

Rather than jumping to conclusions, I really hope that you will be able to attend Art Beat and learn more about his work. It looks like he will be speaking at each campus.

x by Sara Guerre 4 years ago

Ha, The Decemberists at Rock Creek, the most hipster campus of all. That will be a fun event!

x by Luis 4 years ago

Art Beat is always a great week on the campuses and this year looks amazing. Lunchtime music, Trek at PCC, Colin Melloy, Carson Ellis, Cyclops, candy art, biological art, hands-on art, student art. So much art, so much fun! At Sylvania, I’m excited about the collaborative experiences of Message Connect chalk art and the tantalizing Wearable Art Parade.

x by Frank Rizzo 4 years ago

I’m pretty sure a fifth grader with one class in photoshop could more than likely make a picture with more depth and intelligence than this. Here’s how to make this picture: Get a google image of a lifesaver, copy, paste about 1000 times and put it in a box shape, then change the color of each one to look like something. I’t’s like making 8-bit art but acting like it’s something special. Please get good art to hang, not 8-bit hack work.

x by Kathleen 4 years ago

Art is in the eye of the beholder. Not every piece will delight your soul but I think each artist and creation deserves some respect. I suggest that Billy, Frank and other shoot-from-the-lip critics take an art class and see how challenging it is to create. And if you’re really interested, see Mr. Law’s other artwork referenced on the link at the beginning of the story and then ask yourself if those are things “a fifth grader with one class in photoshop could more than likely make.”

x by Dwayne D. Johnson 4 years ago

This sad attempt at an artful show is embarrassing. When I was in the ring, mushroom stomping and diamond dusting, the crowd was immersed… that can’t be said about the so called ‘Art Beat.’ If you don’t impress me I’ll show you a real BEAT-ing, and it won’t end with a draw.

I’ll take your candy art, full of carbs and unneeded sugars, and smmmmash it into a millions pieces. You’re gonna regret all your hardwork, on banal art, when I come-a-huntin…

You nancy-boys better prepare, cause when I suit-up you go down.

Can you smell it?

-Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

x by John Cena 4 years ago

Hold up Dwayne, what makes you a judge of art? I’ve seen your movies, and they’re pitiful… you’re not even a real wrestler anymore, heck, you never were.

I happen to enjoy this art, and I’ll defend it will my WWE Championship belt. One smack to the face by my belt, followed by a body avalanche, and you’ll be KNOCKED-OUT!

You don’t know good art, and you don’t know good wrestlin’.

Cena OUT!

-John Felix Anthony Cena

x by Dwayne D. Johnson 4 years ago

Oh, you wanna start something Cena? You big fat bowl of Fruity Pebbles!

I knew you were weak for the sweets. You’d gobble up all the doughnuts if you could.

x by John Cena 4 years ago



hmmmphhh, hhrrruuuuhhhhh, hhyyyaahhhhh!




x by Dwayne D. Johnson 4 years ago

hyyyyaaahhhhhh, grrrrruummmppphhhhhhhh.

**flying leg slam****

pppppphhhhhh, hhhhrhrggggggg, kyyyaaaahhhh.


x by Billy 4 years ago

I like the “shoot from the lip” phrase, reminds me of Jasper Johns’ piece “The Critic Sees”. You see Kathleen, I have taken a few art classes–and I have looked at a lot of art. My concern with Mr. Law’s work is the question of derivation. Perhaps that is not a concern for others,but I do think a context has to be considered. Mr. Law should probably weigh in about now. I love Cy Twombly, and yes, work looking like his could be done by a five year old artist, but the body of work he produced could not. And if I made works that looked a lot like Twombly’s then I would expect some criticism for being derivative…

x by Juli K. 4 years ago

I like that when you squint your eyes, it kind of looks like Ricky from Trailer Park Boys.

x by Terry Bollea 4 years ago

That’s it, Rock – meet me in the squared circle.

You better take your vitamins and say your prayers, cause you’re gonna get the leg drop, brother!

So what are you gonna do, Rock
When hulkamania runs wild on YOU
*insert flex*

x by Joshua H. 3 years ago

Is it art. Sure. Is it new? Not at all.
It’s easily created with any variety of mosaic software found for free on the internet. Just upload a library of photos, the more the merrier, click the “create” button and presto. The software generates a mosaic image of your favorite pop cultural icon or whatever you’d like.

I used to do this for fun in 2003-’04.


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