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PCC’s Art Beat Festival welcomes artists of all kinds

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Portland Community College’s largest weeklong festival dedicated to the arts is ready for its 24th season.

The 2011 Art Beat Festival at Portland Community College is a celebration of the arts from Monday, May 9, through Friday, May 13, at all of the college’s major comprehensive campuses. Art Beat covers visual art, dance, music, literature and theater, featuring more than 80 events around the PCC district. The 24th annual Art Beat Festival is free and open to the public. Parking at all PCC campuses also is free during the festival.

Art Beat featured artist Marie Watt.

“Art Beat reflects Portland Community College’s dedication to its students and to the larger community,” said Kristin Bryant, Sylvania Campus Art Beat chair and composition and literature instructor. “This celebration involves local artists as well as PCC student and faculty creations, including presentations, demonstrations, performances and workshop. The variety of events is truly amazing.”

Art Beat will spread out over all of the college’s campuses, including Rock Creek (17705 N.W. Springville Road), Sylvania (12000 S.W. 49th Ave.), Cascade (705 N. Killingsworth St.) and the Southeast Center (2305 S.E. 82nd and Division St.).

Featured Artist – Marie Watt

This year’s featured artist is a familiar face. Marie Watt, who taught for nine years at the Sylvania Campus, is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, and Portland. Her cornerstone work, “Susan B. Anthony with Woodland Influences,” is Art Beat’s featured piece. Watt, who helped bring the welcoming totem pole to Sylvania in 2000, earned a master’s degree in Fine Arts in Painting and Printmaking from the Yale University’s School of Art and a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Art/Art History from Willamette University.

Watt will present on her featured work and her style as an artist from 1 to 2 p.m., Monday, May 9, Little Theatre, Sylvania Campus and 9 to 10 a.m., Tuesday, May 10, Room 217, Moriarty Arts and Humanities Building, Cascade Campus.

Watt has received much critical attention for her work, including recent exhibitions in the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the Portland Art Museum and the Aldrich Museum in New York. Working with carved cedar, cast bronze and collected wool blankets, Watt draws from indigenous design principles, oral traditions and her personal experiences.

Art Beat features painting demos as well as workshops for all disciplines.

2011 Art Beat Highlights

The Oregon Universal Zulu Nation infuses all elements of Hip Hop into their dance performances. The troupe will appear from 11 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, May 10, Performing Arts Center Courtyard, Sylvania Campus; 11 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, May 11, Building 3 Fountain Mall, Rock Creek Campus; noon to 1 p.m., Thursday, May 12, Mt. Tabor Great Hall, Southeast Center; and 11 a.m. to noon, Friday, May 13, Outdoor Mall, Cascade Campus.

Dragon Arts, a Chinese puppet theatre group that blends puppetry and music with elegance, humor and special effects, performs their work “Images of China,” from 2 to 3 p.m., Tuesday, May 10, Performing Arts Center, Sylvania Campus.

The Rock Creek Campus Building 3 Fountain Mall will become a huge artists’ studio with a Visual Arts Fair and painting demonstration. The fair will feature printmaking, stone carving and woodworking from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, May 10 and Wednesday, May 11. In addition, PCC art faculty Mark Andres and Christopher Knight will collaborate on developing two large multiple-paneled paintings, starting from blank canvas over two days – Monday, May 9, and Wednesday, May 11, also from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Don Colburn’s Poetry Discussion and Workshop takes place from 6 to 7 p.m., Room 138, Mount Tabor, Southeast Center. Coburn is a longtime newspaper reporter for The Washington Post and The Oregonian and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing.

For additional information on these and all of the artists and events happening at Art Beat, visit

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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