I can’t begin writing about Portland without saying thank you to my good friends Jonathan and Ty.
They welcomed me into their home and treated me like family. The spare bedroom was like a luxury suite to a traveling artist. Because of my week long residency I was able to take my time and dig in the local scene.
Though I talked to tons of artists most of them were in or on the street(s) and were either performing, unwilling to be on camera, or it was just too LOUD to hear any voices recorded. That being said I witnessed musicians, magicians, painters, clowns and glass blowers, all on the streets, corners, and throughout almost every park i visited. Portland was not short on talent.
There was so much on the street, I rarely dared to enter one of the many ultra snooty galleries. The kind of gallery where they assume I’m homeless or a “street artist” unworthy of a hello, welcome, or good day. Those “Hi End” galleries can keep their elitist vibe. If and when I get to hang my work in a gallery other than my own. It won’t be the price of my work i’m concerned with as much as the attitude and environment in which it’s displayed and how potential patrons are treated.
I found that while I was making work on the street, I was welcomed by most people walking by, shop owners, and employees. People in Portland are nice, like Midwest nice. I felt right at home upon arrival. In fact I’m digging this Northwest treatment so much I could seriously consider moving up here. Except winter. Can’t do the “cold” thing, or I may very well already be living in Colorado.
The streets were safe, entertaining, and profitable. The people were warm, friendly and welcoming. The weather was hot, the scenery and architecture were gorgeous. All in all Portland was a very productive and invigorating experience.