ARTSPARKS 2010 is a project that seeks to infuse new creative energy in Pioneer Square this summer, creatively engaging the community, “sparking” public interest, and enlivening this historic district.
The vision is to bring art in all its forms to Occidental Square Park, to create a public space where art and life entwine and art works as a vehicle for positive social change.
The first in a series of exhibits will appear on June 3. An ever-changing installation by artist collective Room4Assembly, Build Here focuses on the evolving historical context of Occidental Park. Using chalk lines, survey notations and framing lumber, this dynamic installation will define the footprints of various buildings that once occupied the space, highlighting the relationship of time, space and use. Build Here will be on display until June 27.
Fourteen artists will collectively exhibit elements of street theatre, dance, temporary sculpture, environmentally scaled installations, visual art and “happenings” throughout the summer. ARTSPARKS seeks to transform Occidental Park into a showcase for the imagination—a unique and changing landscape that will breathe new life into the Pioneer Square neighborhood.
Three artists propose working with the park’s London Plane trees, installing objects that will subtly and sometimes dramatically alter our perception of the park.
MiLa is a collective made up of Jennifer Milliron and Edward Lalonde, two artists who also have architecture training. Their work Prismatic Landscape creates a vibrant spatial experience by hanging hundreds of holographic film strips below the canopy of trees, casting an ever-evolving colored spectrum of lights on the surfaces and users of the park.
Michelle Arab’s installation Windmap of Occidental Park draws our attention to the city’s relationship and proximity to the water by hanging thousands of bells in the trees whose chimes will telegraph the changing breezes from the sea.
Other artists include veteran butoh dance artist Joan Laage whose performance piece will examine our attachments to the buildings that comprise our urban environment; multi-disciplinary artist and poet A.K. Mimi Allin’s project will engage users of the park in a dialogue about community.
Two artists who have exhibited at Portland’s Time-Based Art Festival will also be showing here – film/installation artist Britta Johnson’s work investigates the economy of homelessness, and Portland-based installation/performance artist Christopher Reitmaier’s daily-evolving work will be made entirely of found and discarded objects from within and around the park.
All of these imaginative works are designed to transform our experience of Occidental Park this summer.