Bridge Biographies

USING LARGE-SCALE video projections and original sound compositions, artists Tim DuRoche and Ed Purver transformed the Hawthorne and Morrison Bridges in downtown Portland into giant temporary art installations in September. The Hidden Life of Bridges, part of RACC’s “intersections” artists-in-residence program, included interviews with bridge engineers, operators and maintenance workers. Audio from these recorded interviews was mixed with live bridge-crossing traffic sounds and broadcast from the Hawthorne Bridge, where audiences could watch animated images of the interviews and live sounds waves as they were broadcast onto the Morrison Bridge a quarter of a mile away. The project was funded with Multnomah County Percent for Art funds, and although the installation was temporary, the artists’ work can still be viewed online at  hiddenlifeofbridges.org.


Any Given Child

IN OCTOBER, local arts and education leaders unveiled a report on the state of arts education in our region, along with four new goals for providing arts learning experiences for every K–8 child: a diversity of arts experiences, an ongoing and integrative approach to arts learning, an in-depth understanding of and skills in at least one art form for every student, and a community commitment to arts education as a way to close achievement gaps in schools. The framework for the report was provided by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., which in 2010 selected RACC and its arts education partnership, The Right Brain Initiative, as the third participant nationwide in Any Given Child. The national program helps communities use existing resources to craft sustainable, long-range plans to bring a complete arts education to every K–8 student. The report was coordinated locally by Right Brain and included contributions and interpretation from a Community Arts Team of 20 volunteers.

The report can be downloaded as a PDF at racc.org/agc2011.


Extraordinary Artist

IN JUNE, RACC awarded its 2011 Fellowship in Visual Arts to Portland painter Eric Stotik. A working artist for three decades, Stotik says the fellowship award of $20,000 will help him transition from small-format paintings in his basement to larger-scale paintings created in a rented studio, and will help him buy his first computer, opening up new ways to capture, share, and promote his work.

Stotik’s paintings, which can be seen at Laura Russo Gallery, provide surrealistic insights “with a gasp,” as he describes it—skeletons with wings, arms, and legs emerging from red smoke, a nude figure hung over a bear skin. He’s the fourth visual artist to receive the fellowship, which is open to tricounty artists who have been living in Oregon for at least five years and working in their discipline for at least ten. The award rotates among performing, literary, and media arts.

Stotik joins an illustrious group of past winners that include drummer Obbo Addy, animator Joanna Priestley, and poet and essayist Kim Stafford. To honor these extraordinary artists, RACC has installed a gallery of RACC Fellows in its new offices. The gallery is also available online at racc.org/fellows.


Chronicling the City

THE VISUAL CHRONICLE of Portland, a collection of original artworks on paper that document artists’ impressions of the city, turned a quarter-century in 2011. Suggested by artist Henk Pander who was inspired by the Topographic Atlas of Amsterdam, which was begun in the 1930s, the Chronicle is intended to reveal the city’s vitality and its distinctive personalities. To mark the Chronicle’s first 25 years, RACC added commissions by local artists Dan Attoe, Debra Beers, and Roll Hardy. Their works join an important pictorial archive that creatively and poignantly captures the Portland zeitgeist, or “spirit of the times.” To view the entire collection online, visit  racc.org/visualchronicle.