Artists mingle, at ‘grant opportunity’ workshop

Find out why a room full of artists came to learn more about a program that will be part of the Powell-Division Bus Rapid Transit Project …

After learning about the Powell-Division Bus Rapid Transit Project Art Grant Program, attendees mix and mingle.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Area artists, who paint, sculpt, take photographs, or create “performance art” gathered to on February 7th find out how they could be awarded a grant of from $500 to $1,500 by the Powell Division Bus Rapid Transit Project.

During the day-long workshop, held in meeting rooms in a small Asian-themed mall across from the offices of the Jade District – a Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI) district – on SE 82nd Avenue of Roses, there was plenty of time for networking. And participants also viewed exhibits and presentations.

Project “artists-in-residence” Linda Wysong and Horatio Hung-Yan Law tell about the Creative Community Engagement grant.

This isn’t art that will hang in a gallery, explained one of the “artists-in-residence”, Horatio Hung-Yan Law. “This is a creative community-engagement grant. It is a way to get artists connected with the community by doing art-related projects.”

In addition, participants also learned more about their hosts, the Jade District, and the Division Midway Alliance NPI, an event co-sponsor. Law told East Portland News, “Representatives of both districts talked about what was special about their areas.

During their lunch break, participants are treated to a Thai food buffet banquet that all say is both delicious, and plentiful.

“And, because it is a community collaborative project, we want attendees to connect to each other, and perhaps do a collaborative project,” Law added. “By getting to know one another’s talents, we can all better connect.”

The project’s other artist-in-residence, Linda Wysong, commented, “In fact, we’re working together as ‘artist activists’. I, for example, have worked with labor unions, with neighborhood projects, and on public art as well.”

Jade District Manager Todd Struble, and Division Midway Alliance District Director Lori Boisen, say they’re glad their organizations will be collaborating on this community project.

After his presentation, Jade District Manager Todd Struble remarked, “We are excited to host all of these talented artists to help develop a process in which we can interact with the community.”

And, Division Midway Alliance District Director Lori Boisen said she was favorably impressed with the “creative energy” at the meeting. “We have been collaborating with the Jade District behind the scenes; and will be doing so on another project coming up in May.”

East Portland community activist Anita Yap and friends gather to lend support to this art program.

As the group stepped out for a “walking tour” of the Jade District, Law observed, “The best outcome will be people coming up with wonderful creative project that will help connect people in this community with each other.”

Off the group goes – on a walking tour of the Jade District.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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