Budding painters and sculptors flourish at Rosewood art show

What happens at an event called ‘Make-Coffee/Drink-Art’? Take a look at this fun story, and find out …

Many people stop by the Rosewood Initiative Center to contribute their talent at this participatory community art project.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
People from a wide area of outer East Portland had a fun day at an event called “Community Connection: Make-Coffee/Drink-Art” on May 31 at the Rosewood Initiative Center.

“My husband, Mark R. Smith, and I are visual artists,” said event organizer Maria T. D. Inocencio. “We received a commission from Portland Police Bureau (PPB) to create artwork for the new Training Division complex they building on NE Airport Way. We are creating a sculpture for the building.”

Artists Mark R. Smith and Maria T.D. Inocencio say they’re pleased at the positive community response to the “art day” at the Rosewood center.

But, another component of their overall commission was to create a “community-building event” to help better connect the Police Bureau with the public, Inocencio told East Portland News.

“We extended an invitation to anyone in East Portland to come and do art with us today,” Inocencio remarked. “And, we’ve invited a guest artist, Rochelle Kulei, to create a painting here. We are providing activities for all who come in today.”

Portland State University student Asmait Zeleke encourages Jesus Cruz-Fernandez to help with the painting of a mural.

The best part the event for her, Inocencio said, “Is watching everybody having a good time, and meeting people. It’s also fun watching people help each other, and especially the kids, do some of the art projects.”

One of the activities at the day-long outer East Portland event was encouraging participants to build a tower as tall and strong as possible, using empty paper cups. “We have three hours, and three a thousand cups,” Inocencio explained, “and we hope to make something unusual and fun.”

Shoshone Indian and a professional artist Rochelle Kulei pauses from her painting to talk with PPB Training Division Captain Bryan Parman.

“This is turned out to be a great event,” commented PPB Training Division Captain Bryan Parman.

“I’ve been associated with the Rosewood Initiative when I was assigned to East Precinct, when they were developing the community center. I’m really happy to see how it has turned out. It’s really a great place to connect with the community.”

PPB Training Division Officer Tracy Burleson hands off cups for the “tower” as it is constructed.

PSU architecture student Woodrow Merkel talks about their Rosewood-area project.

Another feature of the event was a presentation of a project by graduating Portland State University architecture students.

“In our project, we were basically looking at vacancies within the Rosewood neighborhood,” explained PSU senior Woodrow Merkel.

“The first part was mapping out vacant big buildings around the area,” Merkel said. “Then the next step was looking at the resources that Rosewood had in finding out what the neighborhood really needed, which turned out to be a daycare center. It is geared toward families who work in the service industry; their work is a shift-oriented to provide a care with flexible time and longer hours.”

Regional Arts and Culture Council Public Art Manager Peggy Kendellen gets a steaming cup of espresso served from Eli Johnston of Case Study Coffee.

In addition to making art, fruit and snacks were available. And, as promised, there was plenty of freshly-brewed espresso to fuel the artistic endeavors throughout the day.

Keep up to date with the Rosewood Initiative by checking with their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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