Why Portland? Portland Art Museum

Virginia Jacobs, Editor

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In our ongoing series —Why Portland?— the La Salle Falconer staff profiles all the interesting and unique things about the City of Roses.

It can be difficult to find something fun to do during the Portland weather in winter, with the forecast almost always being cold and rainy. If you and your friends are looking to get out of the house and do something fun without getting cold and wet then I would recommend going to the Portland Art Museum.

Although most art museums can tend to be too pricey for high school students, the Portland Art Museum is free for everyone seventeen and under. This is a huge discount from the adult price which is $19.99, which was a great surprise when I recently walked through the doors of the beautiful museum.

The museum is an indoor exhibit consisting of multiple floors of paintings, sculptures, drawings, pictures and even interactive rooms. Some of these pieces of beautiful art depict certain time periods in certain places around the world such as Spanish colonial works.

Although these old pieces of inspiring art seen on the Spanish colonial floor is quite amazing, there are two popular exhibits in particular that many people are drawn to.

One of these is named ‘Paige Powell: The Ride.’ This exhibit is one large room that constantly plays a video of Paige Powell, a well known photographer, on three screens projecting onto the wall. In the back of this room is a small corner with countless candid pictures of Powell’s friends that cover the walls, ceiling and even the floor that museum goers can step onto in order to fully see each picture. This exhibit ends on April third.

The second exhibit that many high school kids might find interesting is ‘Kenny Scharf: Cosmic Cavern.’ This is just down the stairs and around the corner from Paige Powell’s room and funk music can be heard as you walk down to the black box surrounded by old toys. Inside the box, which you walk into, there is a blacklight over many random neon objects and graffiti walls.

Both of these exhibits demonstrate a new form of art that, instead of being untouchable, is interactive and therefore more fun for the viewers. I personally loved the ‘Paige Powell: The Ride’ exhibit because of the immersive experience and the excitement that it gave museum goers.

There are seven other exhibits other than these two which are less interactive and more focused on looking at and appreciating each piece of art whether it be a sculpture, painting, or photograph.

The current exhibits consist of:

  • ‘Contemporary Native Photographers and the Edward Curtis Legacy’ which closes May 8 and consists of contemporary photographs taken by Native Americans of Native Americans and/or Native American Culture – each photograph being accompanied by excerpts from the book ‘The North American Indian.’
  • ‘Apex: Shelby Shadwell’ which closes March 13 and consists of black and white drawings made from charcoal.
  • ‘Thlatwa Thlatwa: Indigenous Currents’ which closes March 13 and consists of paintings, drawings and sculptures that show cultures of Oregonian Tribes – both old and current.
  • ‘Fotofolio’ which closes March 20 and consists of portfolios of many photographs taken during the mid-20th century.
  • ‘Art from the Andes’ which closes March 20 and consists of religious paintings showing the culture in the Andes after being taken over by Spanish.
  • ‘Carl Kahler: My Wife’s Lovers’ which closes May 15 and consists of many paintings of cats.
  • ‘Leroy Setziol’ which closes August 7 and consists of many sculptures completely made out of only wood.

Overall, I would rate the Portland Art Museum 10/10 and recommend it for a fun 2-3 hour outing with your friends and/or family. You can find out more about the Portland Art Museum at their website: portlandartmuseum.org