Portland State’s Autzen Gallery will display The Visual Chronicle of Portland’s new acquisitions from Nov. 8 until Dec. 20.
The Visual Chronicle of Portland is a collection of 204 works by 121 artists. The collection, administered by the Regional Arts and Culture Commission (RACC), was founded in 1985 and established with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
The RACC is a publicly funded nonprofit that receives support from the city of Portland, Multnomah and Washington counties, the Oregon Arts Commission, and the NEA.
On display at the Autzen Gallery are 21 new works of art by 16 artists.
“We try to keep them very current,” said RACC public art manager Peggy Kendellen. “The work that’s purchased has to be created in the last two years; we’re trying to make it a living archive.”
The majority of the collection is on display currently at City Hall, city and county offices, and the U.S. Bank room in Central Library.
“Last year during the month of November, the entire collection was shown at university and community college galleries as well as our office,” Kendellen said.
“Really it’s here for the citizens of the city,” Kendellen said as she explained the purpose of the collection, which is to, “develop an archive of the history of the city through artists’ eyes, so we’re getting the artists’ perspectives of how the city is changing.”
Willow Zheng’s watercolor and ink work is an example of this changing perspective, as it depicts a classical Chinese garden in the midst of Portland’s Convention Center and skyline.
“That’s the perspective that she chose rather than idealizing a particular architectural structure in the city,” Kendellen said.
Greg Haun’s “Central Library” combines an archival photo of the records room at Central Library with a current photo laden with computers.
Some works challenge the viewers’ knowledge or perspectives of Portland, either by removing landmarks such as bridges or by combining architectural features into one building.
A prospectus for the next selection process will be available in December, and while no student work is eligible, those with professional artists in mind should call Peggy Kendellen at 503-823-4196 or e-mail her at [email protected]org.