Sunday, September 05, 2010

Art in the Pearl

Art in the Pearl is the annual outdoor art festival in downtown Portland, held on Labor Day weekend every year. It is always a decision as to whether we want to fight the crowds to stroll through booths set up in the north park blocks or stay home where it is quiet and miss seeing the art. We usually opt to join the crowds. I really do love seeing all the creative talent and fun, silly and beautiful things for sale. I wish I had an unlimited budget for buying art—but I don't, so I mostly just enjoy seeing it. Here's a small taste.

these pieces were all made of strips of painted steel—love the colors
this is embroidery—one of only a few fiber artists

I loved the paintings by PM Shore of Portland scenes. I couldn't afford one of her originals, but I bought a small print of one her paintings. It is called "Mass Transit" and shows a MAX train crossing the Willamette River on the Steel Bridge. Part of Portland's West Hills are in the background. We live on the other side of that hill and rode MAX into the city today.

Ray asked one of the artists how business had been and he answered "good!" When I purchased the print above Ms. Shore told me she had just sold the original painting earlier in the afternoon. It made me feel good to know that the artists were making sales. Good for all of us, I think. And, as always, it was crowded. Hard to stroll leisurely, shoulder to shoulder with hundreds (thousands?) of people, strollers, wheelchairs and dogs. Honestly—why do people take their dogs? Oh yeah, now I remember,  it's Portland.


  1. We had not been to Art in the Pearl dor 2 or 3 years and we thought the caliber was much better. We went on Saturday and it was very crowded and difficult to really see much. I know I missed PM Shore's work. Love the print you brought home.

  2. Fun stuff. Glad you braved the crowds so you can share it all with the cowards among us (moi, moi!)

  3. I think the print "Mass Transit" is splendid. I'd like it on my wall here.

  4. We missed it again this year. The crowds definitely are part of the decision. That and the balance of house projects on the to-do list which was high this year. I like your print. I'll have to keep a lookout for her work.

    You know, I don't mind the dogs as much as the strollers. The dogs never run me over and when they bump into my legs/ankles are much less painful. I too usually wonder what the people are thinking though. Small dogs have got to be in a panic. Would they also put their long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs? Perhaps they would.

  5. This is really first-rate art. Portland must be a mecca for artists. It's a good sign for the economy that business was good.

  6. We are setting up for Art in the Park this week with the event this weekend. People bring their dogs in Boise, too, even though last year the advertising asked that pets remain at home.