The best workshop of 2009 was a collaborative art event put on by Portland City Art with over 100 artists and 3,000 visitors. Artists, ages 15 to 80, transformed a retired, creepy, dirty, smelly nursing home into a three story wonder of art for three weeks in August.
My installation, titled SEE, was in room 350 and dubbed “the bee room.” I had seven incredibly dedicated interns who showed up for free, every day, for three weeks, six hours a day, prior to the opening. We waxed walls, invented glasses (so you could see how a bee sees) cut and dipped flowers, built honeycomb, programmed a video and painted encaustic paintings and sculptures…all during a blistering heat wave which was pretty frustrating since the wax wouldn’t set in those temps.
What made this a blow out workshop was the community. All these artists showed up and transformed the decrepit building with their own unique vision and style. It wasn’t hard to miss how the energy, art, laughter and live bodies put the ghosts to rest and added some much needed juice to the space. The three week event was full of music, community and art for everyone. You can learn more about the bee room on Facebook and YouTube and be sure to check out Kerosene Rose’s 1000+ photographs of the event on Flickr. She was one of my talented interns and is a gifted photographer.