Pacific Northwest Sculptors’ second annual celebration of International Sculpture Day on April 21 and 22 in Portland was an unqualified success, judging from comments after the event by its organizers, participants and guests.
Hosted at three neighboring venues in Southeast Portland’s Sellwood District and billed as “ International Sculpture Day PDX 2017, 3D Alchemy: Fusing Intellect, Intuition and Magic Into Sculpture,” the event featured leading local sculptors talking about their work, live demonstrations of sculptors at work, a tour of one sculptor’s cutting-edge, high-tech studio, an exhibit of sculptures by local artists, lots of good food and drink, a tango demonstration and, to wrap it all up, a dance party with live music.
PNWS member Alisa Looney was a driving force behind the event. It was her presentation at a members’ meeting at Marylhurst University near Lake Oswego about two years ago that led PNWS to commit to joining the celebration, observed around the world each April for the last three years.
Summing up this year’s event she said, “My feeling overall was that it was a wonderful event for all who attended. Our entire team was incredible, professional and dependable. Everyone really showed up and made sculpture to the public in a fresh way.”
Everyone on the organizing team and the other artists who were featured in the event worked hard and deserve considerable gratitude for their selfless contribution.
PNWS Members Create International Sculpture Day
PNWS President George Heath singled out Looney for her imagination and commitment to making Portland a part of this observance. He wrote to her after the recent event, “As for you, Wow! That was amazing. I rarely, if ever, have seen anybody pull off something like that with such aplomb. Nicely done.”
Looney said, “I was truly honored to receive this compliment on behalf of our team,” adding, “it would not have been possible to pull this off without even one of our amazing team members, artists, hosts, sponsors, volunteers and guests.”
Other members of the International Sculpture Day organizing team, all PNWS members, were Julian Voss-Andreae, Jennifer Corio, Dave Gonzo, Sam Hingston, and Sue Quast. Some of the planners were also featured artists at the event. Voss-Andreae opened his studio to the public where he led a tour and explained how he blends art and high-tech; he also was a featured speaker, along with Hingston, at the artist talks.
The other featured speakers were Chayo Wilson and Bill Leigh. Corio emceed the artist talks. Gonzo demonstrated sculptural welding techniques alongside fellow PNWS member Andy Kennedy who demonstrated ceramic work. Looney singled out Susan Schimelfining as one volunteer “who has not been mentioned enough.” Looney credited Schimelfining for planning and preparing the food available at various venues. “It was beautifully displayed and delicious as well,” said Looney. “She actually cooked the smoked chicken herself and went to great lengths to make it all work with the schedule of replenishing for each event.”
SE Portland Businesses Host Artists and Guests for International Sculpture Day
The event was sited at three locations in close proximity to one another along Southeast 17th Avenue: Anna Daedalus and Kerry Davis’s Roll-Up Photo Studio + Gallery, which was the venue of last year’s celebration, Voss-Andreae’s new studio, and Rachel Lidskog-Lim’s Dance With Joy Studios. Groups of artists and guests migrated together from one location to the next throughout the evening. Hingston thought the geography of the event added to its appeal. “I thought it was a really fun and engaging event.
The three locations gave the evening a lot of variety, and I thought having the group travel together brought a bit of adventure to the whole thing,” he said. He also had praise for his fellow planners. “It was a great experience working with the planning committee as well as the many people who helped to make it all happen.
It took a lot of effort from a lot of people, but it was certainly well worth it.” Corio was pleased with the outcome as well. “All and all, a smashing success! I am proud to be part of the planning team,” she said. She thought the audience at the artist presentations seemed “laid back and really interested in hearing what the artists had to say.” She said they asked “good questions” and with “a fair bit of laughter,” which, she added, made her job as emcee easier.
International Sculpture Day a Success
Corio summarized the event. “I felt a fun, joyful vibe throughout the evening. The show at Roll-Up (Gallery) was full of folks looking at art and enjoying themselves.” While it was difficult to count overall attendance at the event owing to its being spread out across three venues, it was possible to get a good count of the people attending the artist talks.
Corio and Looney agreed the number there was about 75 with a few others gathered just outside the door to the room where food and beverages were available. Paul Haist, the newsletter editor, who was focused on watching and photographing what was going on, though overall attendance could not be much less than about 200. The celebration would not have been possible without the generous support of many in the community including sponsors Cobalt Designworks, Dance With Joy Studios, Form 3D Foundry, Bill Leigh, Roll-Up Photo Studio + Gallery, the International Sculpture Center in Hamilton, N.J. (publishers of Sculpture Magazine) and Julian Voss-Andreae.