Meet Me Here

North View Gallery, Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus, Portland, Oregon, 2006

The impetus for this exhibition came from my activism as a volunteer organizer in the two schools that my children attended.  In working with these communities, I observed how disparate elements of each group were able to exchange ideas and discover compatible skills while working side by side to achieve a common goal.  Each artwork is a representation of a group of people and the relationships that they have to one another.

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Where We Touch (Friendship Bracelets), 2006
String, paper, thread
93 x 100 inches

Where We Touch includes people from both schools, their families, friends, neighbors, and others in the broader community, all of whom cooperate every day to form a network of interdependence.  Each bracelet was measured to fit an individual and each person chose the colors for their bracelet.

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I hosted "Bracelet Parties" where people gathered to help make the over 1,200 bracelets that form this net.  Like sewing bees and barn raisings of the past, these parties were opportunities to make new connections and strengthen bonds.

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Map Of Your World, 2006
Maps, gouache, glue, paper, canvas
16.25 x 113.5 inches

Map Of Your World is a collage of maps from different states and countries, arranged so that roads from far away locales form a system that links everyone together. Each section shows the name, birthplace and year of birth of a student, teacher or volunteer who worked to help build the Water Garden at Astor Elementary School.

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What Do You Think? 2006
Canvas, paint, paper, watercolor, printing
91 x 93.75 inches

These words were written by Astor Water Garden project participants in response to the question "What do you think about?"  Their replies were submitted anonymously and are here combined into one ongoing sentence.

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Signature Quilt, 2006
Paper, thread, tape, muslin, velcro
73 x 84 inches

These are the signatures of some members of the Sabin-ACCESS School community.  They were collected during workshops conducted as part of the creation of a tile mural for the school.

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Hair Pictures, 2006
Photographs, canvas, wood, glue
31.5 x 80 inches

I took these hair photos during the tile making workshops at Sabin-ACCESS school.

Photos:  Aaron Johanson

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