Project Background: Artists Patricia Vazquez Gomez and Betty Marin will present their social practice based Welcomeinstallation in the lobby of the Portland Building June 3 – 28. The project was conceived when the artists began to contemplate the connection between the building that institutionally represents the City of Portland and the lives and experiences of some of the city’s newest residents. Grounded in this artist team’s work with Latin American immigrant communities, and in their own cultural roots, the project directly explores the ways in which Spanish speaking immigrants feel both welcome and not welcome here in Portland. The installation consists of projected images of new Portland residents interviewed by the artists presented against a “wallpaper” backdrop crafted from the text of those conversations. As a parting symbol of civic exchange, a small artesanal souvenir—a set of open hands crafted from tin that multiple cultures recognize as a symbol of hospitality—will be offered to visitors to take away.
“Our hope for this project is to initiate a reflection on the way Portland is already a welcoming city and the ways it still needs to grow as an inclusive place.”
As general understanding of the social practice genre develops and expands MFA programs like the one at Portland State University, that Vazquez Gomez and Marin are enrolled in, are on the forefront of defining where this form of art practice is headed. RACC is pleased to include Welcome as part of its ongoing initiative to provide exhibition opportunities for advanced students in fine art, this is the second of three student produced installations scheduled for the Portland Building this year. The format and presentation requirements for student installations are identical to those for established professional artists, the separate eligibility category was created to help introduce emerging talents to the world of public art.
Viewing Hours & Location: 7 am to 6 pm, Monday – Friday. The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland.
For more information on the Portland Building Installation Space series, including images, proposals and statements for all the installations since 1994, go to www.racc.org/installationspace.
On Friday June 14th, 5-6pm: Meet the artists who created Welcome at the Portland Building Installation Space. Social Practice artists Patricia Vazquez Gomez and Betty Marin will hold an artist Q & A session to discuss their Welcome installation in the lobby of the Portland Building. Welcome was created to inform and expand the connection between the building that represents the City of Portland and the experiences of some of the city’s newer residents. Grounded in this artist team’s social-practice work in the immigrant community, and in their own cultural roots, the project explores the ways in which Spanish speaking immigrants feel both welcome and not welcome here in Portland. The Q & A will take place at the Portland Building, located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue, Portland.