Reception on June 21 celebrates 30 years of The Visual Chronicle of Portland

Tuesday, June 21
6:45 – 8:00 p.m.
at the Regional Arts & Culture Council
411 NW Park Avenue, Suite 101
RSVP Salvador Mayoral at

A special collection: As many already know, The Visual Chronicle of Portland is a collection of original works on paper that portray artists’ perceptions of what makes Portland unique. The collection strives to reflect a diversity of populations, artistic disciplines and points of view. It can be viewed as a timepiece that provides a visual and conceptual narrative of greater Portland and is meant to reveal our city’s distinctive and diverse personality. Owned and funded by the City of Portland, the collection has grown to 330 works by nearly 200 different artists since its inception in 1985. RACC displays works from the Chronicle in a variety of public spaces in City of Portland and Multnomah County buildings.

A special purchase: To honor the 30th anniversary of the Visual Chronicle the 2015 selection panel studied the list of artists in the collection to try and identify important artists working in Portland today who might be missing. To work within the program’s modest purchase budget, the panel narrowed their initial list of 36 candidates down to four outstanding artists they felt needed to be included—Avantika Bawa, Calvin Ross Carl, Garrick Imatani and Ralph Pugay. RACC is now pleased to be able to present the works by these four artists that were purchased in 2015 in a special exhibition in our office at 411 NW Park Avenue.  A reception for the exhibition and the anniversary will be held on Tuesday, June 21 at 6:45 pm. (The reception follows an info session for the next Visual Chronicle purchase, for more information )

Avantika Bawa

Coliseum 1  2015, graphite on paper, 24” x 36” (pictured)

Avantika Bawa

Coliseum 1,  2015, graphite on paper, 21 1/4” x 36 1/4”

Avantika completed two drawings in her graphic style that were informed visually and conceptually by Portland’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum, a premier jewel of International Style architecture in the city. “Given the light [the Coliseum] has recently received, I am very interested in doing a series of drawings based on this remarkable building.”

Calvin Ross Carl

The Copper Ribbons on Michael’s Grave, 2015, acrylic on paper, 20” x 26” (pictured)

Calvin Ross Carl

Finally You Can Complete Me (Safe Honest Repair), 2015, acrylic on paper, 20” x 26”

“The pattern painting is appropriated from the ribbons from our own beloved or bemoaned (depending upon who you ask) Portland building…The text painting has text pulled from a business called the VIP Collision Center on the corner of MLK and NE Rosa Parks. The words “Safe Honest Repairs” have been painted on that building’s windows for 5-6 years. I have been driving by the building for many years and those words always catch my eye…Why these two paintings together? The Portland Building is oddly beautiful, and it is a landmark worth saving, but it is in need of major modernization and rehabilitation. This immediately made these two disparate ideas connect. The greatness of the Portland Building being saved by such a simple, thoughtful promise of “Safe Honest Repair”.

Garrick Imatani

Toward A Future Plan | Mirror | Failure | Trap, 2016, mirrored acrylic and photographs mounted on inkjet print, 19 ½” x 24 ½” (pictured)

Garrick Imatani

“Even after it’s declaration as a city, Portland’s margins have fluctuated over time just like the Willamette River which currently splits the city into its eastern and western halves. LIDAR mapping imagery shows that 13,000-15,000 years ago during the Missoula Floods, where you are standing would have been submerged under water. The city is a blip in time. We live at the bottom of a lake.”  Garrick goes on to describe the photos that intersect with his vibrant blue map of the Willamette: “I came across archival photographs of the bombing of Portland City Hall in 1970 in police surveillance files. I made contact prints from 8×10 photographs documenting the Hall’s blown-out window frames…these contact prints were cut down to containers—frames of frames—then overlaid onto the river as imagined those thousands of years ago…This compression of geography and political history is a nod to time and the ongoing development of the city, which can either reflect or elevate what has evaporated.”

Ralph Pugay

 Lonely Traveler (Traveling pilot waiting to disembark at PDX), 2015,  Acrylic on yupo, 11” x 14” (pictured)


Obstructed Motility (Clerk experiencing astral projection at Portland Cash & Carry), 2015, Acrylic on paper, 12” x 16”

Lonely Traveler was inspired by a pilot that I saw as I was leaving an airplane on a flight back to Portland. He remained seated in first class as many of the passengers were leaving the plane. I assume that he was there to continue on to the plane’s next destination…As I walked by, I pondered if there was a certain amount of discomfort for the pilot as he sat in the passenger seat. I am drawn to the ambiguous nature of his behavior, and presumably of others who might have witnessed this.”