Artists awarded Support Beam commissions are giving us small windows into their work, processes, and personal stories. In their own voices, hear more from these inspiring artists.
Support Beam funding from Multnomah County Percent For Art and PDXCARES.
Follow along at #RACCSupportBeam on Instagram.
“I want Native people to feel stillness; a moment where they can connect with their culture. A lot of us, especially Urban Natives, are disconnected from place and home. Disconnected from family, tribe, or our ancestral lands. I would like Indigenous people to feel inspired to find their heartbeat; to listen and seek out their own connection.
Far North stories often include frightful, grisly, often transformative elements that might be taboo in dominant culture stories. I am fascinated by them. To me, they express that we are more than just one thing; we are many things. There is personhood and spirit in everything and everything is connected.
I think we get stuck in our understanding of the world. We believe what we have been told. We limit ourselves when we get fixed this way. Art helps me ask questions and see things in a different way. I can get the feeling of what it’s like to not be so sure. Art asks that I expand my perspective, open my heart and my mind. It’s good for us humans to not feel so sure, to consider what we think we know. It’s rare that we have a full understanding of anything, I think. When I look at art that inspires me, it makes me say, ‘Oh, I see! I didn’t know that before!'”
More from the artist: www.terresawhite.com
Portland-based artist Mike Vos shoots images with 4×5 film using in-camera double exposures. Vos’ work is presented as an interconnected series of photographic installations that revolve around a central theme: a world without humans and wildlife’s reclamation of the industrial landscape. Drawing deeply from literary themes such as magical realism, alternate history, and subtle horror, Vos has crafted complex and intriguing visual narratives. These photographic projects all exist within a shared universe; each focusing on different facets of the story. His work carries a strong environmental message about the impact humans have on the natural world, and challenges individuals to consider the lingering effects of our choices once we are gone.
More from the artist: www.deadcitiesphoto.com
“The goal was to push myself to create art on a daily or weekly basis, and to utilize all of the creative talents I practice into one big project. For the past few months I have spent each week painting each letter of the English alphabet, recording my thoughts based around a random word that starts with each corresponding letter, and compiling those recordings, time-lapse video of my painting process, and self-produced instrumental music as a score, into a series of small videos released on my website and Instagram. The purpose of this practice was to push myself to work through creative blocks, train myself to continue to make work regardless of the outcome, and to hopefully inspire the other creatives in my communities to pursue their creative passions with fearless resolve. I believe that although we live in a time where the ability to stay connected through digital or virtual platforms during the course of a global pandemic is easier than ever, it is also more important than ever for artists and creatives to use their voices to amplify the struggles we face on a day to day basis. This artwork represents that journey by conveying myself in a hopeful light, backdropped by the alphabet, which represents the idea that communication is our greatest human trait.”