RACC Blog

Capturing the Moment artist – janessa bautista

Multimedia artist janessa bautista’s artistic practice involves natural dyeing with plant material, some of which she harvested or grew herself. “I dye natural fibers in the form of fabric and rope.” she explains. “The work I create is about everyday needs and the energy that is put into the making process. I do my best to always have compassion for myself and for others, with this comes healing and growth. The energy I put into my artistic process creates a healing vibration, as it is a healing experience. My objects carry the vibration into your home and life by embodying the healing work in the experience. I create healing offerings using ritual, handmade vessels and a beautiful altar to honor the five senses, four elements and the four directions. Let us explore our relationship to the objects, their relationship to each other and how their use supports our healing process and all those around us.”

janessa bautista, Tea Ceremony, 2020. Set includes includes: Indigo meditation seat, woven planter, hibachi grill, altar yoni spoon.

 

Fiber art sculpture. Natural dyed indigo cotton rope woven on walnut wood. Rope, natural dyes, wood, clay.

janessa bautista, Hanging Altar Indigo detail, 2020.

Find out more about artist janessa bautista.

 

#PDXCARES Supported Capturing the Moment

This RACC initiative was intended to further and support Portland-based artists making work during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. The call for submissions aimed to reflect and record this time of change, uncertainty, loss and hope. It will continue to serve and showcase some of the work emerging from artists and creatives during this historic moment. Artist submissions selected for Capturing the Moment will be shared via RACC and the City of Portland’s communication channels including digital formats and social media accounts.

Funding for Capturing the Moment came from the City of Portland’s federal allocation of CARES funding (#PDXCARES). It was specifically dedicated to Asian, Black, Indigenous artists, and all artists of color who reside in the City of Portland.


Capturing the Moment artist – May Maylisa Cat

May Maylisa Cat is a multidisciplinary artist whose work lies at the intersection of food culture, racialized labor, and identity. Her work spans new media, painting, glass, and performance.

Multidisciplinary artist May Maylisa Cat

 

The panel of curators selected two of May Maylisa Cat’s works for Capturing the Moment.

The first, a video titled Farang Kee Nok (Bird Sh!t Foreigner), she describes as an “absurdist video artwork that touches on the hypocrisy of ex-pats who fetishize the cultures of the countries they move to.” She explains that the video purposely utilizes ADR (Automated Dialog Replacement) to add a surreal dissonance to the piece. It was created during a mentor workshop with visual artist Kalup Linzy at Chautauqua Visual Arts residency. Play the video here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIfdl3pm0Q8

The second, titled Across, Whom? was constructed of found materials including nylon fabric, rice bag, and hardware. Made in collaboration with Sean Brady.

Nylon fabric, rice bag, and hardware Ricebag conformed to a luggage / migration prop.

May Maylissa Cat, Across, Whom?, 2020

Follow May Maylissa Cat on Instagram @maymaylisacatz or Twitter @maymaylisacat.

 

#PDXCARES Supported Capturing the Moment

This RACC initiative was intended to further and support Portland-based artists making work during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. The call for submissions aimed to reflect and record this time of change, uncertainty, loss and hope. It will continue to serve and showcase some of the work emerging from artists and creatives during this historic moment. Artist submissions selected for Capturing the Moment will be shared via RACC and the City of Portland’s communication channels including digital formats and social media accounts.

Funding for Capturing the Moment came from the City of Portland’s federal allocation of CARES funding (#PDXCARES). It was specifically dedicated to Black artists, Indigenous artists, and all artists of color who reside in the City of Portland.


Capturing the Moment – Stories from a Pandemic

Just over a year ago, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued her executive order putting our state into lockdown due to the COVID-19 virus. Last fall we asked artists to submit works of all media “Capturing the Moment,” reflecting their artistic response to the economic and health crisis in our communities. Submissions flooded in–sculpture, illustrations, video, photography, painting, and more.

See and hear their art. Read their stories. Learn more.

Sayonara Mata Ashita

Michelle Fujii, creates contemporary work centered in the Japanese art forms of taiko (drums) and folk dance. She describes how, as a fourth generation Japanese-American, her art “navigates the multifaceted complexity of identity in our communities, and reveals my journey to claim my own identity story.” Her submission, Sayonara Mata Ashita  debuted May 16, 2020. “Fifty-two people sang along that are a significant and inspirational part of our taiko lives,” she explains. “Our mentors, our Unit Souzou taiko family, our Women & Taiko community connections, our Warabi-za family, our organizational partners. It was such a beautiful and overwhelming journey. As our communities face duress, self-isolation, social distancing, this song was written with the hope that the narrative of this time is not of more othering, but of more togetherness.”

We think you will agree. Have a listen. (Play button located lower left hand corner of the image below).

Credits: Conceived and directed by Michelle Fujii in collaboration with Unit Souzou Ensemble: Ian Berve, Toru Watanabe, David Wells, Vicky Zhang. Special Thanks to: Amy Naylor – Video Editing; David Wells – Sound Editing; Michelle Fujii – Video Project Manager; Koto-Izumi Kuroki, Shakuhachi-Tsuyoshi Ozawa.

Artists tell their stories

In addition to sharing their work for “Capturing the Moment,” artists also shared the ways they personally were impacted by lost opportunities for funding or revenue due to COVID-19. Some were laid off from regular employment, many lost freelance gigs, canceled tours, postponed debuts of new works, and other productions. Some used makeshift spaces to continue working; painting on a friend’s porch or editing in a loaned studio after being evacuated by summer wildfires. Despite the challenges, they demonstrated their resilience and creativity. They adapted, adjusting projects that were canceled or delayed because of the pandemic. They found new life – and continued living – as artists and creatives.

See and hear the works of these local artists and their response to the moment.

Terrance Burton

janessa bautista

Julian Saporiti

May Maylisa Cat

Ashley Mellinger

Valerie Yeo

Somya Singh

Michelle Fujii

Funding for Capturing the Moment came from the City of Portland’s federal CARES money (#PDXCARES). It was specifically dedicated to Asian, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, multiracial, and Pacific Islander artists living in the City of Portland.


Capturing the Moment artist – Somya Singh

Somya Singh makes “memoir comics” from lived experiences. “I have been making comics in ink for over ten years. They often depict painful or difficult moments that I’m trying to reconcile for myself,” Somya explains. The comics selected for Capturing the Moment depict what the lockdown has looked like, conceptually, and include familiar scenes from quarantine: protests, isolation, social distancing, etc.

Somya Singh, Scenes from Quarantine, 2020

 

Somya Singh, Out To Sea, 2020

 

#PDXCARES Supported Capturing the Moment

This RACC initiative was intended to further and support Portland-based artists making work during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. The call for submissions aimed to reflect and record this time of change, uncertainty, loss and hope. It will continue to serve and showcase some of the work emerging from artists and creatives during this historic moment. Artist submissions selected for Capturing the Moment will be shared via RACC and the City of Portland’s communication channels including digital formats and social media accounts.

Funding for Capturing the Moment came from the City of Portland’s federal allocation of CARES funding (#PDXCARES). It was specifically dedicated to Black artists, Indigenous artists, and all artists of color who reside in the City of Portland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Capturing the Moment artist – Ashley Mellinger

Ashley Mellinger strives to “re-imagine traditional narratives and include marginalized voices in ways that are not centered on their identities and, specifically, the trauma associated with their experiences. I am particularly committed to telling stories in the spirit of afro-futurism.” Her artistic practice straddles both theatre and film. She co-founded Desert Island Studios to increase artists’ accessibility to film resources. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram.

Actor and Producer Ashley Mellinger

Ashley describes the short film, Vent, selected for Capturing the Moment, as an “Indie Thriller” that she co-created with a small team to enter into the Asian American Film Lab 72 Hour Shootout close to the start of quarantine. “We created a timely, relatable narrative short that explores the effects of isolation and viral misinformation,” she said. The result is a film that won Second Runner Up, Best Editor, and Best Screenplay and was nominated for Best Cinematography.

You can watch the five-minute film here.

Ashley Mellinger, VENT, 2020

 

#PDXCARES Supported Capturing the Moment

This RACC initiative was intended to further and support Portland-based artists making work during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. The call for submissions aimed to reflect and record this time of change, uncertainty, loss and hope. It will continue to serve and showcase some of the work emerging from artists and creatives during this historic moment. Artist submissions selected for Capturing the Moment will be shared via RACC and the City of Portland’s communication channels including digital formats and social media accounts.

Funding for Capturing the Moment came from the City of Portland’s federal allocation of CARES funding (#PDXCARES). It was specifically dedicated to Black artists, Indigenous artists, and all artists of color who reside in the City of Portland.


Capturing the Moment artist – Valerie Yeo

Valerie Yeo is a psychologist in her “day job” and, she says, “an artist in all parts of my life.”

Valerie Yeo, Wave 2, 2020

A visual artist primarily working with ink, watercolor, and acrylic mediums, her series, Waves, painted in acrylic on 8″ x 8″ canvas panels, captures, as she says, “the collective trauma of 2020.” It made her consider the power of water as a force for change. “I feel very drawn to the power of this particular element, which has both the capacity to heal and destroy. The movement of water is also slow and steady, and can create permanent changes and paths forward, even through the most solid seeming entities. This is a time of grief, resistance, and awakening; and a time to allow for the outflow of stagnant ways of being.”

Follow Valerie on Instagram.

 

#PDXCARES Supported Capturing the Moment

This RACC initiative was intended to further and support Portland-based artists making work during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. The call for submissions aimed to reflect and record this time of change, uncertainty, loss and hope. It will continue to serve and showcase some of the work emerging from artists and creatives during this historic moment. Artist submissions selected for Capturing the Moment will be shared via RACC and the City of Portland’s communication channels including digital formats and social media accounts.

Funding for Capturing the Moment came from the City of Portland’s federal allocation of CARES funding (#PDXCARES). It was specifically dedicated to Black artists, Indigenous artists, and all artists of color who reside in the City of Portland.


Capturing the Moment artist – Julian Saporiti

Artist Julian Saporiti describes collaborating with community group Portland Taiko, to create Orient Oregon. “It was a historical song/film work composed against the backdrop of 2020. Through music it highlights the often invisible story of early Japanese American immigrants who worked as shopkeepers, loggers, farmers, and more. Over the course of a century, they endured racism and mass incarceration in concentration camps. Through original songs we get a sense of this 20th century narrative all set to rare footage of Japanese-American home movies filmed between 1920-1960, situating faces of color amongst the waterfalls, mountains and cities of Oregon, broadening a general understanding of who is woven into Oregon’s history.”

No-No Boy is a multi-media project blending film, sound, story and song into works which illuminate untold histories of immigrants and refugees in the United States. Through original lyrics, sound design, and carefully curated and edited archival imagery, difficult histories come to life in a pastiche which attunes multiple senses to the stories unfolding in each work.

 

#PDXCARES Supported Capturing the Moment

This RACC initiative was intended to further and support Portland-based artists making work during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. The call for submissions aimed to reflect and record this time of change, uncertainty, loss and hope. It will continue to serve and showcase some of the work emerging from artists and creatives during this historic moment. Artist submissions selected for Capturing the Moment will be shared via RACC and the City of Portland’s communication channels including digital formats and social media accounts.

Funding for Capturing the Moment came from the City of Portland’s federal allocation of CARES funding (#PDXCARES). It was specifically dedicated to Black artists, Indigenous artists, and all artists of color who reside in the City of Portland.


Arts and Culture 2021 Legislative Priorities

A message from Madison Cario, Executive Director, Regional Arts & Culture Council

Play the video.

2020 was a year like no other in RACC’s 49-year history. Through the lens of a devastating pandemic, we learned anew that arts, culture, history, heritage, and humanities are, and will continue to be, essential in our state, our nation, and around the world. Humanity has had to adapt to survive – changing the faces of communities throughout the world. Too many people have paid far too high a cost. We know the value that creative expression brings to us all and that public investment helps to ensure deeper access for all of our residents. Through this, we continue to stand strong as a community of creative providers.

2021 is a crucial legislative year for Oregon’s vital cultural sector. We are urging our state policymakers to prioritize arts, culture, heritage, and the humanities in order to encourage creativity, contribute to Oregon’s economic recovery, and rebuild community. Investing in Oregon’s creative and cultural life supports Oregonians’ values, promotes whole person health, strengthens communities, and attracts and retains workers in an innovation economy 

RACC’s mission is to enrich our communities through arts and culture and our vision is a thriving region, powered by creativity, with arts and culture in every neighborhood. To do this, RACC promotes equity, diversity, inclusion, and access and uses a racial equity lens to advocate for the equitable distribution of resources and the creation of public policies that will provide support for the arts ecosystem now and into the future. 

Find out more and register for virtual Advocacy Day on April 23, hosted by many arts and culture organizations from around the state, and the Cultural Advocacy Coalition. Keep reading to learn about our shared legislative priorities and alignment with our coalition partners. 

ADVANCE EQUITABLE ACCESS TO A WELL-ROUNDED ARTS EDUCATION FOR OREGON STUDENTS 
RACC supports and will monitor the specific recommendations of the Joint Committee on Student Success for funding arts and music specialists in elementary schools as they are closely linked with work across the six Portland school districts receiving Arts Education Access Fund dollars.  

More on Portland’s Arts Education Access Fund explained here.  

EXPAND OREGON’S INVESTMENT IN ITS CULTURAL AGENCIES AND PARTNERS 
SB 5023 – Business Oregon Budget Bill; SB 5025 – Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Budget Bill 
Increased state funding of cultural agencies and partners leverages the full potential of Oregon’s creative and cultural resources to attract and retain business, increase tourism, improve education and enrich the lives of Oregonians through greater opportunity to access meaningful experiences in the arts, heritage, and the humanities, statewide. Now more than ever it is essential that the cultural sector be supported as Oregonians recover from the economic strains imposed by the pandemic. The statewide partners include:   

  • Oregon Arts Commission   
  • Oregon Cultural Trust   
  • State Historic Preservation Office and Heritage Commission   
  • Oregon Humanities   
  • Oregon Historical Society   

PROTECT TAX POLICIES ALLOWING THE CULTURAL SECTOR TO SERVE ITS PUBLIC MISSION, INCLUDING HISTORIC PRESERVATION OF OREGON’S GEMS
SB 108 – Historic Property Tax Credit Extension for 10 Years 
Critical this year is renewal of the Historic Property Special Assessments which assist owners of commercial properties. We support an extension of at least ten years, through 2031, to provide time for local governments, preservation advocates, and others to update Oregon’s approach to current preservation needs.   

EXTEND OREGON FILM AND VIDEO OFFICE TAX CREDIT 
SB 43 – Tax Credit Extension for Six Years 
We support extending the sunset for labor rebates for qualifying film production and the tax credit for certified film production development contributions.   

CONTINUE TO INVEST IN CULTURAL INFRASTRUCTURE 
HB 5534 – Lottery Bonds 
By creating the Cultural Resources Economic Fund in 2013, the State established its role in expanding and strengthening cultural infrastructure by leveraging lottery bonds to invest in arts, heritage, and humanities infrastructure projects.  

WORK WITH KEY LEGISLATORS AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES TO REIMAGINE THE STATE SONG 
RACC supports legislative deliberations on revising the lyrics to the state song or starting fresh. We applaud suggestions for a broad participatory process grounded in equity and inclusion. To date, the Cultural Advocacy Coalition, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Humanities, and the Oregon Community Foundation have led these conversations. More information on the State song can be found here. 

PROTECT ITEMIZED DEDUCTIONS FOR CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS 
HB 2255 – Limits Itemized Personal Income Tax Deductions for Charitable Contribution 
While tax policy is an important tool to incentivize activity and fund government services, the nonprofit sector is a partner in the service of public policy goals and should be promoted and strengthened through tax policy where possible. RACC does not support tax policy that discourages charitable giving by individuals.   

You can find more details on the Cultural Advocacy Coalition’s  legislative session priorities.