by Careen Stoll
The Gala opening of the 10×10 Show was a wonderful success. About four hundred people enjoyed a great celebration of Portland Open Studios’ Ten Year Anniversary. Located in the lofty atrium at City Hall, each diminutive art piece looked like it had drifted down from the sky. With 80 of the artists represented from the 2009 tour, it remains a rare opportunity to see the wide variety of work created by members of Portland Open Studios all in one place.
The executive director of the Regional Arts and Culture Council Eloise Damrosch placed Portland Open Studios in the wider context of how important the arts is to cultural growth. Dan Saltzman, City Commissioner, introduced Portland Open Studios and accepted our gift to the city. Sadly, Mayor Sam Adams, who has championed the arts, was sick and unable to attend.
Commissioner Saltzman read the Proclamation, officially designating the second and third weekends of October Portland Open Studios weekends. Kelly Neidig, President of Portland Open Studios, accepted the honor on behalf of Portland Open Studios, said a few words of celebration and thanks, explained the Purchase Prize, and introduced Scott Conary who had painted the work to be gifted to the City. Entitled “The Dock”, Scott’s work was revealed to the gathering amidst another cheer.
The founder of Portland Open Studios, Kitty Wallis, said a few words about watching the organization grow. Also gifted was a special honor to Bonnie Meltzer for the ten years in which she tended to countless large projects and small details in service to the organization as director of communications and “right-hand person”.
In the words of Kelly Neidig, “The reception at city hall was a great example of how Portland Open Studios unites the community with artist. It was a fun reception, I loved talking to all of our artists and meeting new artists.” She speaks to the heart of why Portland Open Studios was honored by the city, as does Kindra Crick who helped organize the show: “It was wonderful to celebrate ten years of an organization that shows people the behind the scenes of how art is made.“ Portland Open Studios is a truly unique opportunity in experiential education.
We would like to give a special thank-you to the excellent music provided by Jim Boydston, Daryl Davis, and Steve Remington of Manzanita. Many thanks also to our generous sponsors: Storyteller Wine Co, Full Sail Brewing Co, and Artemis Foods, Inc
Thanks to all the artists, past, present, and future, who attended the opening, and those who purchased art! Twenty percent of the proceeds from the show go directly to the Kimberly Gales Scholarship for young artists. Please consider supporting the 2010 Portland Open Studios tour by becoming a sponsor and receive ten Tour Guides to the two weekend event in October!
This unusual show could not have been possible without Pollyanne Birge from the Mayor’s Office and the dedication of Kindra Crick and Shawn Demarest, board members who went above and beyond to create a memorable show. Careen Stoll provided some last-minute assistance with the press. There were also numerous volunteers before, during, and after the show. Many thanks to all! The show will remain up in City Hall until March 31st.