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Patrick Stearns and Portland Envisioned

January 8 – February 14, 2007

Over the past 15 years, construction has been everywhere in Portland, Oregon, much of it related to major transportation projects and the redevelopment of old light industrial and warehouse sections of the city to urban high-density residential neighborhoods.

This winter, The Art Gym is presenting two exhibitions about this construction – Patrick Stearns, Portland Under Construction: Photographs from the Tunnel, Tram and Grid Projects in our main space, and Portland Envisioned, Graphs & Charts in The Art Gym's Gallery 2.

Main Space

Patrick Stearns: Portland Under Construction

Patrick Stearns takes pictures of large-scale construction projects during their many phases – the muddy excavations, growing lattices of rebar and men working in tight spots or suspended in space.

Even as these projects are down and dirty, the city's landuse and transportation planners, architects and designers are at work on the next wave of plans. Using maps, graphs and drawings, they chart the future of the city and the way we will travel through it. Theirs is the world of data gathering and storytelling – paper and computers – that leads to the heavy construction that Stearns so often photographs.

Patrick Stearns, Portland Under Construction: Photographs from the Tunnel, Tram and Grid Projects is an exhibition of more than 60 black and white photographs.

Stearns has photographed two major projects extensively – the Westside Light Rail Tunnel and the Portland Aerial Tram. In addition, as one of the photographers of the Portland Grid Project, Stearns has chronicled construction in Portland's Pearl District, suburban neighborhoods and occasionally noted the smaller scale remodels and repairs that are ongoing in the city's established neighborhoods. The Art Gym exhibition is the first comprehensive exhibition of Stearns' work.

Additional photographs from Stearns' Portland Aerial Tram project will be presented concurrently in the Mayer Gallery at Marylhurst.

Patrick Stearns' photographs have been exhibited by many institutions, including the Portland Art Museum, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the Oregon Governor's Office. Stearns received an Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship Grant in 2002. The Aerial Tram photography project is supported in part by a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council.

Patrick Stearns received his BFA from Marylhurst University.

Gallery 2

Portland Envisioned, Graphs & Charts

Portland Envisioned, Graphs & Charts includes graphs, charts and other visual materials created by planners and architects affiliated with the City of Portland, Tri-Met and Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP. These materials were generated as part of the process of gathering, sorting and presenting information for city planning and transportation projects.

The visual materials themselves are aesthetic creations – often very beautiful. We are grateful to the participants for sharing their thought processes as evidenced in these preliminary graphics and drawings with Marylhurst students and Art Gym audiences.

Special thanks to artist Tad Savinar, who made me aware of these fascinating materials; and to Arun Jain, Portland Planning Bureau; Tony Mendoza and Alan Lehto, Tri-Met; and Greg Baldwin, Eugene Sandoval, Tyson Gillard, Frank Howarth and Jerome Unterreiner of Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP.

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