“Portland: East Meets West” Installation

Statement: Beth Kerschen is a multi-disciplinary artist using photo-illustration and printmaking to reflect a city’s culture via the urban landscape. For the past seven years, Portland, Oregon has been her focus.  In her current installation at PDX, Portland: East Meets West, she has captured Portland as it exists at the present moment: a city bursting with creativity.  Portland: East Meets West celebrates the cuisine, music, cycling, artists, technology, cinema, vintage, DIY, alternative movements, outdoors, history, architecture, bridges, transportation, and even rose gardens of our fair city.

By memorializing these everyday scenes, she hopes to inspire others to celebrate our city’s present. With enough awareness and appreciation of what makes Portland unique, we can sustain the best of our culture as Portland’s landscape rapidly changes into a world-class city.

Shown: 1) Airport version 30 feet wide x 9 feet tall (printed on sintra & plexiglass). 2) Smaller 64″ x 21″ version (using dibond & plexiglass).

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Portland in Flux

This current, on-going work is inspired by the huge influx of construction and architectural changes in Portland, Oregon. After living in Portland for 9 years and photographing every section of the city during this time, I got to know the city very well. Significant changes are happening to the city so fast that it was a shock to my system and I couldn’t help but start creating new work around this topic. Growth and additional housing is needed in Portland, but the demolition of older buildings and the construction of newer buildings is happening at such a fast, exponential rate without regard to infrastructure concerns and cultural concerns. Also, the current growth is pushing out long time residents that cannot afford to live here anymore. I believe the culture of the city is reflected in the built environment and determine if residents can afford to live here, all of which is changing rapidly. In this series, I attempt to addresses these issues through depicting these architectural changes in Portland.  If we don’t consciously make an effort to preserve what makes our city special, we could lose our soul and our to development. Through this work, I want to raise the issue of balancing of new growth and preserving our history, residents, and unique Portland culture.

I have finished four and more scenes to come…

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Color Photography

Statement: In my color photography, look for the intersection of human touch, graphic qualities, unique uses of color, and maybe even a little humor. They are momentary states as the urban landscape is always changing and morphing. The organic “DIY” of architectural decor is rare as commercial enterprises and corporate logos slowly take over the landscape. I capture these scenes as fleeting moments, knowing they could be painted over, moved or even demolished in a blink of an eye.

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