Whenever I am traveling I check out what is happening at the local art gallery. Once Dave told me he was taking me to Portland for my birthday I had to look up what the art scene was like in Portland. Turns out they have an amazing art gallery and I quickly bought tickets online for our first day in the city. The Portland Art Museum is located in downtown Portland and it was very easy to get to by bus for us from where we were staying. They had a wide variety of exhibits on from animation to prints to their own collection. I took Dave to each and although we didn't have all day to spend in the gallery I felt like we took in a lot and really enjoyed it all.
The current exhibition Animating Life: The Art, Science, and Wonder of LAIKA, I thought would be fun and something Dave might enjoy more then the usual Renaissance and Impressionist exhibits I drag him to. This exhibit was a fascinating way to view behind the scenes of this globally renowned animation studio. Visitors were immersed in everything that happens when making one of Laika's films. We were able to see behind the scenes photography, video clips and even physical artwork from its films. Parts of the production design, sets, props and puppets were there to look at more closely to see just how much work goes into a modern animation film. This exhibit was so much fun and educational into a world I had never really thought of before. It was great for Dave and I, both adults who still love to watch cartoons from time to time, but also for all the kids and families in Portland who might not normally be interested in the art museum. I would highly recommend a visit if you're in the area. The exhibition runs till May 20, 2018.
Our next stop was the basement of the museum where they had a very different exhibit on: Kingdom Animalia: Animal Prints from Durer to Picasso. We really enjoyed this exhibit as well, I especially did since I work in an art gallery with mainly prints. It was interesting to see how artists work in the medium of print making and can be so different from one another. I was very excited to see pieces by Durer, Toulous-Lautrec, Picasso and Warhol to name a few. The exhibition will be on until May 13 and if you find yourself in Portland before then I would suggest you go! This exhibit was drawn from the museum's archives and offers a sampling of prints ranging in date from 500 years.
After viewing two of the art museum's current collections we went upstairs to visit their European Art section, specifically the Renaissance and Impressionist pieces (my favourite.) At this point I think Dave had enough art for one day but I was just getting started. I found pieces by Courbet and Botticelli to name a few and I was in art history heaven. If I ever moved to a larger city, which at some point in my life I hope I do, I want to just spend a day in an art museum, with nowhere to go and nothing to do. I feel happiest surrounded by pieces like the ones I found in this part of the art gallery. It is something I can't really explain to someone who doesn't feel the same way as I do about art but it is truly phenomenal. The collection at the Portland Art Museum was awe inspiring and I am so glad I was able to spend some time there. Next time I am in the city I definitely plan on making a stop there again.