In the mid 70’s I had a studio in Portland’s China Town. My studio was a floor below the now legendary PCVA, Portland Center for the Visual Arts.
The building had only PCVA's Contemporary Art Center and a handful or artists as tenants. The neighborhood had a large amount of homeless people on the streets.
My studio had huge walls and I was able to make epic scale paintings there. One ended up in the office of PCVA’s then director, Donna Milrany. Donna later had it at her apartment until she had to downsize. She just recently donated it to the wonderful Central City Concern art collection. CCC’s new building is just a block away from my old studio and it’s mission is to help the homeless, which they do in a nationally recognized successful way.
Interestingly, another painting done in the same studio depicting that very neighborhood as well as a semi-street kid I knew at the time was among the first paintings to be curated into the CCC collection. The collections organizer is Pam Baker, along with Kathleen Johnson Kuhn. Pam and Donna recently met me for lunch so we could all view the CCC collection.
I was so proud and honored when so many of the CCC staff came up and told me my paintings were their favorites. Apparently the CCC clients also appreciate them. Donna had written a statement about the meaning of my painting to her. She said their were two figure responding to the same large crashing wave. One cowers and hides his head while one triumphantly jumps up into the wave, raising his arms. She saw the imagery of this painting as two different responses to life’s challenging events. She hoped the painting would inspire the CCC clients to choose the way of meeting the wave head on.