What was astonishing, though, was the number of people making the rounds. The Pearl District is an old industrial district that was redeveloped by artists and has now gone upscale--a mixed blessing from the point of view of the artists who moved there because it provided good, cheap studio space--many of them have been priced out of their spaces. But artists need patrons, too. The feeling was like Los Gatos, or Rodeo Drive--and this is little (by comparison) Portland Oregon. How did it happen that the city came to care so much about art? This is not a huge city, nor a rich one. But, somehow, art matters here. And, maybe, that is an environment that will make great works possible, even if, so far, I have not seen many.
Maybe.... To be the center of a major art movement Portland will need
to pull in people from the whole Pacific
and some world-class connesieurs as well. There has to be something
big to say--some predominating themes or media that can make for
dramatically new art. And the economy has to be good enough to
support artists which, who knows? But I think the potential is there.