Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Incredible Portrait Project

I belong to a multi-talented art group called Art Esprit and based at the artstream Gallery in Rochester, NH. This is the same group I wrote about that did the downtown "Shoe Project" and last year did "If These Rocks Could Talk" for which I did the Betty and Barney Hill saga on 4 sides of a wooden pedestal. Very cool projects. This year, the group came up with a fantastic community art project called "Rochester Creates Portraits". Artists, children, high school kids, citizens from all walks of life enthusiastically joined in and created over 500 portraits on wooden panels!
The President of Art Esprit is Adam Pearson. He's the sculptor who made all the shoes, built the pedestals and was given the daunting task of turning the large and small wood panels into an actual sculpture. He is basically an all-round artistic genius. We couldn't wait to see what he would do. 
My friends, Kyle and Stan and I arrived at 10:00 for the kick-off. Several Art Esprit members attended and we all sorted through the panels and handed them to Adam as he created the sculpture. He figured it might take him 8 hours working alone which was a huge amount of work. Luckily, Stan is good with power tools and he joined in and was a huge help, so it ended up taking just over 6 hours. I have to say, we were all amazed at how incredibly this project came together and the diversity of works placed next to and around each other from professional art to work by tiny kids was absolutely fantastic.
There were so many pieces I would LOVE to own! The sculpture will be up through October and then will be taken apart and turned into a wall of portraits at the local community center. So, cheers to Adam and Stan for all the work yesterday and to Kyle for documenting the whole thing and to Art Esprit  and artstream for bringing art to the community! Below are some samples. Sadly, there are too many to show all of them.     
Adam beginning the layout
Kyle and his self-portrait

My portrait in the mix

One of my favorites

This man painted this picture of his daughter


More favorites

Partly finished

And the finished work. One of the views:

Stan and Adam


  1. It was an awesome day! We were lucky to have great weather and all the hands we did. I added about twenty photos to the Art Stream Flickr account a few minutes ago. Love your photos Steph!

  2. Hi Kyle,

    Great Writer's group, too! I loved your new piece! Yes, what a great day. I'll go look at the artstream photos. Can't wait to see them!

  3. I really had a great time helping build the display. I am glad I could help. I now wish I would have attempted a portrait! It turned out to be an amazing piece.

  4. Hi Stan,

    It was so nice of you to pitch in like that!
    Yes, the sculpture is so fabulous I want to keep driving to Rochester to look at it!!!

  5. What a great project. I thought I saw some pictures of puppies in there, too! That's very cool.

  6. Yes, Katie. You are right. There were several portraits of dogs. So you were well represented in the canine category!