Colored Pencils Art & Culture Night, also known as New Portland's multicultural living room, is moving from Portland's eastside to Portland State University's Smith Memorial Student Union for October's last Friday, Oct. 30. PSU's Office of International Affairs is hosting our city's 10th monthly fine food, fine arts and performing arts event.
Artists reception and a rotating international cuisine begin at 5:30 p.m. Native American opening ceremony and open-mic performances start at 6:30 p.m. and end around 8 p.m.; socializing follows until someone turns off the lights.
International Cultural Service Program scholars in traditional wear from their homelands will greet participants. Portland State University is Oregon's most diverse campus, with over 1700 international students, from nearly 90 different countries.
"It's impossible to overstate how important visiting scholars, settling families, and ambitious international business people, are to health and wealth of Portland," said Ronault LS (Polo) Catalani, Asian Reporter columnist and event co-host along with Aimee Santos of the Western States Center.
October is People with Disabilities Month, so painters and poets and people who celebrate Portland arts, and are also disabled are especially invited to eat and enjoy an evening of how Portland really looks, sounds, and ambulates.
The event and the all-volunteer organization takes its name "New Portland" as an expression of the city's extraordinary social and cultural capital, banked in Portland's immigrant, ethnic minority, and mainstream communities.
Exhibiting fine artists have included accomplished international and local participants such as Nim Xuto, East Portland impressionist Sally Reticki, and Nigerian sculptor Mufu Ahmed -- as well as many more emerging and young artists.
Open-mic performers have included critically acclaimed Ecuadorian mime Omar Vargas; North Portland's "River of Blues and Gospel" Brenda Phillips; Northeast Portland Business Association VP Gary Marschke doing Tony Bennett better than Mr. Bennett; along with any number of elegant elder aunties singing Old World laments and innumerable tiny dancing Thai princesses. About a dozen acts of every ability, every event.
Benin, West Africa-born, composer, musician, and human rights advocate Parfait Bassale is October's featured performer.
Art is juried two weeks in advance; performers are first-come/first up, inquiries about exhibiting and about performing, as well as photos and videos of past Colored Pencils, are available at: www.coloredpencilarts.com.
PSU's Office of International Affairs (www.oia.pdx.edu) coordinates all major international activities.