I first became aware of the periodically changing art exhibits at the Portland (OR) Airport (PDX) when I was traveling often from San Francisco to visit my son. Intriguing visuals, chosen by the PDX art program director, would line the corridor that ran from the main concourse to the Alaska Air flights. (And sometimes I would catch the live piano music in the concourse — art, too.) Now that I live here and don’t have to fly to see my son, I have to depend on news coverage to keep abreast of what’s new in what I call the PDX “gallery”.
“Catching a Flight? Catch Some Art!”, the page 1 story in the March 23, 2016 issue of the Oregon City News, caught my eye most recently. Michael Hoeye told how he got the idea for his featured “Angels Passing” show, consisting of 48 photographic/graphic portraits. They are accompanied by text written by Joanne Mulcahy. I quote from Ellen Spitaleri’s story:
“The project began on the Galata Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey, in September 2014, when Hoeye was sitting on a bench watching the endless stream of people pass by and thought to himself, ‘This is my idea of heaven.’
“As he watched the ‘street full of people bustling with life, crisscrossing the city,’ he realized that each person he saw had an individual story, ‘coming from a unique past and traveling toward an unknown future.’
“He wanted to stop the action, and shout ‘Freeze,’ he said, in order to give himself ‘the opportunity to consider and savor the intimate details of what I was seeing. I took that as a cue that a creative project was taking shape.’”
Once back in Portland began taking pictures of people in crowds, apparently just random people who caught his here for some reason. And then he would ponder how to turn those individual into graphic images. Again quoting:
“’Last year when the weather was good, I was taking 200 or 300 pictures every day; often crowd scenes. Back in my studio I edited, studying every picture and every person in it, looking for people who captured my imagination. I was looking for people whose grace and dignity was revealed in their stances, gestures and expressions; their particular way of occupying a specific moment in time,’ he said.
“One day he was trying to describe to a friend the feeling he had about the portraits he was working on, and he remarked, ‘It’s like I’m sitting on the street watching angels pass by.’ From then on, he knew what to call the collection, and the title, ‘Angels Passing,’ has not only been an inspiration, but has helped him keep his focus.”
Hebrews 13:2? “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”