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The Portrait Connection
September 7 - October 26Free
Dates: September 6 – October 26, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, September 6 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Opening Reception Location: Eastern Oregon University – Hoke 339
Cost: Free Admission
The Portrait Connection is a nonprofit organization based in Bend, Oregon that pairs critically ill children with fine artists who paint their portrait. The Portrait Connection has commissioned portraits of eleven regional children from the communities of Pendleton, John Day, Baker City, Enterprise, Joseph, and Cove. At the September 6 opening reception, the artists and representatives from the Portrait Connection will unveil their paintings in front of the children and their families. The public is welcome to attend, celebrating this joyful moment and the healing power of art.
The power of the portraits is twofold: parents receive a sanctuary where they can pause, day or night, gleaning hope from an image of their child, while the children are gifted with a vision of their body unmarred by illness. Portrait Connection founder Elaine Eisenbraun said, “The child can look at the portrait, seeing their own beauty reflected back, and no longer define themselves by their illness.”
This powerful process has kept Eisenbraun connecting families and artists since she founded The Portrait Connection in early 2017. Since that time, The Portrait Connection has commissioned dozens of portraits, bringing the project to Northeast Oregon this year through a $6,000 grant from the Oregon Arts Commission. The nonprofit has grown quickly, working in communities across the U.S.
Artists that work with The Portrait Connection experience strong emotions as well. “Many of the artists we work with tell us they cry while creating their paintings,” said Eisenbraun. The artists work off of photographs and statements about the child submitted by their family. The artists do not meet the portrait subject until the unveiling, creating a truly meaningful evening for all parties.
The public is invited to the unveiling in order to create awareness about the Portrait Connection and its work, as well as to “create a community emotion around it.” Eisenbraun believes strongly that the portraits they commission not only celebrate the joy and beauty of their subjects, but offer a true conduit for healing. “Many of the families tell us that the portrait is the most valuable treasure they could have,” said Eisenbraun, “because they capture a moment in time that can go on.”
The portraits will be on display at Art Center East before families take them home, offering the community an opportunity to honor these young lives.
To learn more visit their website: https://www.portraitconnection.org/
Registration cancellations & transfers must be made through Art Center East at (541) 624-2800 48 hours or more before the class start time. We cannot issue refunds or transfers for cancellations received after the 48-hour cutoff. Exceptions will be considered for medical or family emergencies. ACE will honor a refund, minus a $10 administration fee when the cancellation is made 48 hours or more before class start date. When a class is canceled due to low enrollment, we will issue a refund for all registration fees. ACE will contact you in the event of a cancellation.