Local Color

I recently did a quick, completely unscientific, bit of internet research to find how many artists live and work in the Portland area. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive source for that information but, I did find a few interesting factoids:

  • A “Citylab” article written in 2017 says Portland/Vancouver had the 3rd highest “Location quotient” (that’s the artist to regular human ratio) in the country.  Los Angeles and New York City topped the list.
  • The Portland Open Studios Tour  has a substantial number of artists (as many as 100) who open up their workspaces to the public on 2 weekends each fall. https://portlandopenstudios.com
  • And according to the artists’ resource website, “Artists Network”, Portland is among the top 10 “leading art cities conducive to an artful life”

I’m not certain what “artful life” means, but presumably there is some quality drawing creative people to the area. And given the relatively large numbers, I wasn’t surprised to find a show of 2 local artists worth mentioning, when I visited  Elizabeth Leach Gallery  this week.

“Erosion”, by Christine Bourdette includes sculptures and drawings. Ryan Pierce’s “Hot Hex” has his latest large scale paintings. Both artists address issues of environmental degradation. https://www.elizabethleach.com/exhibitions

Christine Bourdette

Christine Bourdette – “Tectonic Shimmy”, 2019 – Vellum, pigment-based ink, wood and gesso

Christine Bourdette 1

Christine Bourdette – “Rift”, 2019 – Paper, pigment-based ink, sand, sawdust and gesso


“Erosion” also includes Bourdette’s graphite and colored pencil renderings of geologic formations.

Ryan Pierce

Ryan Pierce’s “Prospect (for David Buckel)”, done in 2018, is one of a number of paintings in his exhibit, “Hot Hex”.

More information about Bourdette and Pierce can be found at their websites:




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