The panels on the front of the Black United Fund’s office building are slowing gaining scenes depicting our neighborhood’s history. Around the corner is graffiti which could be counted as temporal based modern art. We were walking back from afternoon coffee, there was a cloud break and that corner turned a rosy pink. Only had my iPhone camera and didn’t completely capture the rosy moment, but you get a same-same-but-different effect in black and white.
The light is changing here in Portland. The days are shorter and often when I go for a morning photo walk it’s too dark at 8:00am. I really like that I don’t have to get up at 6:00am to get good morning light. The light these days is rosy pink as the sun rises in the East and casts a gentle glow over the street, if there is a little bit of cloud-break. I’m learning to make technical adjustments to compensate for the higher contrast and subtle color-casts.
When we moved into our house the garage on the corner, Vian’s, came in handy pretty often. I had an old Isuzu Trooper (that I loved) and being push distance from a mechanic was very convenient. Although, Andy’s old BMW was pushed down there more often than the Trooper. We consolidated into one newer vehicle, and the garage on the corner morphed into a shop run by another family. They painted the building tropical blues and greens, and planted flowers in the cement box. For a bit there was a coffee truck, and then a taco truck with carefully placed tables and chairs. There were piles of tires for sale, and one day everything was gone and the parking lot was under excavation. They removed some old fuel storage tanks, and then a large fence went up around the building. Then people moved in and started making picnic tables. They moved some of the tables outside, and someone painted the kind- of-horrible mural on the building.
I’ve been photographing that corner a lot over the years, and finally made a picture that is a little bit beautiful. We still don’t know what the hell is going on in that garage. Over the last few days there was someone painting a boat inside. There is a nice new air-conditioning unit waiting to be installed. The picnic tables are all chained together and people waiting for the 17 bus occasionally make use of them. Some are under a carport so drier than standing at the bus stop in the rain.
I made this photo for part of the “Transformation” assignment for my Understanding Light class.
Throughout this hot, hot summer I regularly walked by a new mural in progress at the Black United Fund of Oregon’s building. For many years, I’ve wondered what happens in the drab, fortress-like building on the corner of NE 28th and Alberta. The making of the mural inspired me to learn more about the organization, and it’s history is impressive. At some point I’ll write a longer post about the Black United Fund of Oregon. In the meantime, you can read more here: Black United Fund Summer Mural Project