Do You Accept the Portrait Challenge?

A sneak peek at the Portrait Challenge and other art at Bumbershoot

Make sure to stop by the Northwest Rooms during Bumbershoot this weekend to take part in one of the best user-generated-art art shows this side of the Mississippi.

Founded as a creative way to spice up the usual shuffle-in-shuffle-out doldrums of art walks, Ryan Molenkamp's The Portrait Challenge has evolved into its own standalone show: inspiring participation among experienced artists and novices alike.

How it works: Molo (Ryan's nickname..or is it alter ego?) tapes a photographed portrait to the top of a piece of paper with six empty squares, inside which six different people draw their interpretations of that portrait. Whether it looks like your 5 year-old did it, or like da Vinci stepped in, the diverse results are always fascinating to compare. And since there are many completed and near-completed "Challenges" on display, compare is what you are free to do if you don't feel like drawing.

Molo will be posting his favorite portraits from each day of Bumbershoot here on CAB and on his own blog, Molo's Sketchbook. So get your drawing, or your own portrait (a photobooth is on hand), on the wall - and make sure to view it later on the Portrait Challenge Flickr page as well.

After the jump, view behind-the-scenes pictures from the exhibit during set up:

Painter Chris Sharp helps hang the Challenges.

Some, you'll see, are started already - and just begging for you to fill a square with your take on the subject.

So many faces in a crowd.

Molo also got a few shots of Jonathan Brilliant's sculpture during set up (below), which is also being exhibited in the Northwest Rooms. The installation is made up of wooden sticks held together, for the most part, with tension – not glue. 

Again, these are wooden coffee sticks woven together and not glued. I felt the need to repeat that.


This post has been updated since its original publication.

Read about all of the Visual Arts events planned for Bumbershoot on the festival's Web site. And follow CAB for more blog and video coverage.