OMSI Shares Ingenious Gingerbread Houses

OMSI Shares Ingenious Gingerbread Houses

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is a key landmark in Portland, Oregon and an exciting opportunity for people of all ages. This winter is no different as OMSI opens up an exhibit specifically to celebrate the Holiday Season.

Portland architects and bakers coordinated to produce the event. It will be part of OMSI’s latest exhibit, entitled “Illusion: Nothing Is As It Seems”. It just recently opened and will run through January 1st.

According to an article in The Oregonian, all of the gingerbread houses are made up of 80% edible material and have a wide variety of themes, which include merry-go-rounds, skyscrapers, and landscapes.

View more photos of the exhibit on The Oregonian and visit the actual exhibit this winter!

First Coloring Book Appears that is Geared Toward People with Alzheimer’s

First Coloring Book Appears that is Geared Toward People with Alzheimer’s

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, over 5 million people are currently facing the hardships of Alzheimer’s in the United States. The illness corrodes a victim’s memory, making it incredibly difficult and frustrating to connect and communicate with family and friends.
Maria Shriver, the NBC News special anchor, after witnessing her father struggle with Alzheimer’s until his death in 2011, was inspired to create a coloring book geared specifically to those suffering from the disease. In an interview with TODAY, she stated:

“When I would go visit my dad as his disease progressed, I had fewer and fewer things that I could do with him. I could take a walk with him, but a lot of times he didn’t’ want to walk. I played puzzles with him and sometimes drew on pieces of paper.”

The goal of such a coloring book is to help calm patients and caregivers together, thus facilitating better connections between family and friends. Images in the book are inspired from Shriver’s visits to nursing homes. The product also includes tips for caregivers within its pages that are based on conversations with doctors and families.
Dr. Richard Isaacson, director of the Alzhiemer’s Prevention Clinic, explained that “the person with Alzheimer’s may not be able to communicate his or her thoughts as well as they used to or may not remember what happened to the conversation 10 minutes ago, but they’re able to express themselves through art – through drawing.” The emergence of this coloring book could help to fulfill this unmet need for better communication.
Shriver noted that Alzheimer’s is an intense, frightening experience, and she ensured the coloring book focused on happy, hopeful, themes through numerous colors and images of butterflies and happy people.
“I’m really hopeful this is filling a void and a need and will change people’s lives,” she stated. Shriver also considered how the book might have changed her relationship with her father near the end of his life. “I think it would have brought laughter, it would have enabled us to do something together.”
The coloring book was released in June, which is considered Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.

Company turns car exhaust into art supplies

Company turns car exhaust into art supplies

A company based in Bengaluru, India, has created a way to make art supplies out of air pollution. The company, Graviky Labs, is making Air Ink- pens, oil-based paint, and spray paint- from the carbon soot in car exhaust.

Anirudh Sharma, one of the founders of Graviky Labs, came up with the idea after noticing that his clothes were stained from pollution. India has been impacted by heavy air pollution; the World Health Organization found that six of the top 15 most polluted cities were in India.

Air Ink is among many innovations developed in hopes of solving this problem.

To create Air Ink, cylindrical devices that capture emissions are attached to the tailpipes of cars, trucks, and motorcycles. A device called Kaalink separates the carbon from pollutants such as heavy metals and carcinogens. The carbon is then extracted from the Kaalink and mixed with oils and water to make paint and ink.

30-50 minutes of pollution is enough to fill one Air Ink pen with purified carbon.

In June, artists used Air Ink to create murals in Hong Kong’s Sheung Wan district. Air Ink is set to enter the market by the end of 2016.

Photography project documents pieces of Portland

Photography project documents pieces of Portland

An exhibition of the Portland Grid Project, a sustained Portland photography endeavor, will be open to public from March 31 through May 1st at the 12×16 Gallery in Southeast Portland. Sixty images will be on display from the project, showing pieces of Portland and how the city has changed over time.

The Portland Grid Project was started in 1995 when Christopher Rauschenerg, a local photographer, cut a map of Portland into 98 pieces and invited 12 other local photographers to help him capture one randomly selected square per month.

“Everyone brings something completely different to the table,” says Castle, a full-time student at Portland State University who joined the project in 2013. “Especially how fast the city is changing and growing, it’s an opportunity to see Portland — the little places that aren’t highlighted as tourist destinations but are really cool parts of the city.”

The photographers use a variety of digital formats in their project to capture the city, but each focus on the same grid square, using their own perspective and aesthetic in the process.

George Kelly works with film and has been part of the project since 2007. “My goal is to make things more recognizable, focus less on specifics — more broad. I would see a slug in Forest Park but wouldn’t be able to take a picture of it with a wide-angle lens.”

Other photographers enjoy connecting with the community through the project.

“I love photographing people, documenting people and the environment. I also love Portland,” Castle said. “This is an awesome opportunity to get to know the nooks and crannies of Portland — places I’m sure I would never venture to.”

One time, while Castle photographed outside a Baptist church, the pastor came out and asked him what he was doing. After Castle explained the project, the pastor invited him to attend the church service on Sunday.

Castle attended the service and found a welcoming environment. “The congregation and pastor were so welcoming and excited to have me there,” Castle remembers. “They gave me hugs. There was so much passion. I think I even danced a little bit.”

Once a month, the photographers meet and share their work. This month’s artists are Scott Binkley, Nancy Butler, Carole Glauber, Nathan Lucas, Missy Prince, Faulkner Short, Pat Bognar, Daniel Castle, George Kelly, Alberta Mayo, Steve Rockoff and Jeffrey Thorns.

The Grid Project photos can be viewed on the project’s website.

The archive will stand as a wealth of local cultural history.

Tattoo apprentice turns scars into art

Tattoo apprentice turns scars into art

Whitney Develle, a young Australian woman, is offering free tattoos to those desiring to conceal scars. Develle developed the idea after a friend showed her scars from previous self harm.

“She told me how much pain it brought her when people would question her about them or make comments,” Ms Develle said. “No one should ever have to feel like a public museum for people to ridicule.”

Develle offered to tattoo over the scars, to which her friend agreed. “(Afterwards) people were asking about her tattoo. The scars became irrelevant—a thing of the past.”

After this experience, Develle posted on social media a pledge of one or two days a week to giving free tattoos to those desiring to cover old scars. The post received thousands of likes and shares, and due to this overwhelming response, Develle amended the original post, offering 50 free sittings total, with discounted tattoos for all other interested individuals.

Develle said the response was “humbling but also heartbreaking.”

“I have been up late most nights with a close friend replying to each and every person,” she said.

The majority of those who responded were individuals with past self-harm.
“There are grandparents, mothers and fathers, young adults who have moved beyond their days of self-inflicted harm,” she said. “I want them to know that they no longer have to feel ashamed and that they no longer have to conceal their scars.”

She also wants to change societal attitudes about individuals who have self-inflicted harm. “Society looks [down at people with self-harm scars] and immediately thinks they are unstable or unfit to be amongst the rest of us,” she said. “I want to change that stigma.”