Nine Minty Green Houses In The Visual Chronicle Of Portland


A submission I recently made to The Visual Chronicle Of Portland, a city-owned collection of works on paper– prints, photographs, paintings and drawings– that focuses on artists’ views of the city’s social and urban landscapes- has been accepted, and at some point soon it will go on display.

David Chelsea is reading:
The Inventor and the Tycoon: A Gilded Age Murder and the Birth of Moving Pictures
by Edward Ball

I had a piece accepted to the Visual Chronicle of Portland (a sinusoidal view of the fountain in Irving Park) four years ago in 2009, but the City seems to have dropped the program for a few years and I forgot all about it.

Previous David Chelsea piece in the Visual Chronicle Of Portland
Previous David Chelsea piece in the Visual Chronicle Of Portland

When I heard that they were soliciting entry again this year, the deadline was less than a month away. I decided to render some of the photographs from my Minty Green House series in watercolor:



I saw an article about the selection process that said the judges have a very PC theme this year- seeking images of the African-American, Chinese and Russian communities, and “areas east of 82nd Avenue”. That I couldn’t quite manage, but I was hoping my minty green houses would hit the plebeian note- at least they weren’t more pictures of Portland’s bridges, which the article said they already have plenty of. I kind of say it all in my artist’s statement:

Artist’s Statement

This series of images is part of my effort to to document all of the Minty
Green Houses Of Portland before they are painted over.

When I started out, I had thought this particular green, which I regard as
the quintessential Portland house color, was losing ground to more muted
Martha Stewartish shades of sage and jade, but there are still plenty
to be found. My preference is for frontal views without cars or trees in
the way, and while some houses appear to be recently painted, minty green
is such a currently unfashionable color that many are in a picturesque
state of dilapidation, clearly in need of a paint job that is unlikely to be
another shade of minty green.

I was just in time to record the house with the incongruous red brick
front on the middle right: it has since been demolished.

I don’t remember where all the minty green houses I photographed are located, but
every so often I notice when there’s been a change. I have already mentioned the demolished house (on NE Broadway and Hancock); recently I also observed that a once extremely minty house on NE 13th & Fremont has been painted a sombre gray:



Assuming they do the contest again next year, I have a whole year to think about what to do next. Pink houses?

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