Portland Art Museum - The Body Beautiful & Bacchanal Ballroom

Not too long ago, I joined fantastic local comics artist Lucy Bellwood for sketching at the Portland Art Museum. The current exhibit features body-focused Greek statues and ceramics. Portland Art Museum - The Body Beautiful Portland Art Museum - The Body Beautiful Portland Art Museum - The Body Beautiful Portland Art Museum - The Body Beautiful

Tonight I attended the museum's dance party event associated with this exhibit: Bacchanal Ballroom.

The evening started off with dancers posing in costume atop column-like platforms as living statues. Perfect for sketchers, right? Right, but the poses were often very fast and there was no knowing how long they'd last - going gestural was the only way!

Bacchanal Ballroom (NaNoDrawMo 2012 - 8 of 50) Bacchanal Ballroom (NaNoDrawMo 2012 - 9 of 50) Bacchanal Ballroom (NaNoDrawMo 2012 - 10 of 50) Bacchanal Ballroom (NaNoDrawMo 2012 - 11 of 50)

At some point in the evening, the dancers leapt down from the columns and assembled on the floor for a steamy dance number - which was, incidentally, choreographed by my friend Jessica Wallenfels! As soon as that piece finished, the crowd spilled forward and danced among the dancers. It was actually quite a sight, all the regular folks shimmying up next to these scantily clad paragons of beauty. And yes, eventually I put down the sketchbook and joined them as well.

Bacchanal Ballroom (NaNoDrawMo 2012 - 12 of 50)

Afterwards I used the photobooth as a means to display my great heroism in sketching in challenging scenarios...

Bacchanal Ballroom Bacchanal Ballroom

I didn't take any photos, but there are some good ones available courtesy of Byron Beck on Flickr. Kudos to the Portland Art Museum for putting on a truly unusual event that provided a lot of visual stimulation for me as a sketcher! Um, not to mention as a fan of beautiful bodies. I'm planning to attend a second time, hopefully with some fellow Portland Urban Sketchers.