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Selected Artist-in-the-Community for Hillsboro, Dawning McGinnis, shares collective project with the city.

PHOTO COURTESY: DANIEL GLENDENING - Hillsboro's Artist-in-Our-Community, Dawning McGinnis, celebrates the finished project with Hillsboro residents and community members at First Tuesday Art Walk on Tuesday, Oct. 2. A long summer of artistic expression and city-wide participation has come to an end just in time for Hillsboro's Arts Month.

Hillsboro's Arts & Culture Endowment committee launched a project called Artist-in-the-Community, aiming to find a way to engage residents in the arts.

Local artist Dawning McGinnis, was selected as the city's first artist to helm the project over the summer after she proposed to host pop-up classes in her application.

McGinnis is an Oregon-based interdisciplinary artist who works with paint, charcoal, pastels, photography, ceramics, upcycling, writing and illustrating. She has taught art classes all over the Portland metro area.

In her pop-up classes, she asked participants what they love about Hillsboro, then coached them to turn that love into postcards.

McGinnis collaged the collected postcards from her classes, which were held in many venues throughout Hillsboro, including laundromats, the Inukai Family Boys & Girls Club, Family Promise Day Shelter and the Hillsboro Farmers Markets all summer long.

At First Tuesday Art Walk on Oct. 3, artist Dawning McGinnis' final pieces were welcomed in a reception at the Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center.

McGinnis said she is happy about how the community project evolved and turned out after expecting only a few hundred people to turn out and counting more than 1,000 by the end of it all.

"I was astounded by the community of Hillsboro," she said. "These people love art and their community and it was so successful because of the community members."

The committee wanted to reach communities in a variety of neighborhoods, said Melissa Moore, the community arts supervisor for the city of Hillsboro.

"In truth, I'm so impressed with Dawning's ability to engage such a wide variety of people, as well with the creative expression we've seen from our neighbors here in Hillsboro," Moore said.  "The culminating exhibit is great fun, to look at the photos of participants with their paintings and then recognize their individual paintings in the completed mosaics by McGinnis."

McGinnis's collages created larger shapes like trees and butterflies and are available to see at The Walters Cultural Arts Center at 527 E. Main St. until the end of November.

McGinnis will be in attendance for First Tuesday Art Walk on Nov. 6 to talk to visitors about the project.


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