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Tanmaya Bingham embraces political, social, environmental experiences this year through her art.

COURTESY PHOTO: TANMAYA BINGHAM - Tanmaya Bingham's new art series 'COVID Rainbows' is on her website now. It's not common to hear the words COVID-19 and rainbows in the same sentence, but for Lake Oswego artist Tanmaya Bingham, she hopes there will be a "pot of gold" at the end of all the obstacles this year has thrown at society.

Bingham, who is also the director of Lake Oswego's One River School of Art and Design, said these uncomfortable situations people are experiencing — whether with social unrest, the pandemic or the upcoming election — are all being experienced differently. Eventually, she said, she hopes something greater than people could have ever imagined will transpire.

Bingham's new art series, "COVID Rainbows," includes six pieces that embrace the spectrum of experiences from what's currently happening politically, economically, socially and environmentally.

"I am not aiming to provide a utopic 'artist' solution with 'COVID RAINBOWS,' rather I just want to show, void of noise, in a clean authentic way what I have seen, heard, and expensed through the media and social networks during the pandemic," Bingham said in press release. "As heartbreaking as the multiplicity of this unrest is, it feels necessary in order to create lasting change … I just hope there is a real pot of gold for everyone at the end of the rainbow."

Bingham, who uses colored pencil, acrylic paint and mixed media, started her work on this series around the time Gov. Kate Brown issued stay-at-home orders in March. She completed the six pieces in August, as they were continuously evolving over the last five months.

"I was being responsive to that," she said in an interview with the Review. "For me, originally pre-COVID, I was planning on doing a rainbow series for the year but when COVID struck, it seemed apt to add COVID to that."

In Bingham's largest piece, depicting a woman at the top of a castle with flames, the addition of the flames occured after the Black Lives Matter protests ramped up across the United States.

COVID Rainbows

Another one of her pieces shows the media's message of what demographics were getting hit the hardest by the pandemic.

"I was angry that so many people were being isolated out and specific demographics were being brought to light as being in the focal lens with that," she said.

Another one of her pieces includes a police officer, where she added a spotlight above the person.

"There's a different mentality around our officers, so I wanted to show that shift," Bingham said.

Through her art series, Bingham said it was also a way for her to process what's been going on.

"I really understand that everyone has their own map and interrelation of the world. This work is one just one slice of that," she said. "This is the first series I've ever done that has me looking more externally rather than internally."

Bingham's work can be viewed on her website, www.tanmayabingham.com/2020. Her pieces are also for sale and can be found in her online shop that will be available for viewing later this week.

Art in the Bubble

Bingham will also be featured in the "Art in the Bubble" series — small events where people can experience art lectures while socially distancing — hosted by The Lakewood Center for the Arts.

Bingham will show and discuss her artwork at Nicoletta's Table Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 5-6:15 p.m.

Folks can purchase wine or beer and people can order to-go orders ahead of time for pick-up after the presentation. Art can also be purchased after the presentation.

Seating is limited, with a maximum capacity of 16 guests. Tickets go live next week and are reservable on a first-come, first-serve basis. Registration is by donation only and masks are required.


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