Bits & Pieces
Students taking part in the Columbia River Maritime Museum's Miniboat Program build small boats, equipped with GPS and a sail, but after they launch them into the Pacific Ocean, they'll maybe never see their goal reached. Will the boat make it to Japan, the destination?
Often, they come ashore elsewhere, as was the case recently when the five-foot boat named S/V Liberty built by students at Wy'East Middle School in Vancouver, Washington, discovered their boat had run ashore in the Marshall Islands.
The voyage: 101 days, starting in July, and going 4,500 miles from Oregon Coast to the Marshall Islands. The voyage actually started on the Columbia River; after being originally launched, the boat crash-landed, and then was relaunched.
Specifically, it went ashore on Ailuk Atoll, an island with a population of 357.
"There couldn't be a more exciting ending to 2020, especially for our students who have faced so many challenges during the pandemic," said Nate Sandel, education director of the Astoria museum. "One theme our students learn as part of the Miniboat Program is the importance of adapting to find ways to succeed even when faced with a challenge.
"This boat's journey has provided that perfect real-life lesson for our students, along with an adventure straight from a story book."
The boat was still floating with minimal damage. The mayor of Ailuk, Ankit Typhoon, was working with the museum and students to have the boat repaired and relaunched, so it could continue its journey to Japan.
The program is meant to teach students in STEAM fields — science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Since 2017, the program has released 27 mini boats. None of the boats have reached Japan; students from Japan also release boats headed to the U.S. West Coast.
Students taking part (remotely) this year are from Warrenton Grade School, Columbia Elementary and Eisenhower Elementary.
The sixth annual Portland Winter Light Festival will take place in 2021 with a new format as a "(non)Festival."
Instead of a large, centralized event, the activities will be modest pop-up light art installations throughout Portland.
There'll be pop-up window installations featuring light-based art, video projections, colorful architectural lighting, online art and more.
It'll take place Feb. 5-6 and Feb. 12-13.
"A major part of our mission is to invigorate Portland in the winter," said Alisha Sullivan, executive director. "This year, we see the significance of that mission more than ever."
The festival is working with businesses, artists and makers to highlight the creations. A placement map will be available closer to the event.
For more: www.pdxwlf.com.
Portland Youth Philharmonic has put out its first digital album under the leadership of David Hattner, musical director, called "Premiere Recordings."
It features the music of composer Tomas Svoboda, a former Portland State University music professor.
The philharmonic teamed with Primephonic streaming service. The album features Svoboda's lost "Symphony No. 2," which PYP premiered in 2016. Svoboda had written "Symphony No. 2" in 1964 in Czechoslovakia.
"I thought it was an honor for our orchestra to take it up," Hattner said.
"His symphony is a powerful work and is a great discovery. Mr. Svoboda is an Oregon treasure, not only for his long catalog of compositions, but also for the students he taught and inspired for decades at Portland State University."
The album also contains Svoboda's "Folk Concertino for Seven Instruments, Op. 82" and "Six Variations for Violin and String Orchestra."
For more: www.portlandyouthphil.org/svoboda.
Jeannie Kenmotsu has officially been named curator of Asian art at Portland Art Museum. She had been serving as interim head of Asian art since the retirement of Maribeth Graybill in October 2019.
"Having already worked with Jeannie for a number of years, I am incredibly impressed with her exceptional art historical knowledge that she combines with her passion for the art of today," said Brian Ferriso, the museum's director and chief curator.
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