Bronco Gallery Experience

In partnership with the Bronco Gallery, Katie Holden, Chris Freeman, and Sam Loren.     
Presented by Bronco Gallery.

For the first phase of the Bronco Gallery Experience, the Bronco Gallery parked on the corner of NW Everett and 6th in Portland to tailgate various art openings that were happening in the Everett Street Lofts on First Thursday. The artist and curators installed a comfortable writing area in the Bronco’s gallery where visitors could fill out their “experience proposal forms.” On these forms, participants stated their ideal use for the Bronco (ie. use the bronco to drive to the Columbia River Gorge with a kayak and go kayaking, or use the bronco to explore Beaverton). Meanwhile, one of the curators made cheese sandwiches for people on a grill set up on the sidewalk, and a projector mounted to the top of the Bronco played a short film Crews made which juxtaposed scenes from Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with home-videos of people flying shark-shaped kites.

Crews’ role during the opening event was to explain the project to visitors, entice the audience to submit applications, and collect proposals in a locked plexi-glass box which would be opened later that night. After the proposal collecting event, the artist, curators, and a panel of judges selected three of the proposed experiences to enact with the participants during the following three days. Each participant was notified immediately if their project was selected, and the schedule of experiences was arranged.

After the three experiences were complete and documented by participants using a disposable camera (Heath and Crews picked up Sam Loren’s son Odin from pre-school and had a snack-time dance party in the back of the bronco, Wobb and Crews helped Katie Holden turn the bronco into an ASMR listening chamber for three selected guests, and Heath and Crews chased police to crime scenes in the bronco using a police scanner with Chris Freeman), Crews developed the disposable camera film, the curators selected one photo to represent each experience, and Crews turned those photos into paintings on nylon fabric. With advice from Steve Doughton about kite construction, Crews used the fabric to build three small delta kites.

The following weekend, Crews met the participants at a central location and drove the crew through rain and fog to the Oregon coast in her Volvo station wagon. The group convened with the Bronco Gallery and its curators at the Lincoln City Cultural Center where they attended the Lincoln City Bi-Annual Kite Festival together as an invented community. The group watched as professional kite flyers performed dramatic kite dances, flew small indoor kites, carried large whale shaped kites through hallways, and led kite building workshops. They interacted with several dedicated kite festival goers, and told stories of the experiences they had together as a group. They shared their kites and got advice from the professionals about how to improve kite construction and function.

After a long day of being indoors and learning about kites from various people at the festival, the small group went to the beach, ate clam chowder, and reflected on the experience of becoming friends because of an art project.