PORTLAND: SUMMER OF PROTESTS
My name is Damon Smyth and I am an illustrator and muralist working out of Portland, Oregon.
Portland: Summer of Protest is a piece inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality in downtown Portland during the summer of 2020.
For over 100 days, Portlanders gathered together in peace and solidarity as they were met with violence and aggression by racists and Portland police alike. PPD (Portland Police Department) relentlessly used tear gas as the method to establish dominance and control, ultimately making what was once a peaceful protest look far more fierce. Tear gas has been a continuous topic of debate during the protests and even affected Portland mayor Ted Wheeler upon his arrival to a peaceful BLM protest. The rich and the poor, young and old, white and Black have all felt the sting of tear gas. What water hoses were during the Civil Rights Movement, tear gas is in 2020. I wanted to capture the moment of impact of the gas as a protester wonders just why this is happening? Why the police continue to abuse power? Why year after year nothing changes?
I could say I wanted to do this piece for the half of my family that is Black or because of my book about slavery.
I could find countless reasons like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor or even Emmett Till (all of which contributed), but the real reason I did this piece is because it was the right thing to do.
'Zine launch / summer of protest Portland 2020: a chronicle
We have an amazing collaboration between Damon Smyth and Santigie Fofana-Dura. So much has happened since spring, first, we had the stay at home order for Covid-19. Then the dreadful killing of George Floyd. From there the zine will take the timeline through the protests and riots, the Wall of Moms, naked Athena, captain portland, and of course, our own mayor, Mayor Wheeler, getting teargassed. So much has happened. It's vital that we don't forget. The Damon Smyth and Santigie Fofana-Dura Zine will be a contemporary graphic chronicle of this important time. Don't miss it!
The 'Zine will be available at the Art Center in six chapters released over six weeks.
Wed.....12 - 6 pm
Thurs...12 - 6 pm*
Fri...........12 - 6 pm
Sat.........12 - 6 pm
Sun.......12 - 6 pm
(First Thursdays 12 - 8pm)