Rain Art in Orenco Sea Creatures by Alex CHiu

After receiving an Excellence in Downtown Revitalization award by Oregon Main Street for the Downtown iteration of Rain Art, the highly enjoyed treasure of hidden artworks on rainy sidewalks returned to Hillsboro this fall. In late November, artist Alex Chiu installed his rendition of sea creatures on the sidewalks of the Orenco neighborhood.

Images of a squid, turtle, frog on a lily pad, and koi fish can be seen “swimming” near New Seasons, Kitchen Kaboodle and the Orenco Max Station when rain falls. Chiu designed templates of his sea creatures on large pieces of cardboard, which were then stenciled on the sidewalk by spraying a clear hydrophobic paint that repels water. The paint is non-toxic and wears away naturally. When the sidewalk is dry, the drawings are invisible. The rain art in Orenco is expected to last only a couple of months.

Chiu offers freelance design, teaches drawing and animation, and shows work as a featured gallery artist around the Portland Metro area. His skills in animation and cartooning were a big consideration when selecting this year’s artist for a playful, family-oriented subject matter that engages customers around the neighborhood with art in public spaces. He states that his passion in art stems from the idea that “art transcends human barriers of race, age and gender… it bridges gaps, and brings people together.” His characters, playful and somewhat surrealist in style, are often born from a simple facial expression. “I start with two eyes and a smile. Then I see where it leads.” The sea creatures in Orenco are certainly no exception.


Photos by Rick Paulson Photography

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