LAIKA Exhibit at the Portland Art Museum: The Love of Art and Its Process

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Museums offer many things. Some house paintings that are the size of moving vans. Others display delicate hand-blown glass. These institutions are also classrooms that encourage us to appreciate not only the end result of art, but also its process.

All of us who walked around the LAIKA exhibit at the Portland Art Museum were as the Aussies say, “gobsmacked.” We were impressed with the various artistry required to produce these stop-motion animated films. Countless hours are spent researching and creating each costume, prop, building and character. Add to this the painstaking process to alter a character’s gesture or expression one movement at a time.

The artists blend technology with artistry such as using 3-D printing to create the multiple faces and hands required to show varied expressions. (These are snapped into place as is evidenced by the thin line near the driver’s ear.) They, like most artists, toil behind the scenes, rarely hearing applause but loving what they do nevertheless.