PORTLAND -- It was a colorful site Monday as a 60-foot cotton rainbow was created at Portland’s Japanese Garden.
The work of art will be divided with some pieces staying here and others ending up in Japan.
Students from the Art from the Heart program for the developmentally-disabled dyed fabric under the guidance of Japanese artist Hiroshi Saito.
“He believes in bringing a community together through art,” said Diane Durston, curator of education at the garden.
Saito has done similar projects in Australia and Japan. His work is currently on display at the Japanese Garden. Even though his English vocabulary was limited, he was able to communicate his vision to the students.
They dripped brightly colored dyes made in Germany onto the cotton and were then encouraged to relax, move and blend.
“This is an amazing experience for them, getting to do art outdoors and work with the community,” said Lane Taplin, an instructor with Art from the Heart.
Half the fabric will be used by the students from Art from the Heart for other projects. The rest will be taken to northern Japan, to communities hardest hit by the tsunami and earthquake last year. “We’re hoping this project has brought us together across an ocean,” Durston said.