Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Portland Art Creations, AKA “The PAC” is one of our favorite Northwest art galleries. James Dunbar creates fantastic local scenes in his signature style sculptured oils on canvas, while Robyn Dunbar is behind its KnottyGirlStyle fiber accessories. We spoke with Robyn recently to find out more.
Can you give us an overview of what Portland Art Creations does?
The PAC focus is on Local Handmade Art. Having spent the last several years as an anchor in a very large market which required all product to be handmade, allowed us to gain an immense appreciation for not only Local Artists, but especially artists that specialize in ONLY handmade products.
How did you get started?
When we ‘got started’ we didn’t even realize that we were ‘getting started!’ So naïve about it all, one day we walked in to a very prominent Gallery in Portland’s Pearl District, one thing led to another and before I knew it James was holding up slides of his art to the light for the Gallery owner, Gary Lawrence to see. That, right there, was the moment ‘we got started.’ He was the featured artist in the First Thursday event of the then known Lawrence Gallery.
Do you have any ‘insider tips’ for those interested in visiting your store and/or purchasing?
Insiders know to Like & watch our Facebook page for the Ultimate Savings to be grabbed! – Special Deals OFTEN on Original Oils by James. Hours for BLACK FRIDAY 8 A.M. TO 8 P.M. / EARLY SHOPPERS WILL GET THE STEALS!!!!!
Is there something about your business that not everyone knows?
Visiting the PAC whether intent on a specific purchase or just checking us out, it’s an experience. We are at our best in a very non- traditional way. We enjoy all types of music overhead, it’s not unusual on a cold day to catch the scent of cider as you walk in and serve yourself a cup of “warm winter”, all the while enjoying an environment that cultivates an eclectic display of all types of art. We represent several artists from the Vancouver/Portland area, in addition to ourselves. James and I honestly enjoy getting to know our customers, building community.
When you have a day off, what are some of your favorite things to do in the Northwest?
Favorite things in the Northwest on a day off may include simply a walk or biking in a beautiful park, Food Carts, yes!, watching the planes take off or land at PDX from a view set from across the Columbia River……
If you had to describe what you love about the Northwest in 3 words, what would you choose?
The ocean, the mountains, the Vibe….okay, so that’s 6 words 🙂
People feel incredibly intimidated at times, as though they have no artistic ability. This is just not true ~ at every opportunity I encourage people to “find their art”; that thing that wakes you up early because you want to get started or finish!
It’s been said to us “it’s a great day to own a Dunbar” (referring to an original oil painting of James’ creation) We like this, puts a smile on our faces every time! However, we equally enjoy being able to offer prices that are reflective of a fair exchange. By doing so we make it possible for people to own incredibly moving original paintings that they may have thought out of reach.
K.C. Dermody is the author of hundreds of travel articles both online and in print as well as the author of the “Best Travel Guide for First Time Visitors to Ireland.” She has traveled throughout the world and has a passion for imparting what she has learned from her experiences to others, but always appreciates coming home to the beautiful Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.