Fourth annual Portland Art and Heritage Fair celebrates artists - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Fourth annual Portland Art and Heritage Fair celebrates artists and history

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)-- Artists working to breathe new life into the Portland Neighborhood are showing off their work during the 4th annual "Portland Art and Heritage Fair."

The fair is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, September 9 in the heart of the Portland neighborhood. Activities and fun will span our richly historic Portland Avenue corridor, from the East Portland Warehouse District (15th & Lytle St) to further west at the Portland Stroll District (25th & Montgomery St), and most everything in between.

When it comes to the creative process, artist Danny Seim doesn't have to look far for inspiration. A self described jack of all trades, the Portland neighborhood is all the inspiration he needs. He's one of the many artists who are breathing new life into this historic neighborhood, turning the focus to art.

"To show you don't have to be in a Brooklyn art gallery to create art. It can happen in any building, even buildings that just over a year ago were standing empty and kind of rocking," said Seim.

At the heart of the movement is the Dolfinger Building. The historic biding is a work in progress.

"I think a lot of people have seen this as a big scary place that might be demolished some day and the fact that it's not and it's quite the opposite and coming into its own in new and amazing ways is exciting," said Seim.

Once a Civil War hospital and then a school, the Montgomery Street building sat empty before this band of creatives happily filled the blank canvas.Every staircase and wall provides a chance to create. 

"Murals are going up. All the artists upstairs are pitching in to beautify it in that way," said Seim.

Richard Sullivan also has a studio in the space.

"Artists want to be around other creative people and I think there's a community there that I crave and other artists crave," said Sullivan.

The painter often finds inspiration in sports, but now he's turning his artistic eye to the historic homes and alleys of Portland to serve as the subject of his sketches.

"If you're in Chicago or New York it's already happened. But here it's happening and people are trying to change the artistic atmosphere," said Sullivan.

To celebrate the creativity of this historic neighborhood, artists, entrepreneurs and businesses who call this area home are hosting the four annual Portland Art and Heritage fair.

"There's going to be a meditation room, a bourbon tasting in one of the rooms. All the artists will be showing off their work or doing live painting," said Seim.

The Fair is a chance for those living outside Portland to take in the past and look toward the future.

"To see people actually creating art in front of them will hopefully be inspiring to children and old people a like," said Seim.

The route will include ample off-street parking as well as bike tours, walking tours, Love City’s “Love Bus” trolley and horse buggy ride courtesy of Louisville Horse Trams. Admission is free.

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