Events Behind the Blind

The installation ‘PEOPLE BLIND / PROSPECT & REFUGE’ is open and will be up until March 20th in the lobby of the Portland Building.

The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in Portland Oregon. It’s open 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday.

Behind the blind, a series of events will take place throughout the installation’s stay.

Below is the current schedule.


Event Descriptions


Sandy Sampson: February 26th

9:00 am to 5:00 pm, a day-long residency

Drawing Attention

“Describing, recording, and drawing field observations represent the first steps of field-based scientific inquiry and creativity. These observations fuel description (“what” questions), hypothesis testing (“why” and “how” questions), experimental design, and ultimately management decisions.”

Journal of Natural History, Education and Experience – An Invitation for Engagement: Assigning and Assessing Field Notes to Promote Deeper Levels of Observation John S. Farnsworth, Lyn Baldwin, and Michelle Bezanson

Professional, amateur and novice people watchers are invited to join Sandy Sampson in sketching field observations. Peg Butler’s People Blind will give us the advantage of cover as we observe and sketch the human animal in a familiar civic environment. We will take time to share our observations as we make pictorial notes of physical types, patterns in movement, style of body decoration, body language, and groupings as well as noting exceptions as we ask our own “what, why and how” questions.   Please feel free to join us at any point during the day on a drop in basis stay all day or just a little while.

Try not to draw attention to the blind please. Field sketching materials provided no drawing experience needed or expected.

David Oates: March 5th.

Three one-hour opportunities, 11-12, 12-1, 1-2pm (+-)

Prospect and Refuge: Field Notes for Writers

Using the People Blind, Observers will jot “Field Notes” to record details and behaviors of the people passing by. Really it’s just amped-up people-watching! We’ll do it in stages:

1) I will train Observers with some powerful tactics that writers use to capture granular, precise, specific details, and put them into language on the page. This is fun to do, and results in vivid and engaging writing.

2) After Observers have gathered their data, they will look for patterns and make possible generalizations. They might write a few sentences summing up what their data shows.

3) Final stage is to hypothesize about the patterns. What causes can be inferred? What explanations? What predictions?

Will this be serious anthropology? Notes for a novel? Urban soap opera? Will it stimulate revolution – or counter-revolution? Will it be comic? Tragic? Snarky? Insightful?

We’ll see.




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