Mosier artist Daniel Dancer takes his trademark Art for the Sky concept to a higher level on Sunday when an expected crowd of up to 2,000 gathers for the Portland Dove In at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. The crowd, wearing special T-shirts, will form a giant “living picture” of a peace dove carrying a rose on the park grounds.
Granny D, the 93-year-old activist who walked across the country in 1999 to raise awareness about campaign reform, and a child will form the eye of the dove. Dancer will photograph the dove from a helicopter as a flock of doves is released from the heart of the “bird” on the ground.
“It’s shaping up to be an amazing event, something I hope will become an annual event in Portland,” said Dancer, who helped more than a thousand Hood River elementary school students in May create a living picture of Mount Hood for an Art for the Sky project at May Street and Westside schools.
“The role of the artist is to experiment and take risks in an effort to discover what can help our society evolve,” Dancer said. “The Dove Ins and this kind of art in general are currently my best guess on what that is. There was a lot of magic in the 1960s that created a small crack in the paradigm we all know needs to shift. The Dove Ins are an effort to re-open that crack and initiate its expansion.”
Granny D, who is the keynote speaker at the event, anticipates that the Dove In will be “simply beautiful.”
“What we all learned anew in the run-up to the Iraq War was that standing, just standing, in a street corner vigil or walking calmly in a peace march can be important,” she said. “So, since my friends on the West Coast have invited me to come and stand with them for peace, and in our standing make the shape of a dove, I will come to do it. If it were the shape of a child, I would do it, or of any man or woman or living thing. For we are standing for life in a time when the forces of death defy us to take our stand.”
The Portland Dove In begins at noon, with formation of the dove to start at 3:30 p.m. Music will be provided throughout the event by Sky in the Road, SweetJuice and Shantala.
Anyone wishing to participate can buy a Dove In T-shirt at the event on Sunday from noon until 3 p.m. Dancer requests that would-be participants wear white T-shirts in case the official T-shirts run out. Proceeds from the Dove In T-shirt sales will benefit Oregon Peaceworks and the Columbia River Fellowship for Peace. For more information, go to www.dovein.com.