Northwest Portland: The Children’s Healing Art Project’s art factory always brings a splash of color to Pearl District, but a new location may be in the future


The art hangs on the walls, and the painting covers almost everything in the Children’s Healing Art Project’s art factory in Northwest Portland.

In a large warehouse-like room on the corner of Northwest 11e
Avenue and Marshall Street, paint is splashed on almost every object in the room. Almost nothing is exempt: toys, clothes, tables and even the floor are covered in shades of every color imaginable.

At the Children’s Healing Art Project’s art factory in the Pearl District, children’s laughter can be heard five days a week.

“This is what kids want,” said Frank Etxaniz, founder and artistic director of CHAP.

CHAP is a non-profit organization that provides free artwork to children and their families in hospitals. It was created in Portland six years ago. Staff and volunteers bring art programs to the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital at the Oregon University of Health and Sciences, the Shriner Children’s Hospital, and several area medical centers. . The organization also provides art supplies to hospitals in Argentina and Nepal.

Two years ago, CHAP moved its Art Factory to the Pearl District space where people of all ages can pay $ 5 an hour to do art projects, paint clothes, and use a variety of art supplies. Arts and crafts. Extaniz, an artist and businessman from Oregon who has lived around the world, said the Art Factory is just one of the financial backers of their art programs in hospitals.

“Kids with long term health issues, these kids we help in hospitals, it’s their art club for free,” he said, adding that CHAP staff serve hospitals up to to 70 hours per week.

CHAP also receives funds from a sort of clothing store that is run inside the Art Factory. The organization collects clothing donated by regional retailers including Adidas, Nike and Anthropologie, labels them with the CHAP logo and sells them at discounted prices, or what Etxaniz calls, “CHAP prices.” Donations they receive are damaged displays and other types of clothing that would otherwise be thrown away. Customers can choose to buy the clothes as is, or paint and decorate them.

clothing.JPGClothing bearing the CHAP name hangs on shelves at the organization’s art factory in northwest Portland.

“We have a whole host of partners in town who give us things they don’t want,” Etxaniz said. “We like to mess everything up. We make it and sell it to generate other funding.”

Constant fundraising also keeps CHAP running. Several birthday parties are held at the factory each weekend, and periodic events provide support. An upcoming event in March will be an interpretation of the Hindu Holi Festival of Color. Parents are encouraged to wear their best old-fashioned costume or evening dress while their kids throw paint at them to give old clothes a new look.

This morning, parents and children walked in and out of the Art Factory, suggesting the organization has become a popular asset for Northwest Portland. But Etxaniz has said he could move out of his current 4,000 square foot home.

“This is the most beautiful space in the Pearl. It is important to keep moving to reinvent the space,” he said. “It won’t be here forever; we won’t be anywhere forever.”

The move depends on CHAP’s ability to generate enough funds to secure a new place or if space is donated. Etxaniz doesn’t know where the Art Factory will go, or if it will stay in northwest Portland, but he wants to keep it near the Portland streetcar tracks for accessibility to his visitors.

“It is important to be close to the tram tracks because we have a lot of disabled people,” he said.

And the move could take place as early as June, so he challenges those who have not known CHAP to come and visit him: “Everyone comes in as long as we are here. Energy,

excitement and volunteering is what keeps this place alive. “

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