Arts and Culture

In his upcoming series, photographer Zed Saeed has enveloped familiar Portland properties with color and light.

“Colors of the Night: Light Painting in Portland” features nighttime shots that showcase a different side of a neighborhood that is in the process of reinvention — one that is filled with new construction, historic architecture, and dilapidated lots.

An exhibition of Saeed’s work, which was commissioned by community developer Gill Holland, will be on view at the Tim Faulkner Gallery beginning June 3. Margaret Archambault, the co-owner of the gallery, explains Saeed’s process.

“Basically he went into some shotguns that had been remodeled or buildings in the neighborhood, like at the corner of Lytle and 15th Street — that flatiron-looking building — and he used different colored filtered light in different locations in the building at night,” Archambault says. “This created a sort of swath of color in the images, and then he combined that with his obvious talent for capturing a certain aspect of the building.”

Archambault notes that this exhibition is especially pertinent given the attention the development in the Portland neighborhood has attracted for the last several years.

“They kind of go with this whole Portland renaissance, this initiative that’s happening here,” she says.

She says that while she drives by these buildings every day, Saeed’s work has made her reconsider the potential for the properties in the community —  an effect she hopes “Colors of the Night” will have on all the gallery visitors.

“Even some of the buildings that haven’t been remodeled, they suddenly look different through this filter,” Archambault says. “It’s forcing the viewer to look at these properties that they drive by and assume ‘look at this beat-up, run-down looking thing,’ as something that is more interesting, and even beautiful on many occasions.”

“Colors of the Night: Light Painting in Portland” is on view from June 3rd until June 29. More information can be found here.

(Disclosure: Gill Holland is a member of Louisville Public Media’s board of directors.)