#LSSthe9 Project Launches in Portland, Oregon

There’s a lot of pressure to eat well while visiting Portland. At first, I was really excited to explore new restaurants and then this overwhelming feeling of stress poured over me. What if I failed to visit a quintisenntial Portland establishment? What if I didn’t order the right thing? What if I missed out on a trendy cocktail? 

After the first few meals (which were awesome!) I knew there were too many places to explore even within a three day visit so I just decided that I would have to return (hopefully during the summer months next time). Immediately I felt relaxed.

This was my very first trip to Portland and my mission was to enjoy vacation, eat all of the things, and kickoff a new art project I’m working on called the #LSSthe9. 

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A few months ago I started not-so-secretly hiding art in public places in Hermosa Beach, CA for people to find and keep. It was called the #FindHBArt project. It was my way of sharing art with people that I’ve never met and spreading some positive beachy vibes. I enclosed a short message with each artwork and ways to contact me in case someone wanted to say thank you or share a story.

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I would bike around Hermosa Beach with a few pieces of art in the basket of my beach cruiser and find fun places to hide my art. Every time I found a good spot to leave some art I would take a photo and post it to Instagram to let people know that there’s something out there to find and keep. At first I was just happy to know that someone picked it up and gave it a good home. But then something magical happened. People started writing me back. 

I’ve received thank you emails from people going through tough times. I’ve been tagged in Instagram posts spreading the word that this project is spreading beachy vibes. I’ve received email with photos of my art installed in peoples homes. I’ve even been told that this project has made 2016 suck less. It’s been pretty awesome to have people I’ve never met reach out and tell me that a little piece of free art made their day. So I thought why would I limit these positive vibes to people only in Hermosa Beach? 

Think of the #LSSthe9 project as a social art experiment and a multi-city version of the original #FindHBArt project…but with a fun twist. The #LSSthe9 artworks are purposefully labeled to be related to each other whereas the #FindHBArt artworks are not. 

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For this Portland trip I took nine 6x6 inch canvases and created a three by three grid. Then I painted all of the pieces so together they formed a larger 18x18 inch artwork. Finally, in order to preserve their order, I turned each the nine pieces over, signed, dated, and wrote a few words of a larger message (as well as included a special key that shows what order they should be organized in should all of the nine pieces be reunited together).

Before leaving Hermosa Beach, I carefully wrapped each of the pieces in protective green cellophane (just in case there was rain in Portland) and included a short message about how to contact me via email or Instagram. Finally, each artwork was given a small Laura Schuler Studio sticker, you know - just so you can tell it’s from me.

The afternoon I arrived in Portland was a rainy one. Living in SoCal I never had to consider keeping my artwork safe from any element but the sun so finding dry places was key. Luckily there was a shelf outside of Tasty & Alder and so the first artwork of nine was ready to be found.