What do you get when glitter and literature collide?
“Glitterati – A Sparkling Literary Ball,” Portland Maine’s first festivity of its glamorous kind.
Tomorrow evening at The Port City Music Hall local writers and readers will celebrate the region’s vibrant literary scene in glitter-smeared high heels, LED flashing bowties, or whatever pizazz the partygoers can muster. The event is in support of The Telling Room, a nonprofit creative writing center that undergirds Portland’s literary culture.
Glitterati offers the community a chance to mingle with Maine’s foremost authors. The bar and buffet will feature Portland’s world-renowned restaurant fare. Entertainment includes a poetry performance by Munye Mohamad and tunes by songstress Emelia Dahlin. Silent and live auctions will give guests the opportunity to support The Telling Room’s free writing workshops taught by local writers for youth, immigrants, and refugees. Amongst the glitzy garb and blinding disco balls, Pandora LaCasse’s installation piece of glimmering, buoyant orbs will set the mood.
Pandora is well-known around these parts for her enigmatic public art installations commissioned by the Portland Downtown District, a not-for-profit facilitator of Portland’s economic vitality. Each winter, using LED lights, stainless steel and spring wire frames, and a creative sense of place, Pandora bedecks various sections of the city with floating shapes of colorful lights that look to me like fireworks in mid-explosion. They dangle in park trees, illuminate the streets, and cascade down building facades. At night, the festive dreamscapes seem to hover like jellyfish or shards of my imagination. Maine College of Art recently created this video about Pandora’s Maine-based career.
At Glitterati, Pandora’s installation will be the first thing you see upon entry—a forest of six or so red and white glowing orbs set high on stakes. They will linger on a shadowy platform above the bar. Other sparkling Pandora globes may dot different corners of the dancehall, depending on how she reacts to the space when setting up the piece tomorrow morning. Pandora’s dynamic relationship with place, and specifically with Portland, informs all aspects her career.
She says Portland is a unique bastion of the arts. While it’s “a small enough place to find your niche,” the community is deeply interested in creative work. Pandora regularly receives personal praise via letters and conversations around town. “It’s great to live and work in a community that supports you,” she continued. “I have had people say they’ve moved to Portland because of my work… because it shows that the city is engaged with art.” Since working within Portland's support system, Pandora now receives offers from around the country.
Portland’s proximity to amazing natural landscapes is a major perk for Pandora. Working in tones of “mystery and humor,” she draws inspiration from the spatial elements of the Maine coastline and inland wilderness. Blueberry fields or a gold root next to a gray stone, for example, cultivate a visual vocabulary that she translates into abstract visual experience.
Now you can party with Portland's most "glitterary" crowd in the midst of Pandora’s newest installation. Be there tomorrow, Thursday April 7, from 6 pm to 10 pm. The details you need are here.