put a bird in it

Have you seen them? The 7 small works of art and avian architecture gracing leftbank’s lobby right now? I can’t walk by without hearing that They Might Be Giants song. You know the one? “Make a little birdhouse in your soul…

Why are there (supercool) birdhouses hanging in the lobby? It’s a project that WeMake manifested for PDX Design Week. What’s the WeMake connection with Leftbank? Yvonne Perez, AKA Creativegirl. Yvonne and her WeMake crew handed out birdhouse kits to local artists. Not just any birdhouse kits, but kits that added up to little midcentury modern homes – and kits that themselves served mostly as a jumping off point for the artists. The artists then took the birdhouses in every direction. There are some pictured on Creativegirl’s blog, some here, and 7 hanging in the lobby. Besides Yvonne, other Leftbankers including Sockeye and Fashionbuddha joined in on this. Both those 3rd floor tenants built houses.

The birdhouses are all over town at the moment, and they’ll come together again for an auction at Union Pine on October 12th. The auction supports arts and music education in the public schools of Portland and Multnomah County through All Hands Raised and First Octave.

Thank you, WeMake! Thank you, Yvonne! This is why I love Leftbank.


WeMake Design in Action: Put A Bird In It
WeMake is seeking artists, designers, architects, builders and makers of all sorts to help us raise money for All Hands Raised, First Octave—a grant program that funds art and music education for the underserved and underrepresented students and schools, in Portland and Multnomah County.

“ Put A Bird In It ”
With the help of industrial design firm NEWWoodcrafters, and ADX we’ve created a modern birdhouse template as the canvas for your artful explorations. Were picking a total of 75-100 artists and or teams to participate in the project with a silent auction to be held on October 12th, 2012 at Union Pine.

The night promises to be one to remember! Our October sketchXchange guest illustrator is no other than Aaron Draplin and will take place at Union Pine before the auction begins. We are pleased to be a partner in Portland Design Week, Yay!

Anyone and everyone is welcomed to submit. Just download the pdf to find out more!


Feel free to share this with all of your maker, designer buddies!
Agencies, studios and teams welcome!

NOTE: Although we did create the template so the birdhouses could be put together three different ways with glue! (made for wood of course) You are certainly more than welcome to add to them, take away and build in any way you wish. Chosen participants will receive a the free kit with wood & glue supplied!

We Make  connect . create . collaborate
WeMAKE is about making, making connections, making a difference, and make believing. Through hands on workshops, inspirational experiences, or arts advocacy through social change collaborations. Come make it happen!


More about First Octave- For more than a decade, All Hands Raised has supported art and music education for youth with the goal of increasing access for underserved and underrepresented students and schools, in Portland and Multnomah County, through the First Octave Grant Program. These grants are funded through the tireless work and generous giving of individuals, foundations, and businesses, reflecting the strong support of the community for strengthening art and music in local schools.

WeMake Creates at Leftbank!

Gathered in the cafe on the first Friday of each month is a small group of Portland creatives waiting patiently to ascend upstairs, pen and sketchbook in one hand and a #6 in the other. They are the lucky few who received an invite to attend a monthly sketchXchange happening here at the Leftbank Project. sketchXchange is just one part of  WeMake, a community design initiative that helps to organize inspiring events, workshops and discovery field trips around Portland. Founded by Yvonne Perez Emerson of Creativegirl WeMake was born from the idea of creating a platform that fosters art and design within our community through hands-on experiences, workshops and design in action.

What is sketchXchange?

sketchXchange is a chance to peep into the sketchbooks of some of our favorite local illustrators. Hear what inspires their work and learn about the process they use to create. You’ll bring your own sketchbook and mingle with other participants, have a beverage, and draw in a few sketchbooks. There are no rules, no themes (unless you have one for your book) just pens, pencils, sketchbooks, and friends. This isn’t a slide show event, guest illustrators will be sharing their actual sketchbooks and you’ll have an opportunity to purchase some of their work.

So far there have been two sketchXchange’s, the first one was held in the studio of Sockeye with the dynamic duo of Jolby and the second one in the conference room on the second floor with the talented Mary Kate McDevitt. Both events were a huge success and have the design and illustration community excited to attend the next one. Just a note though: Space is limited to 25 people!

WeMake organizes creative workshops +. Recently WeMake collaborated with Tanner Goods (Cascade Fabrication) to provide a night of discovery and craft. Participants had a chance to learn about the art of hand crafted leather goods and the opportunity to create their own leather Key Lanyard’s and custom sketchbooks. Check a few event photos here. More workshops with Tanner Goods are on the horizon, plus a few others like: visiting a vintage sign maker, learning to letterpress and participating in design in action opportunities.

Stay informed. To learn more about WeMake or to secure an invite to an event visit their website and sign up for the newsletter. They do most of their communicating via twitter , Facebook and their blog which happens to have a great video featuring the Leftbank and sketchXchange right now.

@wemakepdx #sketchxchange