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Artistic activities director has gallery showing

Becca Bernstein puts the finishing touches on one of her recent paintings. Painting on unusual, handmade surfaces, she works primarily in acrylic. The piece pictured here, titled “Duncan MacRae,” retails for $2,850.
MEMO PHOTO: TIM CURRAN
By day, Becca Bernstein is the activities director at an adult care facility in Mid-county. By night, she is an accomplished and locally renowned artist.

In October 2005 she won the Kimberley Gales Emerging Artist Scholarship and was signed on as an artist at the prestigious Gottlieb Gallery in downtown Portland.

Born and raised in Utah, she came to Portland 10 years ago to attend Lewis and Clark College and later studied at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Shortly after graduating cum laude from Lewis and Clark with a degree in Studio Art/Drawing, she suffered serious and life threatening injuries in a pair of car accidents. Bernstein said, “I realized that life was precious and potentially short and that my art was only one piece of who I was. I wanted to make a tangible difference in the world and devote my time and energy to things that mattered.”

Not long after, she landed a job as assistant activity director at Firwood Gardens Adult Residential Care Facility on Northeast 122nd Avenue near Glisan Street. Within a year she was promoted to activity director. She finds her work with seniors enormously rewarding as it fulfills her earlier promise to herself to make a difference in the world.

Finding that it distracts from the piece, Bernstein doesn’t sign her artwork, and uses only the primary colors red, blue, yellow and white, blending her own colors from this palette. She is enthralled with character-filled faces, usually close-up with interesting expressions and unusual compositions.

There will be a show featuring her work at the Gottlieb Gallery, 220 S.W. Yamhill St., throughout the month. The opening reception is Thursday, Feb. 2 at 5:30 p.m.

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