Story by Jakob Kaiser
Art is one of the best things you can enjoy in this world, and the next best thing is art of dogs and cats.
Starting last week, the art exhibit “Fun Di Vault” officially opened at Clackamas Community College.
But what is Fun Di Vault? This art exhibit features pieces created by Ben Killen Rosenberg, inspired by his home, pets and collection of 1940s movie posters and ads. Fun di Vault itself means, ‘From the Vault,’ which is a Yiddish term his father came up with and, as the name suggests, all of the pieces here he has never really shown to the public with brand new work that is really making its first appearance. Killen Rosenberg, who is based in Portland, has had his art featured in exhibits such as Augen Gallery, the Oregon Jewish Museum and many others. Killen Rosenberg grew up around art, born in New York City to a mother who was an artist herself.
“My mother always said that I started to draw before I learned how to speak,” Killen Rosenberg said.
He said that art was a means of communication that always came easy to him. He was exposed to a wide range of artists at a very young age, and it’s the rich culture of art that inspires his art today.
Some of the pieces that catch the eye are inspired by 1940s posters, and interestingly enough; he got the inspiration for these pieces when he was renting in Manzanita and discovered a collection of posters underneath the floorboards.
He said he “immediately thought that they would make great images to work from.”
But some of the best pieces are the monoprints, which are images printed over already existing prints multiple times. Other pieces are inspired directly from his dog and cat along with his own house, but every piece is great in its own way no matter what it’s inspired by.
Each piece had a story behind it that made enjoying it all the better. But even the artist has a piece that he loves just a little more than the others, and that is what I would say is the centerpiece of the show, which is a monoprint of what looks like an old stamp featuring a bear adorned in marching attire and tuba.
“I love the fact that the bear looks scared or surprised — it definitely stands out,” he said.
Killen Rosenberg was excited to present his work to students and will be at the exhibit on Wednesday, Feb. 26, for a reception at noon, where he will answer questions about the art.
The exhibit is open to the public at the Niemeyer Center on the Oregon City campus through March 20.