Portopia is Ohio’s newest immersive art exhibit that includes collective work from 14 artists who have altered over 5,000 square feet with powerful, visionary art.
Opening in historic downtown Middletown in the Torchlight Pass building (1131 Central Ave), Portopia is the vision of a group of over 15 community stakeholders committed to spurring economic development and creating space for nontraditional art. Visitors will experience dimensional art that titillate the senses of sound, sight, smell, touch, and even taste. The unconventional exhibit also includes 14 hidden “portal gems” for discovery and 3 portal doors for decoding that lead to unexpected surprises. Portopia is a temporary show that will appeal to guests of all ages and will runs through December 19, 2021.
“The overarching goal was to leverage Middletown’s long commitment to the arts and create an unexpected experience that can be enjoyed by all ages,” said Mary Huttlinger, executive director of the Middletown Visitors Bureau and project manager. “We wanted to create a sustainable concept that could be repeated annually with a different team of artists, keeping the experience fresh and relevant.”
The immersive experience is more than just painting on the walls. Guests will encounter fun passageways, video displays, puzzles to solve, and interactive components. Each room presents the visitor with an entire new experience to discover and enjoy. The time-ticketed event limits the number of guests each hour to ensure an enjoyable and safe experience.
“Portopia’s foundation is built on private-public partnerships and is a terrific example of an opportunity that offers multiple benefits to the community. The City of Middletown was an early adopter of this initiative and we are eager to support its success,” said James Palenick, Middletown City Manager.
Many of Portopia’s artists hail from southwestern Ohio yet some have roots from as far away as New York, California, and New Jersey. All of them have collectively worked together to conceptualize and execute the first iteration of what is hoped to be a many year, recurring exhibit.
According to Roscoe Wilson, Portopia artist and Professor of Art at Miami University, “Participating in Portopia was a terrific opportunity because we (the artists) had the freedom to create our own vision. It is rare to work on a project that encourages unencumbered artistic expression. Also using existing materials in the space allowed me to expand my practice into a new direction.”
Challenge your senses at Portopia – September 11, 2021 – December 19, 2021 in Middletown, Ohio. More information and tickets available at: www.Portopia.org