PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Dinosaurs are taking over the Alberta Art District this summer. Mike Bennett, a Portland-based artist known for his cartoon wooden cutouts seen around the city, is displaying dinosaur cutouts along Alberta Street.
“Albertasaurus PDX is my attempt to fill up the Alberta Arts District with wooden recycled dinosaurs in order to bring smiles to families and kids and educate. What I’m doing is placing two to three dinosaurs a week in my neighborhood… at businesses that I love,” Bennett said.
Bringing prehistoric creatures to the modern world, Bennett uses reclaimed wood and recycled house paint to create the dinos. He says “Albertasaurus PDX” is an expansion of “A to Zoo”— his most recent front yard art display featuring a daily creature for each letter of the alphabet. This time instead of creating 26 cutouts, he’s almost doubling the amount.
“I want to have it be 40 dinosaurs in Alberta, so that every direction you look you’re learning about a new dinosaur or relearning about a dinosaur you knew about as a kid,” he said. “I love the little Compsognathus troop at The Filling Station pet supply store. There is an amazing Stegosaurus at Frock Boutique who has captured my heart and the Brachiosaurus who was the very first. It’s very big and looming over a coffee shop sign.”
Delivering dinos to different storefronts each week, Bennett hopes his art puts a smile on people’s face and helps draw attention to businesses in the neighborhood.
“I want [the Alberta Arts District] to thrive and in the times that were in that’s potentially challenging, so bringing a few extra people out to a shop that’s on the other end of the neighborhood can really go a long way and I really want to be a part of helping,” Bennett said.
Bennett’s new outdoor art installment doesn’t stop at his displays, he also creates one minute social media videos with cool facts about each creature.
“I mean what a great thing to make an outdoor science museum for families and kids to learn together,” Bennett added.
Bennett encourages people of all ages to come see the dinosaurs on a “socially distant safari” down Alberta street as it transforms into Albertasuraus PDX. For a list of where to find each dinosaur visit: Instagram @MikeBennettArt.
Bennett’s “A to Zoo” display is now at Hammer + Jacks.