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Hobbs Waters on Empowerment

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

Exhibit features works by young dancer and artist 5/1/2019, 9:09 a.m.

Portland’5 Center for the Arts presents Portland artist Hobbs Waters, the youngest artist ever to be featured at the downtown performing arts venue. The 12-year-old is a dedicated ballet dancer who also draws paintings and t-shirts to generate sales to pay for his continuing dance education. An artist reception with Waters will kick off the month long exhibit on Thursday, May 2 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. PHOTO BY AARON ROBINSON/COURTESY PORTLAND’5

Portland’5 Centers for the Arts is proud to feature Portland artist Hobbs Waters in a new month long exhibit,” Empowerment is the Passage to Freedom.” At 12 years old, Hobbs is the youngest artist ever to be featured at the performing arts venue, located at 1111 S.W. Broadway. Hobbs is a dedicated dancer, having recently been accepted to—and receiving full merit scholarships for—both the San Francisco Ballet’s summer dance intensive training and the Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre’s 28th Annual New York Dance Festival. His primary focus is ballet, but he also studies contemporary, fusion, modern and jazz styles. Earlier this year, he attended the International Association of Blacks in Dance conference in Dallas, Texas.

Photo by AJ-McCreary/courtesy Portand’5 Hobbs Waters’ “Empowerment is the Passage to Freedom” exhibit at the Portland’5 Center for the Arts, 1111 S.W. Broadway, expands on the young artist’s social justice themes, from abstract paintings to pen and ink illustrations.

Waters also flexes his artistic muscles in a number of other disciplines: Cello, trumpet, and a variety of visual mediums. In the last year alone, he has exhibited work at The Q Center, Milieu PDX, Tiny Moreso, Basic Space Gallery, and Luke’s Frame Shop, among others. He also started his own t-shirt line at to help fund his continuing dance education. His exhibit “Empowerment is the Passage to Freedom” contains a breadth of mixed-media works from abstract painting to pen and ink illustration that follow and expand upon the social justice themes in Waters’ previous exhibits, with the goal of embracing differences and representing and celebrating diversity. An opening reception will be held during First Thursday, May 2, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with live performance and refreshments in the rotunda of Antoinette Hatfield Hall. Art exhibits and opening receptions are always free and open to the public. All are welcome.

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