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Bring Your Child to Work Day at Ai Portland

By: Krasimir Karamfilov

May 1, 2017

On April 27, The Art Institute of Portland celebrated Bring Your Child to Work Day. The children of staff and faculty members arrived on campus around 9:00 a.m. The small group of children included Adalyn Lockwood, daughter of full-time faculty Elizabeth Lockwood; Isa Summers, daughter of Assistant Director of Admissions Sara Summers; Zoe Karamfilova, daughter of Executive Assistant Krasimir Karamfilov; and Owen Patterson, son of Director of Financial Services Lauren Patterson.

Children making pizza

After a short meet-and-greet, the children visited the Supply Store, where they started the day with shopping.  Each child received $20 in play money and went around the store collecting goodies. In addition to purchased goods, the children received a gift bag, full of colored pencils, scissors, wristbands, stickers, and sweets from store manager Rose Snyder.

Having finished shopping to their heart’s content, the children went to the faculty lounge, where they drew and colored, watched PBS Kids on TV, and played Jenga, Tiddly Winks, and Pick-up Sticks.  When it looked that boredom was about to overwhelm the children around 11:00 a.m., they went to a photo/film studio and starred in a short movie, written and directed by Ai Portland’s jack-of-all-trades, Krasimir Karamfilov. The movie’s story revolved around a play date in rainy Portland. The children delivered subtle, yet poignant performances, worthy of an award or two.

Owen Patterson drawing

By noon, the children’s tummies started to rumble. They had eaten a fair amount of sweets in the morning, but it was lunchtime and they needed real food. Joined by their parents, they headed to the Culinary building, where Chef Eugene Fritz and student Ilona Chubay (CUL, A) had prepared a delicious lunch for them. Children and parents made their own individual pizzas, drank Izze sodas, and enjoyed student-made ice cream sandwiches. And when it seemed that nothing could top this culinary experience, the fun reached its culmination.

Children making pizza

Media Arts faculty Nicole Dunsire had set up the virtual reality headset Rift for the children to try. One after another, the children put on the headset and lost themselves in imaginary worlds, full of aliens, dinosaurs, digital butterflies, and limitless expanses. In one of these virtual realities, the children met Wall-E, the waste allocation robot from Pixar’s animation film Wall-E, who played hide-and-seek, waved, grumbled, and interacted with the children in a camping trailer full of computers and gadgets. Making pizza was great, but being in a virtual reality was way too cool.

Adalyn Lockwood drawing

Elated and slightly exhausted, the children returned to their parents around 2:45 p.m. According to their mommies and daddies, the children could not stop talking afterwards about the fun they had had at mommy’s/daddy’s work. It was a day to remember, and, for some of them, it was the best day ever.


By: Krasimir Karamfilov

May 1, 2017