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Chefs portraits set to music

Artist Christopher M will paint images with help from violinist

Portland violinist Aaron Meyer has twice played with a painter, as the two make beautiful music and art together.

In another twist of the multicultural collaboration, Pazzo Ristorante chef John Eisenhart will have his portrait painted by artist Christopher M. while Meyer accompanies in festivities Saturday and Sunday, May 1 and 2, an event put on by Shaffer Fine Art Gallery, 308 S.W. First Ave.

Christopher M. is known as the 'Painter of Chefs,' having painted images of chefs such as Kevin Rathbun of Atlanta, Gavin Kaysen of New York, Kevin Gillespie of Atlanta, Brian Malarkey of San Diego and Paul McCabe of San Diego.

It'll benefit p:ear, which helps homeless and transitional youth through education, art and recreation. It's free, 6 to 9 p.m. May 1 and noon-3 p.m. May 2, with complimentary wine tasting.

Eisenhart, 40, is flattered. A mobile food demonstration area will be put at Shaffer for Eisenhart to cook and be painted.

'This should be really interesting,' he says, 'something I've never done.' Eisenhart plans to make a couple appetizers - parmesan crepes and albacore tost on chickpea crackers with asparagus gremolata while Christopher M. does his thing and Meyer fills the room with appropriate sounds.

'I'm a very modest person,' adds Eisenhart, who's in his seventh year at Pazzo. 'I don't do a lot of calling out to how great I am or anything. It's a little out of my realm, but it should be fun.'

Eisenhart has seen Christopher M.'s colorful work. 'It's not gaudy or anything,' he says. 'Very tasteful. Kitchens tend to be madhouses, and (paintings) are very stately in their own way).'

Go to www.shafferfineart.com for more information.

- Jason Vondersmith