Here, in the left coast rainforest, the darkest month finds us hiding out indoors with friends, family, tasty morsels, our art, maybe a fire. But art never sleeps:
Many galleries mount group shows in December. If you are looking for a gallery, it's a convenient time to see the gallery's overarching style. Likewise, there are innumerable group sales of functional art and crafty things. To find them, ask your friends where their friends are doing it. Note that www.ultrapdx.com is a great source for these events! The blog www.portlandart.net puts some serious thought to reviews and news as well.
Artist-architect Grace Luebke presents a tensegrity fabric installation at the RAKE Gallery 325 NW 6th (x Flanders) in the Everett Lofts. Tensegrity structures, with a history as varied as Russian constructivists, Bauhaus performance art and the Dymaxion expositions of architect-futurist Buckminster Fuller are built by the interplay of stretchy materials in tension and rigid materials in compression. Geodesic domes, invented by Fuller, may be considered a class of tensegrity structure. In his late work, Synergetics, Fuller fashioned tensegrity's ideas into a philosopical framework championing creative thinking in the service of an optimistic humanity. How far we have strayed from those ideals...
The Everett Station Lofts, of which RAKE is part is always recommended for adventure and is usually open only on first Thursday.
Artist Anna Fidler presents ever more refined abstract printings, forged softly by her PSU MFA. ( www.pulliamdeffenbaugh.com/Artw...l.cfm ) Fidler has traveled from her fantastical obsessive maybe-sea-plant-scapes, also in the show, painstakingly cut from paper, to looser and more expressive paintings. (See an animation of an early work accompanied by Fidler's music in collaboration with E*rock at www.mumbleboy.com/anna/gardenscape.html ) Fidler also shows a video of a performance installation on the land of Eastern Oregon, Utah and New Mexico's Chaco Canyon, "Fajada Strands". Given Portland's convergence of contemporary aesthetics amid a varied natural landscape, it's a shame more artists are not experimenting with short lived contemporary site specific work on the land.
Art cafe bar Valentines presents "Gone Fishing Pretty Trippy" - art show happening music party video installation with Adam Forkner (White Rainbow), Honey Owens (World), Andy Brown and Jason Frank (Paint and Copter) (plus many more side and cross projects including Fontanelle and Valet). Early start, 9 sharp. 232 SW Ankeny
See the installation by Chandra Bocci at PNCA. Bocci is known for her installations incorporating materials in the recycling waste stream. Cute in contemporary art is hard to pull off, and she is doing it well. For this installation, she was able to put a team of assistants to work on a project, a necessary evolution to undertake large pieces. This piece composes thrift store clothing by color. PNCA's students have made it dynamic by impromptu clothing swaps and play. 13 & NW Johnson
Just Be Toys+Compound Gallery presents "Hear Me Roar" a show of women artists from across the globe: Anna Cangialosi, Amunisim, Marguerite Sauvage, Lesley Reppeteaux, Jillian Tamaki and Cicci & Sulley all show varied styles. www.justbedesign.com
Augen presents -dare I say it- visionary art by Tallmadge Doyle. Doyle's show occurs in the context of the Los Angeles MOCA exhibition "Ecstasy: In and about altered states" curated by Paul Schimmel and Gloria Sutton and documented in a catalog by MIT Press. The Ecstasy show is more about altered states, but may provide a curatorial opening for outsider art in the visionary new mysticism/ psychedelic transcendence genre, entirely different from the visionary art of African Americans in the South, such as Howard Finster. That being said, I don't think the work is of quality within its genre, just an existence proof that it can be shown in galleries.
Reading Frenzy presents it's under $50 cheap art show in conjunction with a book release party for Supercrafty - a how to craftactivism manifesto - written by Portland crafty vixens.
The Chambers gallery presents work by its namesake, Wid Chambers involving archaic computer painting programs and the work of painter Abi Spring 5:30-8:30 207 S.W. Pine Street, No. 102
Crack Press, the Portland art empire's publishing arm, celebrates its 10th anniversary. Crack Press combines old school press printing (Gutenberg, 1450) with modern technique and good design. Judge for yourself and maybe recognize some hits at www.crackpress.com/portfolio/index.html . Berbati's 7-10 See also December 10.
Blue Sky Galley presents trademark shows, one of suburban domestic interiors, another of county fairs of rural New York State.
NAAU, Newspace, and Fix all open shows, Small A continues
Homestar, yet another mid century design objects store, opens photography by Marne Lucas. Lucas' photographs attempt to bring classic pinup photography into the contemporary gallery world. Recently she has been experimenting with more sedate landscape photography and even combining the genres. www.marnelucas.com 7-10PM 4747 SE Hawthorne
Just Be Design does just be design best, but in its success is inspiring stores like The Missing Link on Belmont and opening tonight, at 811 E Burnside, Moshi, Moshi.
Pints for PICA at the Low Brow Lounge - the title says it all.
Reed alumni and composer Bruce Bennett, now at Berkeley lectures on the history of electronic music. $:15 PM in the psych auditorium. Free.
Take it EZ - Local artists Zach Reno, Melinda Melmoth, Hooliganship, Jason Leonard, Eliza Fernand, E*Rock, Meg Peterson, Emily Barry, Daniel Peterson, Corey Lund, Nathan Hamric, Mac McFarland, Ryan Alexander-Tanner, Jason Hoffman present animation wrangled by Jeff Kriksciun. Hand drawn, computer, experimental and more. Guild Theater 7PM $3
Tracy and the Plastics, fronted by Tracy - Wynne Greenwood, and backed a video incarnation of her band, Cola on drums - played by Greenwood, and NIkki on Keyboards - also played by Greenwood, will beam down at Holocene. Tracy and the Plastics were Olympia's contribution to rocking the 2004 Whitney biennial. Tracy and the Plastics will be joined by Swan Island, female dance rockers, Masha Qrella, German electro singer songwriter, and 01, electropop/ambient DJ. Holocene
The Portland Art Center is taking the big step of building out a new space in Old Town. As the first of many fundraisers, they are having an auction of work by local artists: Josh Arseneau, John Brodie, Jacqueline Ehlis, Cecilia Hallinan, Harvest Henderson, Scott Wayne Indiana, Una Kim, Rhoda London, Ron Mills, Suzanne Moulton, Liz Obert, Eugenia Pardue, William Park, Donna Savastio, Blair Saxon-Hill, Megan Scheminske, Michael Schlicting, Pat Walker www.portlandart.org 32 NW 5th Maybe phone them for the time at 503-236-3322 (see also Dec 17)
Local 35 presents the paintings of Adam Hayes 7-9 3556 SE Hawthorne
The Crack Press 10 year anniversary continues with music by The Doors of Perception, McCracken's Doors cover band, Rollerball and Lackthereof Berbati's 9 on
LPB presents a film/video showcase 3PM-midnight at the Jupiter Hotel. At 10 Conveyer Films - Jacob Pander, cartoonist, filmmaker, designer and Jeremy Wilson, musician, with Arnold Pander, artist and production designer - present 12 of their music videos conveyorfilms.com . $5 for the day. Conveyor films at 10, also something about an hourly raffle throughout the day with $1 tickets, PBR and food by J Cafe.
Visage Eyewear presents Experimental Visions 2, screenings of film and video from around the world. For this edition, curator Cris Moss will show work from Alois Kronschlaeger/ Austria, Bently Sprang/ Montana, John Harris/ Austrailia, Claire Fowler/ UK. Moss, PNCA and later NYU MFA grad, is well known as the curator of the video art and installation series "Donut Shop". Most notable was Donut Shop Three: Domesticity, held in an empty house off Alberta and featuring a rocket ship. Cris is back from NY, 9 Donut Shops later. BYOB, BYOdonuts, popcorn provided, 1046 NW Johnson 7PM free
Note also Visage is showing the clothing of a brilliant designer. Her own wedding dress, in the window, is not for sale.
PICA's annual printathon-sale puts local artists, not all even printmakers, to the press. A great networking event with wildly varying work priced at $100-250. The practiced eyes of the buyers and the cult of personality can make the buying somewhat competitive, if that matters. Artists include, but not limited to: Kevin Abell, Patrick Abbey, Brad Adkins, Josh Berger, Patricia Boas, John Brodie, Ty Ennis, Alex Felton, Cecilia Hallinan, Levi Hanes, Stephen Hayes, Sean Healy, Robin Hoffmeister, Una Kim, Patrick Long, Corey Lunn, Bill Park, Nathan Price, Blair Saxon-Hill, Kristan Kennedy, Marty Schnapf, Stephanie Snyder, Adam Sorensen, Storm Tharp, Andrea U'Ren
4 - 9 pm Studio 333 : 333 NE Hancock above Dunes.
The Portland Art Center's December party involves the traffic in ornaments. Make one and get in cheaper, make one there , buy one. 9PM-2AM 32 NW 5th $5 with ornament $7 without.
Clare Fowler, Royal College of Art grad in Communication Art and Design, presents a night of film. Fowler's short films establish a poetic field of images and actions. Imagery, emotion laden, minimal, but elegant, simply combined with thoughtful sound design, lies down to dream. Films include:
A Poem is Only Game. DV Color 7 minutes 2001
With a soundtrack of Czech poetry, spoken, simple pregnant images alternate before their ultimate resolution.
Where Paper Will Touch The Skin. B&W DV One Minute 2001
Title inspired by sewing instructions, this work is a meditation on a paper dress.
The Devil & The Fly. 16mm B&W 8 minute 2004
An Icelandic folk tale inspires images arrayed as symbols of a mythical struggle. Sound recordings of the Icelandic glacier, Katnajokull, form the bed of sound for this film.
One Second Between States. Color DV 40 minutes
A rose blossom decays ever so slowly in a time lapse composition.
Tadpole B&W Hand scratched 16mm on DV One Minute 2003
To Touch Color DV 7 minutes 2000
Butterfly 2000 B&W DV One Minute 2000
9PM Holocene Free !!
Tuesday December 20
Small A Projects presents a screening and discussion by LA artist Joe Sola. Sola has attracted interest in LA for sampling film and television as well as employing all the tools of the film industry to document performances built on an inside joke ( www.joesola.com ). A SF artist friend, now in LA, related that LA art now is all flash built upon a one liner. This would be an example. Like the overseas popularity of Baywatch or the syndication of Desperate Houswives in China, Sola has met success showing his work overseas, but that doesn't make it good. It has been discussed widely that the poor quality of feature film is directly tied to producing work of emotional simplicity, minimal dialog, flash and large explosions which survives dubbing for ever larger foreign audiences. Is art headed in the same direction? Let's hope not.
Small A projects is commended for seeking out high profile artists and selling their work to out of town collectors, while hosting discussions with the artists here. This work, though saleable and au courant, will have a hard time producing tectonic emotional responses in the viewer to say nothing of meaning anything even a few years hence. Judge for yourself. www.smallaprojects.com Tuesday 8 PM free
Have great holidays with those around you. It's not about the holiday video log, the highest rated channel this time of year. That fact does say something though.