Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Artists matter

I posted this as a comment on another blog, but I think it belongs here...

There used to be an elderly homeless gentleman who swept the sidewalks by the art school in Portland. There were a lot of trees there, so there was a pretty good supply of leaves. This was when the art school was in the Museum on the tony Park Blocks.

Stocking cap, a tan cloth raincoat, winter and summer. A shopping cart home with an assortment of brooms and rakes, he was very, very shy. Over months and years, some of the art students befriended him. They would bring him tools, lunch, a sweater, mittens. They discovered he could fix just about anything electronic - like boomboxes or radios. This was before iPods. The rumor was that he had been an engineer at the Texas Instruments electronics company. Every day he would conscientiously sweep the walkways around the school. We called him the sweeper.

One day he just disappeared. My worried friends went to the police to report him missing. They could not take a missing person report without a name! Seems like the police are, more often than not, there when you don't want them, or not there when you do. Sad, they weren't interested.

This was not the story's end. I was visiting Seattle a few years later and found the sweeper carefully sweeping the sidewalks around the Four Seasons Hotel downtown. This old school hotel has more pedigree than the Hiltons, money and class. The Seattle hotel. Here was a homeless man, who no one but a few art students cared about, making around himself, a perfect world.

My friends were happy to hear their friend was fine.

May's Venerable Showers

Monday May 29

Free Admission @ Portland Art Museum

Free is good, that's what we say. Normally $10-15, Art Museum admission has crept up. Now they are making good use of that money by actually getting the art our of their warehouse and on the walls. The museum has also done a good job hanging the work of regional artists beside internationals.
The new Museum managemant has seen good response to and encouragement for free days, and now they do them from time to time. Like this Memorial Day. When you arrive, head directly to the upper floor of the Masonic Temple building to the Roxy Paine Painting Manufacturing Unit - check the time of the next activation (about once every 2 hours) and you can plan your tour accordingly. The machine may invoke questions of the artist's hand/lack thereof, but it is really a meditation on time, machine time, drip time, drying time. On exhibit also are some monumental, free form, bronze castings by Hilda Morris who operated in our area in the mid century. Still fresh. The Museum has a very plush library too. 1219 SW Park Avenue 10AM-5PM

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

More May

Often here it's reliably rainy until mid May, after the Rose Parade. Perhaps it is global warming, but lately being outside has been severely competing with being indoors as most of these events are. Balance, ah...

May 4 First Thursday

Free is good. And so it is for radio. The concept of PRA, Portland pirate radio, is that the airwaves should be as open as the seas. On those airwaves we shall evolve culture at the fringes of fair use, what shall emerge? King Kong? YES! Walking catfish? Hopefully NOT... Musicians and DJ's Collective Consciousness, Hott Pink, Guau Guau, Quiet Countries, DATLOG, Uncle Nancy, DJ T'ant, Sappho, Masmod, AMPex and Dj Zombo lay down sonic experiments live, and on www.praradio.com. They will be accompanied by visual artists GerFunk, Dr. Medz, DFX, Chance Fisher, Christian Walker and Corey Smith. Where is pirate TV when you need it? Did I mention that this is totally illegal, oops. www.rakeart.org Rake Gallery 325 NW 6th til 10ish


Malia Jensen shows new work at Elizabeth Leach Gallery. Jensen is known for her work themed on animals, including her well known giant beaver constructed of plywood. This later work departs from Jensen's playful minimalism adding color and more baroque elements. The Fresh show of last month continues. www.elizabethleach.com 417 NW 9th until 9PM


Portland artist Linda Hutchins shows "Line Drawing" at Pulliam Deffenbaugh. Hutchins is known for using repetition to create somewhat minimalist compositions. Past work used repeated typewritten phrases, subtly offset, filling the page densely, and edge to edge. For this show, pen and ink lines are repeated to fill the papers' space, entirely. www.pulliamdeffenbaugh.com 929 NW Flanders closes early first Thursday, about 8PM


PDX shows a video piece, Fallen, by Ryan Jeffery. This was the work shown in the Peripheral Produce Portland Experimental and Documentary Film Festival world championship of film. It features a very Brothers Quay-esque machine of cast acrylic by artist Kari Merkle which will also be shown in the gallery. Jeffery is also known for his super-8 accompaniment of musicians Small Sails. This work represents a welcome evolution for PDX Gallery in showing video art. It illustrates perfectly the continuity between live music visuals in the club, sit down cinema, and video art shown in galleries. www.pdxcontemporaryart.com 925 NW Flanders if open on first Thursday, it will close by 9


Chambers presents a performance "Research and Development" by poet Lisa Radon and musician Tim Duroche at 7PM. Both draw water from deep creative wells, individually, and here, together. www.chambersgallery.org 207 SW Pine Gallery open until 9


I am a huge proponent of beauty in art. The Hickey school. But I require more, like thoughtfulness, and that is why this is a selective guide to Portland art shows. Glass? Portland is home to the Bullseye Glass Company, one of the world's few manufacturers of the raw materials for glass art. Bullseye does a good job at curating contemporary glass art into their gallery, but often the work is just all beauty. This month, I will make an exception for pure beauty: see the work of Anna Skibska. It's lattices of lampworked glass rod with the diameter of uncooked spaghetti. Might be better seen on a quiet day. www.bullseyeconnectiongallery.com 300 NW 13th until 9


The Mark Woolley Gallery presents a show of visionary art, "Internal Guidance Systems" curated by Seattle uber outsider Anne Grgich and London outsider heavyweight Colin Rhodes. Visionary art is usually classed with outsider art, art by self taught artists, crazy people and the like. One definition is "art outside the art world". It was popular in galleries in the '80s when many Southern artists inspired by god to create obsessive work, such as Howard Finster, were drawn into the gallery system, most notably Atlanta's Fay Gold Gallery. Its popularity in commercial galleries has faded, although I understand there is more interest in Europe, which has its own homegrown visionary artist-architects such as Gaudi and Hundertwasser. The journal of outsider art is Raw Vision, yours for further study. Actually I like some of it, though less lately, but that's me.

Outsider art and its visionary branch are popular in Portland, so here is a chance to compare the gallery view of it with the street view on NW 13th or on Alberta. Portland locals Walt Curtis and Allison O'Donoghue show beside artists from the UK and France, as well as other US artists.

The show is spread across both Woolley locations 120 NW 9th and the Wonder ballroom site 128 NW Russell which will host an opening Friday www.markwoolley.com


Valentines shows "suite b" work by and benefiting the collaborative art group similarly named. Included are "eclectic crafty wares. pieces include sculpy objects, collaborative drawings, video media and much much more". All works inexpensively priced. til late 232 SW Ankeny


p:ear shows collaborations by street youth with Tom Cramer. p:ear corner of SW Alder and 8th


Portland Art Center shows Linfield College art department thesis work. This is totally pot luck, but perhaps artist Chris Moss, who teaches there, has had an effect. portlandart.org 32 NW 5th til 10


Compound gallery presents illustrations of some future universe, Maschinen Krieger ZbV 3000 by Kow Yokoyama. 880 years in the future opposing forces are fighting for control of earth. Still. When will they ever learn? www.compoundgallery.com 107 NW 5th til 9:30


The Vorpal Space in the Everett Lofts will show "Readymech" flatpack paper toys. www.vorpalspace.com corner of Flanders and NW Broadway. until 11


Tilt shows "Horizon Line" new landscapes, curated by Mark Brandau, who is responsible for the Portland Modern project. www.tiltpdx.com 625 NW Everett #106


Genuine Imitation shows paintings by local multi artist Mo. www.genuineimitation.com 625 NW Everett #110


And in Seattle, this sounds so sweetly strange:
The Tashiro Kaplan Lofts hosts "Bugs, Beer and Art". Seattle entomologist Don Ehlen brings an "Insect Safari" of 3000 bugs for your enjoyment! Ehlen's bugs will be accompanied by 8 butoh dancers performing their own personal infestations at 6:15, 7, and maybe another time - check when you arrive. The performance will be accompanied by bass, clarinet, harp and guitar. Many of the TK Lofts artists have also produced bug themed art for the show. Bugs, more necessary than you think!
www.tklofts.com/bugs 115 Prefontaine Pl. S. in Pioneer Square til 10



First Friday may 5


In the 811 building, Portland's design block, Yes, Moshi-Moshi, Denwave, Renowned and Redux will all show work. No word yet on what, but well worth your time. Denwave wants to emphasize that Denwave=Don Jones+Hazel Cox+genevieve dellinger, and we concur.


Compound will host a party and book signing for the Maschinen Krieger show at 8 www.justbedesign.com 107 NW 5th


New American Art Union. It's not a surprise they are announcing second shows by their artists. This month Felice Koenig shows "Alliteration", abstract work which composes color and shape in a manner analogous to alliteration in literature. New American Art Union Until about 10 www.newamericanartunion.com 922 SE Ankeny


Light Leak is a show by photographers who meet monthly to share work and provide feedback to one another. Did I mention that participation is free? This show includes Blake Andrews, Bob Gervais, Lisa Gidley, George Kelly, Bruce Hall and Krista Wheeler. Newspace is mounting a capital campaign to expand their space next door. The plan includes a color darkroom and a digital media lab. If you have some excess cash this is a good place to put it. New Space Photo til 10 www.newspacephoto.org 1632 SE 10th


Tiny's Coffee shows work by painter Lisa Dejohn, Amy Ruppel and Briana Linden. Live music by The Escapists. 1410 SE 12th 7- 930 PM


Small A Projects opens "Out the Window", photographs of Los Angeles by Zoe Crosher. Crosher made many of the images shooting out the windows of vacant hotel rooms in the vicinity of the LAX airport. The pictures symultaneously capture the low rent neighborhood's ennui, a transient sense of place and the potential for adventure in each departing plane. The artist will speak at 8. This show continues the gallery's bold curatorial moves and strong sense of quality. www.smallaprojects.com 1430 SE 3rd Gallery open 6-9PM


Valentines hosts a book release party for Like Then Yet Now: drawings by Chris Nakayama and poems by Jeff Karl Butler. Produced by Red Ant Press/Ricky Pang Makes and printed by Pinball Press in an edition of 500. Music provided by Scrabbel from San Francisco, Giant Robot darlings: http://scrabbel.org ; http://myspace.com/scrabbel and Shanghi Soul Club DJ's til late 232 SW Ankeny



May 5, 7, 9

Anoushka Shankar performs Indian music on sitar May 5 in Arcata, May 7 in Berkeley and May 9 in Santa Cruz. With dad. Familial dynamics in music are special and the opportunities to experience this one live are not endless. Details at http://www.anoushkashankar.com/. Hope they make it to our area. Samples on Amazon from her recording Rise. Shankar is also included in a new release of Thievery Corporation remixes "Versions" to be released May 16. That would be the same Thievery Corporation who visits Portland July 19.



Saturday May 6

Rose City Rollers roll again at the Expo Center. PBR and mad cheering aplenty. www.rosecityrollers.com 6-10ish Tickets $12-20


PICA unveils the list of TBA performers at a party at Audio Cinema 226 SE Madison 10PM $15, 10 members


p:earblossoms is the annual fundraiser for p:ear's homeless youth art programs. Not only a great program, which pairs local artists with the kids, but the fundraiser features a preview of the aerial dance group Aviator suspended in space in the Weiden and Kennedy atrium. Not inexpensive, but a good cause: $75 (two for $130), reservations at www.pearmentor.org, or 503-228-6677.



Monday May 8

PSU's art department presents a talk by Swiss artist San Keller. Keller is artist in residence at PS1 and mounts projects such as "The Long Way Home' in which New Yorkers are encouraged to drive back winter's emotional ebb by sharing unusual experiences with strangers. Curator Dorothea Strauss comments: "His works are complex, cheerful and melancholy at the same time. They pick up the concerns of the social sculpture and, in the most marvelous way, carry it into the 21th century." PSU 5th Avenue Cinema Room 92, 510 SW Hall 7PM Free.



Friday May 12

Portland Modern #4 "Saturation", curated by Matthew Stadler & Kristan Kennedy is ready for release. This issue includes Roberta Aylward, Amber Bell, Michael Boyle, David Corbett, Alex Felton, Anna Fidler, Caleb Freese & Justin Gorman, Sarah Gottesdiener, Liz Haley, Levi Hanes, Mary Henry, Philip Iosca, Eva Lake, Jonathan Leach, Isaac Lin , Marne Lucas , Rae Mahaffey, Jeannie Manville, Chelsea Mosher, Daniel Peterson, Shawn Records, Spirit Quest (Khaela Maricich & Melissa Dyne), Amy Steel, and Casey Watson. www.portlandmodern.org Release party 9pm at Apotheke 1314 NW Glisan Suite 2A



May 12, 13 14

Daniel Addy's aerial dance unit AVIATOR performs 22┬║halo. Movers Daniel Addy, Mike Barber, and Tracy Broyles, plus Meshi Chavez, Stephanie Lanckton, and fierce Dawn Joella Jackson will explore the spectacular Allied Works designed atrium of the Weiden and Kennedy building. Explore the four story space, and gravity. Details to follow. See this



Saturday May 13

Kalakandra presents a Carnatic violin duo by Mysore Manjunath & Mysore Nagaraj.
First Congregational Church 7:30 1126 SW Park, $15 advance www.indeogram.com/ticketswest.com. Children 3-12, half price. Hey free for Kalakendra members - think about that for next year... www.kalakendra.org



Sunday May 14

Last month's church of craft - Crafty Wonderland was a hit. So this month get there, and bring mom! Work for sale by Portland's crafty vixens complements a DIY zone for learning new skills. 11AM-4PM. www.craftywonderland.com at the Doug Fir Lounge Free



May 17-20

The BodyVox dance unit reprises "The Big Room", movement scored to Mozart. BodyVox is known for lighthearted but heart felt movement, and often a humorous touch. Tickets $15-36 www.bodyvox.com at the Newmark Theater 7:30PM



Thursday May 18

Small Sails performs at Holocene



May 19-28

City Repair Project holds its Village Building Convergence. People from all over the country come for this program focused on permaculture, community democracy and ecological public art. Details at http://www.cityrepair.org/wiki.php/projects/vbc A very Portland thing.



Sunday May 21, 2006

Oregon's only nuclear power plant, the decommissioned Trojan, takes another step towards disappearance well before its construction bonds are paid off. Of course well, well before the decay of all the transuranium elements it produced too. The cooling tower will be brought down by Controlled Demolition early Sunday morning. It will take about 8 seconds to bring down the 499 foot tower. The demolition will be televised, but hopefully the herons will not be traumatized.


The PNCA Thesis Show opens, I think at 6. The show always features some outstanding work, more lately. It is perfectly acceptable to purchase any of the works that are for sale. www.pnca.edu Free


2:00 pm Installation Art Lecture @ Portland Art Museum Whitsell Auditorium

The Portland Art Museum presents a talk "Context as Content: Installation Art in the ‘60s and ‘70s". With Portland's mad interest in installation art, it can be helpful to know what has happened before. Modern art scholar Anne Rorimer will review the Conceptual art and its influence on a generation of installationists including Sol LeWitt, Dan Graham, Lawrence Weiner, Marcel Broodthaers, Daniel Buren and Michael Asher. Free for Museum members or with Museum admission. Get tickets in advance as these events fill to capacity www.pam.org 503-226-0973.



Thursday May 25

Solo Flamenco presents Flamenco Sin Fronteras, Flamenco Without Borders at the Aladdin Theater. Flamenco, the other passion without regret, I mean another passion without regret! www.flamencodance.com/events.html $18-25 Advanced tickets recommended 7:30PM



Friday May 26

Belly dancing. The cognoscenti, or whatever the body's belly center equivalent is, know all about it. But it flies below the pop cultural radar, close to the ground. Now underground belly dance... These performers are creatively evolving belly dance, particularly in costuming. Tonight's bi-annual production by East:Meets:West is themed Kali's Boudior: 'From distant lands past Priestesses of gyration gather in Kali’s Temple. While the Sultan’s away, the girls will play…' That establishes quite a territory. Performers Serpentine, Belyphonic, Auracle, Severina, Geurilla Tribal, Ariellah, Gypsy Caravan, Tayissa Blue and Anath will be accompanied by DJ's Layla and Amar with percussionists Children of Paradise and David Rolin
Sabala's 4811 SE Hawthorne

Monday, May 01, 2006

3 times a day in May?

Sometimes it feels like it. The month of May may have been named for Maia, the Roman earth goddess and wife of Vulcan. Much more to follow, but we will start out with this event:

Ashes to Ashes b-boy-b-girl Event May 1-6. Portland is not a hotbed of hip hop music for a variety of reasons including strong discouragement by the police and the liquor control agency. Every so often though, Portland busts out something suprising in hip hop including this event.

May 1-2

Ashes to Ashes 3 is the place to be for bboys and bgirls. Monday and Tuesday Remind and Poe 1 from Cali lay down a style elements 'shop on the nice floor at Nocturnal. Moves aint nothin witout style - itz an art. Workshop 5-7PM $20 each day Nocturnal is 1800 E. Burnside

May 3-4

Wednesday and Thursday itz skilz and methodz from Abstrakt and Teknyc at Nocturnal. Workshop 5-7PM $20 each day. Nocturnal is 1800 E. Burnside


Later Thursday, Ashes to Ashes lays down a benefit show for Ethos www.ethos-inc.org, who connect kids to music year round. The line-up is: Sleep (Old Dominion), Clockwerk (Sand Peoples), Kurious George, The City, Def Minds and EPP SAHEED. This show is all ages w/ a bar for 21+ kidz 07:30 PM - Hawthorne Theater 1507 SE 39TH AVE $7.00

May 5

Friday warm up at the Killafornia Powermove Master Workshop taught by Ronnie Ruen at Nocturnal. 5-7PM $10. Nocturnal is
1800 E. Burnside

The Ashes 2 Ashes: Round Three Competition begins Friday with 5 on 5 battles. The winning crew of b-girls-b-boys takes home $2500 cash money. Judges are Leanski (Floorlords MA), Poe 1 (Style Elements CA) and Remind (Style Elements - CA)
Doors open @ 6:00pm Battles start @ 7:00pm Wonder Ballroom 128 NE Russell

May 6

Saturday itz the top four crews from day one and a mad crew exhibition by King of the Hill (10-Man): Lil DVS (X-Fienz - NY) D-Rock (Renegades - CA) Lilou (Pokemon – France) Jeromeskee (Massive Monkees – WA) Do Knock (Battle Monkeys – CA) El Nino (Floorlords – MA) Nemesis (Breaks Cru – NY) Cico (Spinkings – Italy) Machine (Rockforce Crew – CA) Casper had to cancel to do some film work. Here come da judge, or judges: Alieness (Zulu Kings – NY) Poe 1 (Style Elements – CA) Leanski (Floorlords – MA) - this aint no joke - the exhibition battle prize is $1000. DJ's include Skeme Richards (Section 31), CPS Diablo (Rebel Alliance/Bboyworld), Trunks (Rebel Alliance), Mando (Rebel Alliance), Magneto (Innernational) and Day (Innernational) Saturday's event is at Portland State University Peter Stott Center 903 SW Hall Doors 5:30, battles 7.

Cypher circles at the Ashes to Ashes after party wit an exhibition battle - Miracles (Furious Styles) vs. Tim the Pitt (Massive Monkees). Soundz by Day and Magneto 10:30pm – 2:30am Wonder Ballroom $7.00 all ages situation 128 NE Russell

The Friday and Saturday shows are $20/both days advance; $14 general admission at the door; $7 for students with a valid Oregon ID. Advance tickets at the PSU box office or the Wonder Ballroom ticket office.

They are not allowing camcorders or cameras, but you can buy DVD's of Ashes to Ashes One and Two at the shows. All events are all ages.

More details at: http://www.myspace.com/ashesbattle


Also on May 1, the PSU art lecture series continues with artist Kathryn Van Dyke who showed last month at Pulliam Deffenbaugh. This might be a very serious talk as she has a BA in political economy from Berkeley, a BFA in painting from CCA and a MFA from Yale. She is also a former Headlands resident. PSU 5th Avenue Cinema Room 92, 510 SW Hall 7PM Free.