Wednesday, October 03, 2007

October 4 Westside Art Openings

Shows are up all month, generally Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 or 6. So rainy Saturdays are a good time to see art without opening crowds.

Just Be Toys/ Compound duals Japanese illustration shows and small sculpture reliefs. Illustrators include Sayka, Makiko Sugawa, Yuka Yamaguchi and Micca.

The beautiful strange polymer clay reliefs are "The Evolution of Psychepolymereganics" by Meredith Dittmar.

Prolific Portland creative Merideth Dittmar had a great show a while back at Stumptown. Now her work is at Compound, a good suggested match. Her description wins the copywriting award of the month:

"Meredith Dittmar is an artist living and playing in Portland OR. Born near Boston Mass, she grew up in a world of pet pigs, horses, hay-forts and spy games. Follow this with an education in computer science, a career in interactive design, a compulsive need to create, and a drive to seek and you get the major elements of her person and work.

Dittmar's human-animal-plant-energy amalgams contain threads of common elements and colors to express deep levels of union across themes of biology, technology, and consciousness. Her characters are frequently involved in quiet expressive moments, or lounge facing their audience so they can share their inner space. Dittmar believes it is this space we recognize in ourselves, and through convening in that space, the interconnectedness of all things is revealed. She sees the act of spontaneous artistic creation as part of a larger practice of being present, and a way to better understand herself and reality."

At Compound/ Just Be Toys 107 NW 5th

Reading Frenzy has been a reliable art outpost for self taught artists since its inception. More than a few have blossomed into showing their creative work at galleries in and outside Portland. The 'Frenzy has always concentrated on small very affordable work - that means you can buy it. Repeat "you can buy it". This month see "Forget Me Not", a show themed on the Day of the Dead, holiday of remembrance. Take a look at the list of artists: Alicia Justus, Carye Bye, Cathy Pitters, Cynthia Lahti, Dan Ness, Donal Mosher, Edith Abeyta, Julianna Bright, Justin "Scrappers" Morrison, Nicole Georges, Philip Iosca, Tara Jane O'Neil, Theo Ellsworth. We each, and the artists too, have lost. Loved ones, the land, companion animals, places, the past and longed for futures. If you are so inspired, bring a small photo or drawing to add to an altar of remembrance. If you like, wear your Sunday-best to the opening. At Reading Frenzy 921 SW Oak

Busy-ness ontogulates efficiency. So I say see the Everett Lofts, the Portland Art Center and the Daisy Kingdom art megaplexes. It won't take much time to find things you like and I don't need to write about everything. The intent is for you to see a lot and craft your own quality. The Everett Lofts and cotravelers are bounded by NW Broadway, Everett, Flanders and 6th. The Daisy Kingdom houses very quality commercial and non commercial galleries. It is at the corner of NW Broadway and Davis. The Portland Art Center is at the corner of NW 5th and Couch and has multiple shows each month. Artist studios in the same building are often open first Thursday.

Mathew Picton is an Oregon artist from Ashland who operates on a global geographic. In this case, geographic is the meme. Picton's sculptural theme has been to sample the world, from lifting peeling paint from decaying walls; casting Alvord desert playa fissures; sampling the subocean topography; tracing the fascinating patterns below our feet of cracked concrete. Look sometime, those beautiful patterns are hidden around us all. For this show, Picton has sampled street grids and relayered them on the gallery walls. Especially fascinating is Baghdad's street grid, drawing us against our will into a sad maelstrom. Generations will know that map. Cartography is a more subtle art than appreciated, repurposing it for art maybe brings back the mystique. At Pulliam Deffenbaugh 929 NW Flanders early opening close - 8PM

We are a place. Unimaginably beautiful forests of fifteen foot diameter firs were cut to pieces to craft loving homes and a myriad of supporting structures. With them we realize now all the lost salmon and more. A great romantic swath for some, for others the loss of Rousseau's Eden. That is Karin Weiner's start point. Her schematic paintings depict stumps, lost bears, the houses made from all the long grown wood. At Elizabeth Leach 417 NW 9th

Particiation breeds inspiration. That was the inspiration behind Zoom Uganda. Twelve girls were given cameras to document their lives over 24 hours. When I was there, the country had one of the highest HIV infection rates. I met the [UN] WHO AIDS research director. He was exactly the deep philosopical person needed for the job. It opened my eyes. He had a unique perspective on conflict and loss. What AIDS there means is orphans. In the village there are elders and children. All else is missing, which, when considered, tears society, ripling generations. Imagine no, or only one, parent from childhood on. Think about it. So when you hear a Bono or a Bush mention it, don't discount the message for the messenger. The photos of these young women/next generation are at W+K 224 NW 13th

The Mark Woolley Gallery, now downtown, opens a themed show "Blue". Color and blue sky. At Mark Woolley Gallery
817 S.W. 2nd

Oregon (Salem?) quiet artist D. E, May shows minimal weathered work of paper. May has niched a spot that might be difficult for an emerging artist to enter now. Nonetheless, the work has a quiet Zen appeal which could play worldwide. At PDX Contemporary Art 925 NW Flanders early opening close 8PM

PNCA graduate Tom Cramer is known for bright geometric paintings on building walls, and painting vehicles from old school bugs to scooters. He is a sculptor, imprinting the same aesthetic on carved wood totem poles. His work of recent are low relief carved wood panels. Cramer carves wandering quiet patterns and colors them with rich finishes. At the start of this body of work, he collaborated with a lost friend, Cassie Wright, traveler and artist, to find the surface finishes which complete the work. The combination draws you in. Now at Laura Russo Gellery 805 NW 21st