Friday, September 26, 2008

September 30 Creative Capacity, Racism and the Staff of Life

No one would argue that art in Portland couldn't use more money. Three interrelated questions are left to you to ponder. To whom, from where and for what.

The Creative Capacity initiative is organizing the art community to develop a consensus and lobby for a tax to create the funds.

That means you.

You can bet that well organized large cultural institutions are in line. The tax concept means gathering and spending funds in the Portland suburbs. Art it schools will no doubt be an apple pie ingredient to any plan. If you want money, you have to speak up!

My interest is how can we grow economically sustainable careers for the next generation of artists. That means making enough money from artmaking to support a family. Personal branding help, mentoring, sharing networks, coaching and mastering getting your art out into the world through the gallery system, web sales and commissions - public, corporate and individual. Out in the world means outside Portland.

Visual art is not the only Portland creative capacity. Independent fashion here operates in an ecosystem of design cotravelers. The Fashion Incubator was a great model for assisting designers in their careers. Similar principles apply to music, product design and performing arts.

A likely component of any plan is an expanded RACC, so understanding how they work is a good start if you are interested. Also recommended, get on the Creative Capacity mailing list.

There is plenty of information on the Creative Capacity site. The first public - you - town hall for the project is tonight. Free pizza for hungry artists. Bring friends! At PNCA, NW Johnson and 13th 5:30PM-8:30. Free

One artist who has created a career is Portlander Damali Ayo. Ayo makes visual art, installation, writes and performs around our intimate relationship with racism. And she has a sustainable clothing line, CROW. Ayo is much more articulate than I can be about her creative projects. She speaks about what she has been up to - “Shut up and change: A life as a social change artist” - tonight in the first of a series by Bitch Magazine. At Portland State University, Smith Memorial Center Ballroom 7PM $30 series of four talks or individual tickets at the door.

After all this if you are stilled bored, see an underground butoh dance performance. Carlos Ivan Cruz Islas of La Comedia Humana, creates ritual performance theater focused on social issues. His piece tonight, Arbol de Maize, Tree of Corn, explores changes adversely affecting Mexican life such as privatization of water and land, once cultivated in common, toxic contamination, deforestation, and genetic tampering with corn, Mexico's staff of life. Joining tonight is Portland Mexican Soriah. Soriah is a noted Tuvan throat singer, recently winning third place a worldwide competition for throat singing in Tuva. This will be an intimate performance at a new space, Headwaters, in the Disjecta complex, 8371 N. Interstate Avenue. Reservations please: 8PM $10-15

September 28 Art on Landscape

We have landscape. We need more landscape-based art.

A seminal series was the Seattle-area Horsehead. Zittel makes great work in SoCal. Anna Fidler has done installation performance on Utah and New Mexico landscape. Scott Wayne Indiana hosted a great group show at Mt Scott Park.

For a few years, Tryon Creek Park has invited a few artists to make land-based art. This year it is Brennan Conaway, Portland, Oregon (Invader); Lee Imonen, Dexter, Oregon (The Source Series); Julie Lindell, Seattle, Washington (Nontrivial Pursuit); Jen Pack, Warrenton, Oregon (Forevergreen Tuffet) and Vicki Lynn Wilson, Portland, Oregon (Fung-US).

Sunday is family opening day for this year's artists. The park is located 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd. More information on the project is at 1PM-4 Free

September 27 Rocking Demagnetic Biomorphic Style

Artist Patrick Rock, schooled in SF, has been making idea-based grand sculptures, including a giant inflatable hot dog. A person or two can get inside its 25 foot length. For some time he has converted his storefront home into a challenging art gallery, Rocksbox.

Tonight Rocksbox opens work by Bruce Conkle. Conkle samples the NW landscape and culture, including Bigfoot, through an ironic and playful lens. Owing to its storied commercial past, including as an alarm company, Rocksbox's labrynthian spaces are a perfect venue for Conkle's instalations, sculptures and 2d work. 6540 N Interstate 7PM-11 Free

Artist Hillary Pfeifer speaks on her biomorphic work, beautifully installed at Ogle, this afternoon. Worth seeing and you may enjoy the artist's bright sense of playfulness. At Ogle Corner of NW Broadway and Everett 1PM Free

Another thing is a new experimental cabaret at Gallery Homelend, Demagnetic. Performers active in the experimental poetry, theater and dance scenes, David Abel, Linda Austin, Tony Christy, Bethany Ides, Mark Owens will no doubt bring a dada slant. 2505 SE 11th x Division 8PM

September 26 Gallery Love Menu

Jeanine Jablonski opens her new gallery FOURTEEN30, named by address. That would be 1430 SE 3rd, passed by Hawthorne Bridge viaducts above and near by Audiocinema. It was Laurel Gitlen's old space, Small A Projects.

Jablonsky knows not only the spirit of art but its innards. She plans to show sparky contemporary work, educating Portland collectors. The first show is by Devon Oder. Photographer Oder creates abstract photographic work which has been exhibited in group shows in LA's more experimental Chunk King Road gallery district.

We are looking forward to FOURTEEN30 unfolding before us great work! 1430 SE 3rd Opening 6PM-9

Pop up shops, big thing in branding, have taken some time to get to Portland. But they find themselves so perfectly adapted, here, now. Pop up shops are short term retail instantiations, often with unique merch, in otherwise vacant retail-other spaces, sometimes with receptions and music. The perfect storm of beauty. There for a day, a week or a month.

Seaplane, Portland's first independent clothing store and early adopter of modded up reuse opens a pop up shop for Emily Katz this weekend. Katz has two primary vectors. The locally adapted embriodered shirts and jackets in her Bonnie Heart Clyde style; and clean design dresses which are sold here and in LA. Included too will be modded up shoes and jewelery. And her artwork, zines and music. Saturday and Sunday, you can bring a piece of clothing to be embroidered for a very reasonable fee. Friday Love Menu plays at 8.

At 919 NW 23rd and Friday 7PM-11, Saturday & Sunday retailish hours.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

September 25 Fashion / Design

This is last Thursday on Alberta which is experimenting with closing the street to fossil fuel vehicles and turning it over to organic vehicles - you - until about 10 or so. I'm more interested in contemporary advancement over the vernacular as is well known (though I respect everything with integrity that is creative). Office is a lone outpost of contemporary on Alberta other than select street work - though Office promotes the reuse of metal typewriter machines over metal melting recycling. This Thursday Office opens the work of PNCA senior design students. This would be in advance of their thesis shows. To date, PNCA design has been 2d graphic as UO, AI and PNCA consider 3d industrial design programs. At Office 2204 NE Alberta 7PM-9

Though this blog is oriented to visual art, it is also interested in many Portland creative communities breaking new ground at international scale. That includes fashion for those interested in wearing something unique sometimes. I freely admit that's a challenge for me as a minimalist. Portland design-makers Emily Ryan and Liza Rietz make girl clothes in intimate quantity of infinite quality. Ryan tends toward a soft sensitive vibe and Rietz structure and pattern. What a sweet combination for a show tonight. They show their Fall clothing designs to you at a show at the Ace Hotel Cleaners. Advance tix at A Broken Spoke shop 2305 NW Savier. Show Ace Hotel Cleaners, corner SW 10th and Stark 7:30PM $5 advance 7 door

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

September 18 Stay Wild or Beginner's Luck at IPRC

Artist Justin "Scrappers" Morrison talks creative strategy. Make art and make a living! He also wins the copywriting award of the month: "Some themes he will discuss: staying wild, exploiting your cultural significance, brands are personalities with a message, everyone is an artist, the importance of doing it your damn self, optimistic losers always win, not keeping all your eggs in one basket, getting to the point, fun is sexy, and being resourceful". It's all part of the closing reception for his book - show at IPRC CAMP, which he self published. At IPRC 917 SW Oak #218 7PM free

Saturday, September 13, 2008

September 14 City Dance

A free thing is a collaboration between modern dancers and 21st century music. Local dance designers Linda Austin, Linda K. Johnson, Tere Mathern and Cydney Wilkes have wrangled dance movers Jess Bollaert, Chane Gilbert, Julie Katch, Paige McKinney, Kaj, Anne Pepper, Rikki Rothenberg, Noelle Stiles, Jennifer Camou, Fawn Williams, Emily Stone, Karen Alexander, Heidi Diaz, Taryn Johnson, Lena Sradnick, Dina Colosimo, Kathleen Keogh, Lily Gael, Elizabeth Longphere, Lizzie Karr, Amit Bohara, Hannah Downs, Esther LaPointe, Faith Levine, Tere Mathern, Jim McGinn, Keely McIntyre, Eric Nordstrom, Mike Barber, Tracy Broyles, Meshi Chavez, Jenn Gierada, Carla Mann and Lucy Yim. The Third Angle Music Ensemble has selected music from Morton Subotnick, Pauline Oliveros and Terry Riley. Randy Gragg provides writing and research.

All of this is a meditation on the collaboration of seminal modern dancer Anna Halpern and her landscape architect husband, Lawrence Halpern. The sites are the fountains and plazas designed by Lawrence Halpern in Portland. The music has been selected from composers who collaborated with the Halperns on their dance "happenings" in the 1960's. The event kicks off at the Keller Fountain, between SW Market and Clay. 3rd and 4th. Then it migrates South along the 3rd street to the other Halpern fountains. Repeats twice 1PM-3 and 4PM-6 and it's free!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

September 12 Slavery Film and Indian Musics

Call+Response is a documentary on the outrage of the continuing existence of slavery around the world today. Yes, it is depressing that there may be more slaves in absolute numbers today than in the past. The film combines interviews with Madeleine Albright and Nicholas Kristof, a current soundtrack and pop figures into a volunteer-funded, virally distributed film with an email vacuuming website which would make Howard Dean and David Plouffe proud. It's a model any organizer can learn from. The film opens later in the month in theaters, but you can see it tonight in the community room at Milepost 5. 7PM

In a epic example of misscheduling, there are three classical Indian music concerts this evening.

Kalakendra presents the Mishra Brothers, Sajan and Rajan. The esteemed vocalists have won the Padmabhushan, awards from Sangeet Natak Academy, Kumar Gandharva, Snageet Bhushan and Sangeet Ratna. Everyone knows the special character of siblings singing together. The Mishras will be accompanied by Subhen Chatterjee, deciple of Swapan Chowdhury. Chatterjee has collaborated with many Western musicians. Sanatan Goswami accompanies on harmonium. At the First Congressional Church 1126 SW Park 8PM $25 ($75 for a year of concerts)

Up the street, Shubhendra Rao, disciple of Ravi Shankar, performs on sitar. Rao will be accompanied on tabla by Ty Burhoe, disciple of Ustad Zakir Hassain. Rao also performs as a duo with his wife, the Dutch cellist Saskia Rao-de Haas, though not tonight. The event is organized by some of the people responsible for music at Yoga Shala and takes place at the First Baptist Church, SW 12th and Taylor 8PM $25

At PCC Rock Creek in Beaverton, Raskia has a master class, essentially an informal concert in music speak, by violinist brothers Dr. Mysore Manjunath & Mysore Nagaraj accompanied by Srimushnam Rajarao on Mridangam. Info at Event PCC-Rock Creek 7:30 Free

Monday, September 08, 2008

September 10 Sudenly Milepost 5

Reed's Coolley Gallery mounts serious and challenging shows. I once saw an installation with live sheep in the gallery. Their current show, Suddenly, is mediation on cites in the form of collage.

Milepost 5 is experiment in non- and for-profit development of artist space. Reed's Coolley has established an instantiation there.

Smart talks, installation, art and sound inagurate the space tonight on the 4th floor deck. Anthropologist-traveler Colin Beattie opines on greater Beaverton, which encompasses Guatemala and the Sonoran Desert in it's mini-melting pot. Mike Merrill™, the man who is a free market corporation presents his latest projects. Michael McManus has a sound installation; Shawn Records, photographs and Gary Wiseman, famous for his collaborational-explorative tea parties and Kitchen Sink installation projects is up to something new.

At Milepost 5 900 NE 81st (go by MAX) 7PM Free

Sunday, September 07, 2008

September 7 Urban Edible Art Gym

Urban Edibles is your local guide to stalking the wild asparagus. All food plants were once wild. Yes, maybe they have improved for the better by millennia of cultivation and breeding. But maybe they have not. Many medicines too are derived from plants and there are many more yet to be rediscovered.

Urban Edibles leads a plant discovery walk, identifying edible and medicinal plants in Northwest yards and Forest Park. Plus you get a nicely designed guide with useful factoids like "Wild Carrot - Use with caution, looks similar to poisonous hemlock. Root can be eaten like a carrot. Historically used as a contraceptive." Their zine, 10 Weeds You Can Eat! is available at Reading Frenzy

Meet at the corner of Wallace Park, NW 25th and Pettygrove. A bonus is navigating some of the secret hill stairs in the neighborhood. 2PM Free

The Art Gym is a gym repurposed to gallery at Marylhurst College in Lake Oswego. That means high ceilings. The school has a good art program, in approach more akin to Evergreen College, meaning self designed and directed, and with many returning students. The school is quite a distance down Route 43/McAdam Blvd., and once on the campus, the gallery is not the easiest to find. It's worth it though, as they have been curating shows of accomplished regional artists and documenting them with catalogs for 28 years. They have a knowledgable curator, who primarily seeks mid- to late-career artists, though sometimes emerging artists may be found in group shows.

This month sculptor Christine Bourdette shows Riddles, Bunnyheads and Asides. Bourdette was in the Art Gym's first show in 1981 as an emerging artist. She was the first winner of the Bonnie Bronson Fellowship. If you are designing your art career, artists like this can be a guide.

At the Marylhurst College Art Gym. 17600 Pacific Highway (Hwy 43-McAdam Blvd.) The gallery is in the top floor of building A. Reception 3PM-5 Free

Friday, September 05, 2008

September 6 Classical Indian Violin

Dr. L. Subramaniam's considerable creative art spans the Carnatic music of India, Western classical music, world fusion music and collaboration with noted western jazz musicians. He is also a medical doctor. He performs, with a team of percussionists, for the ten year anniversary of local Indian music presenter Rasika. At the Northwest Children's Theater Building 1819 NW Everett 7PM $20,25,35 or advance at the website. If you become a member, all the concerts are included.

September 5 Eastside Art Openings and 24 Hour Repair Project

Pancake Clubhouse Historic Township and Activity Destination for the Living Arts cordially invites you to a new Neighborhood Project! 24 hour artist-handyman in residence, Brian Merkel, requests you to bring objects in need of repair to the Clubhouse. Of course, the definition of "repair" is entirely up to the whims of the artist! Really, could it be any other way? It begins with a reception at 6PM. At 9PM Merkel will knock down a wall in the house. You can pick up your "repaired" items at a performance -ceremony Sunday. I guess you just have to come to see the results. There will be an installation by Urban Edibles and tasty refreshments too. The Social Practice Group is hijacking TBA, they will distribute their own supplemental TBA catalog at the event. At 906A NE 24th 6PM-9 Free

Some of the most interesting shows have already opened, but that doesn't mean that they can't open twice. Included are:

The New American Art Union has a camera obscura show by Ethan Jackson. Orbis Viridis Obscurus is more than I expected and worth the time to hang out in the camera obscura (the more daylight, the better) and see what he has done with video. At New American Art Union 922 SE Ankeny 6PM-9 Free

Volume is a group show curated by Jeff Jahn at Worksound. See artists Sean Healy, Nathan Shapiro, Joe Thurston, Salvatore Reda, Laura Fritz, Stephen Funk, Ellen George, Arcy Douglass, Jesse Hayward, Josh Smith, Adam Sorensen, Karl Burkheimer, Stephen Slappe, Damien Gilley, Stephanie Robison and Philippe Blanc. At Worksound 820 SE Alder

In the 811 Block Redux has Ryan Berkley's Dream Circus and Grass Hut continues Andrew Brandon.

The brother, Stewart Harvey, of the accidental entrepreneur who converted a wild irreverent Cacaphony Society desert campout into the money making Burningman festival of 50,000 shows photos of Burningman at 23Sandy. There are plenty of photographs of the surreal event about, but the vast blankness of desert space and neutral density filter eating glare, to say nothing of mechanism-hostile alkaline dust, makes capturing good images more of a challenge than it looks. 623 NE 23 at Sandy

Newspace Photo shows two photographers dedicated to chemical processes. Maro Vandorou shows platinum prints of a very old cemetery in her native Greece. Kay Denton shows gold toned prints imaged with a very good focal plane - 8x10 inch film - but through vintage lenses, back before lens design became good. At Newspace Photo 1632 SE 10th

Thursday, September 04, 2008

September 4 Westside Art Openings

Sean Healy shows wall sculptures at Elizabeth Leach. Healy has long been known for work incorporating large numbers of similar elements in cast materials. Tonight these elements include colorful miniature teardrop camping trailers and his take on picket fences. Another body of work are skeletal dyptic tracings of wild animals paired with quilts and lace. Healy has been successful at bringing his work to Europe and creating public art commissions. He is also represented at the Volume show at Worksound. 417 NW 9th

"Blurring the Line: the art of thread" are modern extrapolations made with fabric and thread. Artists Hildur Bjarnadottir, Diem Chau, Linda Hutchins and Jen Pack produce minimalist work with just enough complexity, elegance and mystery. At Pulliam Deffenbaugh 929 NW Flanders early close 8PM

Portland sculptural artist Hillary Pfeifer creates agglomerations of handmade elements. Sometimes they remind of toys, or bugs or some microscopic creature rendered large. This work is perfect for Ogle which often fills its space with grand sculpture or arte povera-feeling work. 310 NW Broadway early close 8:30PM

Tad Savinar is a smart Portland artist with a smart conceptual bent, often word centered. Some of his work falls into the realm of information aesthetics. Along with sculptures by Goldsmiths-minted Seattle sculptor Victoria Haven. At PDX Contemporary Art 925 NW Flanders early close 8PM

P:EAR is an art program for homeless youth. Each kid is different and some are reached by making art. P:EAR pairs the kids monthly with a local artist and they all make coinspired work which is shown in the gallery. They have moved from their old decrepit building with flooding and a failing roof to new digs with a larger gallery space opening tonight. Artists Hayley Barker, Irana Douer, Maureen Gubia and Nicole Erika Smith share the walls with the kids. At P:EAR 338 NW 6th

"All I can do is dream" is a show of dream inspired work by Lisa Beyer, Kristie Louderbough, Meg Peterson and Shanon Schollian at a new gallery, the Fontanelle. 205 SW Pine

For an art history moment, see prints by Catalan surrealist Joan MirĂ³ at Augen 716 NW Davis early close 8:30

You have to admire the scale of Dutch-now in Portland artist Henk Pender's work. They are grand realist works with a rough surreal edge. I haven't seen this show, his edge may be tapering. At Laura Russo Gallery 805 NW 21st

Don't forget the other Desoto block galleries including the Manuf®actured show at the Museum of Contemporary Craft. The show, curated by ID Magazine editor Steven Skov Holt and art historian Mara Holt Skov, encompases work made from repurposed mass manufactured objects. Sort of a crafty take on artists like Choi Jeong Hwa. This is an excellent example of where the Museum of Contemporary Craft wants to take the discussion of craft aesthetics. Yes! At the Museum of Contemporary Craft 724 NW Davis

The Everett Station Lofts are recommended, as always - bounded by NW Everett, Broadway, Flanders and 6th.