Thursday, May 07, 2009

May 7 Westside Art Openings

Ellen George makes small bright sculptures from polymer clay. Sometimes they connect into larger assemblages. Her work is delightfully minimal and oddly happy, maintaining a subtle lightness and maybe the idea that the shapes came from nature's stones and plantlife. At PDX Contemporary Gallery 925 NW Flanders

Dinh Q. Lê is one of Portland's most accomplished artists. He splits his time between Portland and native Vietnam. You may know earlier award-winning photographs, weaving two large scale prints of scenes from the Vietnam war taken from films. Lê lived there at the time but was sheltered in the countryside, so in a way his cinematic experience of the war was more real. He has continued progressive video and sculpture work combining personal references with larger ideas. At Elizabeth Leach 417 NW 9th

UNKL is a project by Derek Welch and Jason Bacon. UNKL are characters with a story. The characters are made in toy-like form and collected by Otaku and ordinary people. Sometimes they become animated characters too. The stories are the fascinating part, like SUG. "In 1955 SUG was born in a remote part of Iceland. He weighed in at 40lbs and was an astounding 43" long. Today, SUG is 7'7" and weighs 655lbs and continues to base his operations out of the remote moonlike landscape of northern Iceland.

As a self-proclaimed protector of humanity, SUG's mission is very simple: to assist people of the world who are in desperate need of help. He has no affiliation with any one government and is not concerned with the politics of his actions, but rather views his role in global, historical and human terms.

SUG’s abnormally small and featureless head is the result of prolonged exposure due to defects in early handmade versions of his now iconic protective suit. His atrophied right arm is a result of a small tear in the third generation suit caused by a stray bullet and lead to a brief exposure to highly toxic gases in a subterranean location in Oklahoma. The arm was reduced in size almost immediately and is, for the most part, unusable.

His bag contains four vials of undefined liquids. They were gathered from native medicine men, world-renowned scientists, Eastern medicine and Western doctors. These four liquids can be mixed together in various amounts and combined to formulate "silver bullet" serums to cure any ailment currently known to man.

SUG created UlliGUS not only for companionship, but also to assist him with tasks ranging from reconnaissance to tracking."

I'm all for more superheroes, needed now more than ever! At Compound Gallery 107 NW 5th

The creativity of artists is tragically underestimated. W+K thinks differently. The creative agency hires creatively and changes the world. W+K=Make is another way these artists are changing the world. Over one hundred of them from the Amsterdam, Delhi, London, New York, Portland Shanghai and Tokyo have made art. Each piece is a very reasonable price and the proceeds are dedicated entirely to the Room to Read project. You can see the work in person in Portland or even buy it online. Good work for a good thing. At the ad agency. 224 NW 13th 6PM-10 Free

Stumptown has illustration-style work by Mark Warren Jacques and Timothy Karpinski. This show has individual work and collaborations where one artist directed the other.
Mark Warren Jacques: “I have no idea what we are doing here, how we got here, or where we are all going later. At best I like to think I know where I am right now”
Timothy Karpinski: “From a young age I’ve always been making things. Building forts turned into building skate ramps, which led to building art installations.”
At Stumptown Coffee 128 SW 3rd

Philip Cooper is a Portland filmmaker, musician and installation artist. He has a show this month at Valentines with music opening night by DJ Backyard Roy and DJ Electric Castle. At Valentines 232 SW Ankeny Art 6PM, party 9:30 Free

Fontanelle shows Shawn William Creedon: If I Weren't Here, They Would Be, foiling the Zen koan about the tree falling in the woods. In this case the they are native birds of the Northwest which Creedon has illustrated, some with embroidery. At the Fontanelle Gallery 205 SW Pine

Light boxes can be magic; they are explored too rarely as art. But Meagan Greer does so tonight in a show Lights On at Night. A two way mirror allows them to function as a mirror or alternately a light box when illuminated from within. At Relish Design 1715 NW Lovejoy St

Disappearing is a book, an art show and performances; it is a meditation on things disappearing from the world. It includes contributions by some pretty amazing artists, writers and musicians: Aaron Henry, Alexandra Lakin, Carson Ellis, Cynthia Lahti, Cynthia Star, Donald Morgan, Jack Dingo Ryan, Julianna Bright, Jessyca Burke, Kristan Kennedy, Montana Maurice, Philip Cooper, Rudy Speerschneider, Vanessa Renwick, Zak Margolis, Camela Raymond, Kevin Sampsell, Ty Connor, Ty Connor, Dustin Lanker and The Golden Bears At Reading Frenzy 921 SW Oak

Mark Woolley has his closing show featuring many of the gallery hit artists. At Mark Woolley Gallery 817 SW 2nd

Anna Siems uses wax medium to make finely textured images, often on reclaimed paper. Her subject matter, figures, plants and dresses. Sometimes she scratches words into the wax in made up languages. At Laura Russo 805 NW 21

Always recommended for your exploratory pleasure are the Everett Station Lofts, NW Broadway and Everett, and the DeSoto building NW Park and Davis which includes the Museum of Contemporary Craft and the Nines Gallery inside Blue Sky.