Wednesday, February 24, 2010

February 25 Holly Andres Photographer

Holly Andres, Portland photographer and filmmaker, constructs domestic scenarios in the manner of Gregory Crewdson. She does it well. They are nostalgic, maybe disquieting. Andres shows her work this month at the PCC and speaks there today on her projects. At PCC Sylvania's North Light Gallery Communications Technology 214, 12000 SW 49th. 12:30PM-2:30 Free

Monday, February 22, 2010

February 22 PICA Curates and Designers Create

This week PSU's Monday Night Lecture Series hosts Kristan Kennedy, artist and visual curator for PICA, which is also a sponsor of the series. Kennedy knows the Portland art community in depth, developing her own practice amidst it. She is a powerful curator, with the possibility to mix international artists from PICA's network with capable locals. Hear her thoughts in the Shattuck Hall Annex out front, 1914 SW Park Avenue, at the corner of SW Broadway and Hall on the PSU campus. 7:30PM Free

Portland is a literary city. We have an endless appetite for talks too. And we are creative. An instance combining the three vectors is the New Oregon Interview Series, the evolution of cultural presenters 2GQ. Ultimately the interviews with Portland culture workers will be cast in book form. You can hear the live version, tonight, in the focus area of urban design. Mayor Sam Adams, Portland Monthly editor Randy Gragg and Portland's most renowned living architect Brad Cloepfil provide their thoughts. At Urban Grind Cafe, 2214 NE Oregon St. Doors 6:30PM, talk 7. $5

Saturday, February 20, 2010

February 21 Disquieted Talk and Melody Owen Opening

We are fortunate the chief curator at the Portland Art Museum has a strong background in contemporary art. It fits well with today's art making practice in Portland. Chief curator Bruce Guenther has worked for several years assembling a survey, Disquieted, which hits some important high points in the Pantheon of contemporary art. Shows have a theme, what is more interesting to me are the artists who have been selected. This is a big show for the Museum, an opportunity for you, the viewer, to catch up on what art has brought us here. Today Guenther explains his thought process in selecting the artists and the work. At the Portland Art Museum 1219 SW Park 2PM $12, $5 members.

Melody Owen, UO and Alfred schooled, never fails to take a surprising view at whatever she undertakes, in a good way. She is subject to a welcome review at the Marylhurst Art Gym this month. Recommended. At the Marylhurst Art Gym at Marylhurst University Check the campus map to find it. 3PM-5 Free

February 20 Caldera

Caldera is expanding its visibility. It started as a summer art program for kids that otherwise wouldn't otherwise have opportunities to explore art. It combines an environmental dimension to contemporary art making. That fits well with it's location, nestled in the woods near Sisters, Oregon. Caldera added studio residencies in the off season. Sometimes artists are virtually snowed in, a perfect quiet opportunity for intense studio practice. They are holding open studios for the current art residents today. Artists Jessica Burton, Kevin Cooley, Wendy Given, Rafael Oses and Jason Perter, lead the tour. At Camp Caldera, Sisters, Oregon (see the web site for directions) 1PM-3 Free

Thursday, February 18, 2010

February 19 Sculpture, 100 Bones, Hungry Eyeball

Disjecta is hosting a happy hour and discussion with sculptor Jenene Nagy, her work fills the space. Her explanations of her work are fascinating, there is a tremendous amount of planning from every angle that goes into them. At Disjecta 8371 N. Interstate 7PM Free

Breezeblock Gallery is a local gallery focused on urban and graffiti art, think Upper Playground, they branch out from that too. They had a space on Alberta, then Burnside, now they are virtual. Tonight they materialize with their annual 100 Bones show. All artwork is $100, or eless, and you can take it home for instant gratification. Music by DJ Wu. Champagne and gummy bears. At Ecdysiast Studio 326 SE Madison 6PM-10 Free

The Hungry Eyeball are local champions of lowbrow and outsider art. Those are actual terms in the canon of art history! They have their own periodicals, such as Juxtapoz and Raw Vision. There are successful galleries devoted to them, here and in Europe. Every so often institutions like the Whitney even dip their toes in the water. It's not a personal interest now, but it is always interesting. Tonight Hungry Eyeball curates a show including Jason Graham, Klutch, Eatcho and J. Shea. Portlander Klutch originated the Vinyl Killers project, art painted on old disks. Opening at Lyrik 2035 SE 39th 7PM-10 Free

February 18-20 BodyVox-2

I have an affection for select abstract dance. Locals BodyVox have started a second unit, BodyVox-2. It's a chance for a new group of young dancers to try on the choreography of the main unit going back over 12 years. How interesting to see how someone new "gets" a personal thing you have made, by doing it. It's an important step forward, in light of the half-life of dance. At BodyVox Studios, 1201 NW 17th 7:30PM (&2 Saturday) $16-20

February 18 Art Spark and AIGA SHIFT

This month Someday Lounge hosts Art Spark. There will be a ten minute presentation at 6 by local arts presenter Young Audiences. The rest of the time is valuable networking in the art world of Portland! At Someday Lounge 125 NW 5th 5PM-7 Free

Portland has an active chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Designers. They have a periodic sustainability salon, SHIFT, organized around invited speakers. This month includes varied presentations: "Don’t be square! : From parent sheet to final printed item", by Austin Whipple, Creative Director, Pinball Publishing; "Propelling a movement: Design, technology, and cooperation to support the local economy", Katrina Scotto di Carlo, Supportland; "SCRAP", Elaine Volpe, marketing manager, Slate Technologies; "Pros & cons of materials in large format printing", Dallas Roemelling, OBP Signs & Graphics; "CMYG: Projecting authenticity in a crowd of Greenie McFakersons", Daniel Eckhart, Numerosign; "Utilizing water-based inks for apparel & textile graphics", PJ Portlock, Designer, Prolabro; "What is normal? And why?", Jonathan Bean; "Shave the world", David Vanadia, Interdisciplinary Artist; "re:active, and the sustainability of design professionals’ demographics", Michael Etter, Senior Art Director, Ziba Design; and "A journey in sustainable product & packaging design", Ken Tomita, TomitaDesigns & Grove. Bring your own cup for free beverages. At Ziba Design 810 NW Marshall. 7PM. Doors 6:45, doors close at 7:15 sharp. AIGA Members, free, else $5.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February 12 Voice Music Art

Ethan Rose is an accomplished electronic composer with contributions in ensemble, Adellade and Small Sails; film scoring, Paranoid Park; installation art, Player Piano and Transference. As a long enthusiast of mixing vocals and electronic music, I'm a big fan of tonight's project with the composer and singer-songwriter Laura Gibson. You can hear it at Holocene. Early $7

Nationale is moving and this is the last chance to see a show at their founding location. They are moving to the 811 block! This month it's collage work by Morgan Ritter. Nationale's curator has shown a savvy eye towards Portland-related artists, which we complement. At NATIONALE 2730 E Burnside 6PM-8 Free

Alpern Gallery seems so far on a theme similar to the very successful Tilt Gallery, showing minimal smart sculpture and idea-based art. This month they show Deker Faust. At Alpern Gallery 2552 NW Vaughn 6PM-9

February 12-14 206 Zulu 6th Epic Jam

This blog is primarily Portland focused and art focused. But we are interested in many diverse branches of cultural evolution. Hip hop culture is a vital evolutionary force, worldwide. The Zulu Nation is an international focus point. Portland's hip hop culture is challenged for a variety of reasons, but we are connected to Seattle which has a vibrant scene. This is an example.

The 206 Zulu celebrates their 6th anniversary with an international battle and massive events. Peace, Love, Unity & Having Fun is the creed. OK. One event is a 2-on-2 battle, international lineup, with a $2000 prize, cash money, Sunday. All of the events are free. Free is good. Check the rundown. Various locations, Seattle Center, Vera, Cirque, more. Friday 8AM-late, Saturday 3PM-8, Sunday 6M-11 Battle, 11-late After Party. Free

Monday, February 08, 2010

February 9 China, Grandin, Dance

Portland filmmaker Ivy Lin is focused on Chinese history in Portland. It's an important vector, for Chinese, Chinese Americans and Portlanders, and for obvious reasons. She screens her film Come Together Home, Death. Disinterment. Reburial., documenting the travel of graves from SE Portland to Hong Kong. The land where they once were buried is proposed for home development. At the University of Oregon White Stag Building, 70 NW Couch. Reception 5:30PM, film 6, Q&A after. Free

I do not usually track events outside Portland, I'm an in person person, but sometimes one catches my eye. Temple Grandin stops at UO for a free talk on her way to the TED Talks. Grandin is autistic. She has directed her prescience to the science of the manufacture of meat, proposing changes, which have been adopted, in slaughterhouses. Someone has to do it. She is a prolific writer on autism as well as what humans can learn from animal behavior. She speaks as guest lecturer in a religion department class at University of Oregon by Professor Mark Unno. Sponsored by the University's Oregon Humanities Center, which will later have the event on line. 282 Lillis. Eugene 7:30PM Free

Valentines is a cafe that, more than most, operates successfully in the nexus of art and remix culture in the form of music. Tonight they push their own boundaries to present dance movement art. Danielle Ross has curated a beautiful and challenging evening of work based on the idea of found movement, movement sampling, by Paige McKinney and the Performers, Linda Austin + rhiza A+D, Tahni Holt, Future Death Toll, Little Friction Dance and Suniti Dernovsek. at Valentines 232 SW Ankeny Art 9PM, Free

Saturday, February 06, 2010

February 8 Time to Art, Art to Alberta, Advertising to Art

Artist Paul Ramirez Jonas creates sculpture, installation and performance by sampling society and transforming it to another dimension. Sometimes his inspiration has been text, but he's not limited to that. His 15+ year career is available at his website. Food for thought. Talk in the Shattuck Hall Annex out front, 1914 SW Park Avenue, at the corner of SW Broadway and Hall on the PSU campus. 7:30PM Free

My personal interest is art travels together with the idea that artists develop economically sustainable careers. Nonetheless, there is an important role for DIY, outsider art, emerging artists, craft and craft-based art. There is a huge value in cultural exploration - I'm a believer in an evolutionary model of culture, diversity and natural selection. But diversity may be about to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

NE Alberta Street between about 8th and 30th attracted a legion of creative people seeking low rent beginning about 15 years ago. Meanwhile artists selling on the street on First Thursday were pushed out of the Pearl District by businesses there. Some return under the umbrella of the Urban Arts Network, which collects money from artists and pays the City to close NW 13th for individual artists and craftspeople. Businessman Magnus Johannesson purchased several blocks of Alberta storefronts when no one wanted to live in the neighborhood. About 10 years ago he conceived the idea of Last Thursday to activate the street and has nurtured it behind the scenes.

The event has grown with legions of artists and craftsmakers competing to set up shop in prime spots, tall bikes, clowns, baby carriages, dogs, street DJ's, live musicians, playing with fire, food carts and actually a few art galleries. The event has brought a downside for neighbors and, of course, an upside in property values, rental prices and business income.

As the event has grown, the City has closed the street, rerouted buses, provided police, ambulance services stand by, there are portapotties and trash collection. The City is trying to find an owner and someone to pay those expenses. The City has been spending over $10,000 a month on Last Thursday. Everyone involved wants the benefits, and none, the costs.

Tonight is a public meeting to explore the evolution of the event. My bias is to preserve the unregulated arts market free to artists for as long as possible. There's no guarantee of that. If you would like to listen or give your opinion, you can join the meeting hosted by Mayor Adams, with a strong creative economy business development staff, and Commissioner Fritz, who helms the Office of Neighborhood Associations.

Meeting at the Acadian Ballroom, 1829 NE Alberta Street 6PM-8 Free

Bright Lights is an irregular interview series of high quality where creatives meet movers and shakers. It's primarily focused on architecture and development, an instance of creatives meeting movers and shakers. Tonight, host Randy Gragg, photographer and writer, interviews Dan Wieden, cofounder of an advertising agency that has grown into much more. Wieden has more plans yet. He founded Caldera, an arts project engaging both artists and youth underserved by arts opportunity, with an environmental bent. Wieden has expansive plans for Caldera and you can learn of them tonight. Part of a series sponsored by the City Club of Portland and Portland Spaces Magazine, it's at Jimmy Mak's, 221 NW 10, 6PM Free

February 6 Installation and Visual Sampling

The South Waterfront development has used art as a branding strategy. They have an artist residency and a quarterly installation series. The current installation, Blueprints, Anchors, Ambitions, by Fae Young-Scherling, closes today with a reception. At 3660 SW River Parkway, 3PM-6 Free

Cafe The Hop and Vine embraces an art space 19Ten which is opening a show by Portland artist Dan Ness this evening. 1910 N Killingsworth 6PM-9 Free

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

February 5-March 6 20th Annual Cascade Festival of African Films

For 20 years little Portland has hosted the Cascade Festival of African Films. It's a month long affair with 23 films this year, from, or exploring, Cameroon, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda. The films are being shown at PCC Cascade, the Kennedy School and at the Hollywood theater. The opening film tonight is from Ethopia, the director will be in attendance. All the films in the festival's history are also housed in the PCC library. The website has the full schedule. Best of all, every film is free!

February 5 Eastside Art Openings+

Kendra Larson and Kurtiss Lofstrom show at Gallery Homeland. Larson is a Northwest native inspired by our dark forests. She channels that in pencil and charcoal drawings that have overlaid brightly colored geometric images - very mystical! Lofstrom works in collage of found image, particularly brightly printed magazines. At Gallery Homeland 2505 SE 11th x Division

Fourteen30 Gallery has a show themed on Winter. It includes artists Sebastian Gogel, Leipzig; Matthew Green, Portland; Frank Haines & Francis Heinzfeller, Brooklyn; Alex Hubbard, Brooklyn; Arnold Kemp, Portland; Alicia Love McDaid, Portland; Thomas Moecker, Leipzig; Jo Nigoghossian, NYC; Sven Stuckenschmidt, Berlin; and Portland's Molly Vidor. At Fourteen30 Gallery 1430 SE 3rd 6PM-9

Pop painter Corey Smith relocated from Portland to Los Angeles. He's back with the copywriting award of the month: "We’ve seen the future, and it only looks good in hardware specs. Amid famine, collapse, and massacre, we dream of freedom. From the pyramid to the moon shuttle, man’s greatest endeavor has always been to subjugate death and the dreams of sleep—to own them, control them, escape there—to paint our own new futures onto the blank slate of unfilled coordinates.

In Obsolete Dreams, artist Corey Smith confronts the hulking physicality of these useless masters of dreams and death: Cold-War stealth bombers, moon shuttles, astronauts, the unholy engine fueled by the American flag. But Smith remakes them according to their own dream logic, that alien symbolism of deflective curve and angle that is both perfect and perfectly incomprehensible to the life that is always right here in front of us.

So in Smith’s work, silent death comes in the bright colors of advertising, and bombers swing lovely as children’s models on wires. The grim, grey haze of a satellite photo takes on a more intense reality than the one you know, because it comes from that high, floating future. Even if the art of science is war and escape, there’s nothing more romantic than chasing the zero all the way down. And space is where you dream, when you dream on empty.

Corey Smith’s Obsolete Dreams calls out to the primal dreams themselves: Long live the dead dreams, long after their masters have forgotten how to dream." At Worksound 820 SE Alder

Grass Hut has a group show of prints by some familiar artists including Studio Folk, Scrappers, Shawn Wolfe, Chris Johanson, Tim Biskup, Little Friends Of Printmaking, Ian Lynam, Yellena James, APAK, Brad Simon and Mauro Gatti. At Grass Hut 811 E Burnside

Newspace has a annual themed show, curated from international submissions. This year the theme is Carnival. At Newspace Photo 1632 SE 10th

Pushdot has Traci French, Sarah Kamsler, Nicole Linde, Mulysa Melco, Kim Oanh Nguyen, Ann Ploeger, Georgia Stylou, and Tatiana Wills. At Pushdot Studio 1021 SE Caruthers

Down and Out is an international group show of photography curated by the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego. It's a large contemporary cross section, including Portland photographers Chris Bennett, Heidi Bertman, Jeffrey Krolick and Duc Ly. At 23Sandy 623 NE 23 at Sandy 5PM-8

Nemo Design has a big bike event this evening. There is a show of bike themed photos, custom frames, roller sprint races and a tricks competition in the parking lot. There is a fee to compete and prizes, but otherwise it's all free! The event continues Saturday at Liberty Hall. At Nemo Design 1875 SE Belmont 6PM-10 Free

Artists like fun. And they organize it themselves in the most creative way possible. Artists Jenny Hoyston and Sarah Gottesdiener are starting a regular wind up to First Friday openings. There will be video art by Melanie Valera, music by TJO and Marisa Anderson, and a dance performance by Allison Halter. There will be DJ's and dancing. At Branx 320 SE 2nd 9PM-2 $5

February 4 Westside Art Openings+

The Everett Lofts and associated spaces are recommended, as always, for your viewing pleasure. See them in the block bounded by NW Everett, Broadway, Flanders and 6th.

Seattle painter Jaq Chartier shows her bright paintings which have always reminded me of the results of gene sequencing. The patterns she makes with paint are very mysterious and beautiful, burning with cool passion. She is an art scientist too, with her "sun test" experiments of controlled fading. This is my favorite form of abstract, bright and subtly enigmatic. The gallery is also showing work by Pat Boas, Adam Chapman, Isaac Layman, Joe Park and Xiaoze Xie. At Elizabeth Leach 417 NW 9th

Bean Finneran makes bright fragile sculptures. They resemble sea anemones, bristling spines. At PDX Contemporary Gallery 925 NW Flanders

Pulliam Gallery has a small group show including Yoshihiro Kitai, Jerry Iverson and Jeffry Mitchell. At Pulliam Gallery 929 NW Flanders early close 8PM

Made in California is a show of drawings, paintings and prints including Chris Ballantyne, Marcel Dzama, Caio Fonseca, Sam Frances, David Hockney, Chris Johanson, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha, Richard Sera and Frank Stella. It's a good art history lesson. At Augen Gallery 716 NW Davis

Always curiously entertaining The Oregon Painting Society has an installation at PNCA in the Manuel Izquierdo Gallery 825 NW 13th 6:30PM-9ish

Falling Whistles is not exactly a contemporary art show. It's a campaign for peace in Congo. Congo's history is detailed in Adam Hochschild's King Leopold's Ghost, a story of greed, terror, and heroism in colonial Africa. Independent of Belgium beginning in 1960, a new government survived less than 12 weeks before dictator Mobutu Sésé Seko was installed. Michela Wrong relates the Mobutu era: In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu's Congo. In 1994 the Rwandan genocide unleashed another terror on Congo, one from which it has not recovered. After Mobutu's death, Rwandan fighters became the catalyst for a war to control Congo's resources. Diamonds, gold, copper, tin, tungsten, oil, tantalum, uranium and tropical hardwood were the prize of misery. In Eastern Congo low level war persists and vast refugee camps are commonplace. The Falling Whistles project is a small NGO working on education and direct aid to children in Eastern Congo. If you need a whistle, you can buy them tonight and other purchases also benefit the project. At Lizard Lounge 1323 NW Irving 7PM-10

BodyVox is a Portland modern dance group that performs nationally. They are comprised of dancers with many years experience spanning nationally known companies. They are well known for their humor and for incorporating film into their work. They have even collaborated with Zoobombers. They have created a new second unit: BodyVox-2. BodyVox-2 is a company of young dancers performing the repertory of BodyVox with flash. This evening BodyVox-2 holds an open rehersal and mini-performance, presaging their debut February 18. At BodyVox Studios, 1201 NW 17th 6:30PM-8 Free

February 3 Development & Creativity

Writer and MacArthur grant recipient Lewis Hyde speaks on The Gift and the Commons: Creativity and the Public Good. Hyde is author of The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in a Modern World, a classic exploration and resource to artist readers for 25 years. Tonight he expands his original thesis in light of the Creative Commons movement and debates on digital rights. This is the subject of a new book he is developing. He speaks at Lewis and Clark College on the same topic Thursday at 4PM. At PNCA 1241 NW Johnson 6:30PM-8 Free

Randy Rapaport is a developer of contemporary mixed use spaces. His projects have attained architectural significance while quietly doing their job as residences. Rapaport has also gone a good job at curating the sidewalk side businesses filling his projects. Tonight he discusses his process, projects and plans. It is part of an irregular series on design at Design Within Reach. At DWR Portland Studio 1200 NW Everett. Doors 6:00PM, program 6:30 Free