Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 21 PSU MFA's, NAAU, Relish

Social practice artist Ariana Jacob presents her MFA thesis, Let's Talk About It. It's in the new video gallery by the lobby in the 5th Avenue building. Opening reception, New Video Gallery, 2000 SW 5th Ave. 6PM-9

Lori Gilbert also takes over the Autzen for her MFA thesis, Existential-ish. Autzen Gallery, 2nd floor PSU Neuberger Hall, Room 205. 724 SW Harrison 6PM-9 Free

The New American Art Union is hosting a one night group show "InterSection: the lines that brought us here". Working with themes touch, seeing, understanding, listening, forgiveness and love; artists Lindsay Kennedy, Gary Wiseman, Tahni Holt, Seth Nehil, Ty Ennis and Rikki Rothenberg, respectively, trace the evolution of some of their own work. At New American Art Union 922 SE Ankeny 6-9 Free

Relish Design, outpost for elegant and sustainable design research, hosts its eighth anniversary this evening. Relish maintains close connections to Portland's visual arts world and architects. But it is primarily a champion of small and very small production objects such as jewelery and home items with a Northern Italian, Scandinavian and Japanese aesthetic. 1715 NW Lovejoy. 5PM-9 Free

Sunday, May 16, 2010

May 20 Art Spark Games Vendetta

Increasingly game is an organizing principle of interaction. See Jessie Schell's thoughts on our all game, on game, world.

Art Spark is a meetup for artists and arts administrators for networking. This month adds a curators theme in the persona of Tilt Export.

Tilt is an exhibition project by Jenene Naggy and Josh Smith, artist curators. They operated a respected space, Tilt, in the Everett Lofts, focused on minimalist-influenced installation. Now Tilt operates in opportunistic spaces as Tilt Export.

Game like, Naggy and Smith are soliciting exhibition proposals by you, artists, at this event. You can speak directly to the curators, one on two. It's not reality television. It's not location-based SCVNGR gaming. It's reality reality in an art world location. Several other curators will also be seeking artists.

So welcome to the artist-curator game. Bring a proposal and resume. You should also email an image to with Art Spark in subject. That may become part of the evening image show and will give you extra game points with the curators. at Vendetta 4306 N Williams 5PM-7 Free

Thursday, May 13, 2010

May 15 Vietnam

Alberta pioneer galleries indulged in outsider art exclusively. Nothing wrong with that, it's just very rarely a successful artistic track in America. Europe is more curious and Raw Vision is an oracle.

Now Alberta is diversifying and this is an example. The Alicia Blue Gallery presents contemporary Vietnamese artists Le Hong Thai and Nguyen Van Cuong. Vietnam is in an economic renaissance, feeding an art renaissance, following by a few years China and Korea. Portland has strong Vietnamese ties, immigration, imports and manufacturing. In particular Dinh Q. Le has been practicing shuttle artmaking. The way of the world.

Both artists' works are a view into what is going on in Vietnam now, but universal. They are visiting Portland soon as resident artists. Curated by Beth Gates, longtime curator from the East Bay and expert on contemporary Southeast Asian art, now Portland-based. At the Alicia Blue Gallery 1468 NE Alberta 6PM-8 Free

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 15 World's Smallest Postal Service

This weekend is Portland's sprawling Alberta Art Hop, organized by Art on Alberta, 11Am-6PM and free.

One participant is the World's Smallest Postal Service. They are setting up their post office at Green Bean Books, 1600 NE Alberta from noon-4

May 14-16 Uncanny Valley

Uncanny Vally is the latest work in progress by Portland's Hand2Mouth Theater. They are one of Portland's smallest, yet they consistently produce modern theater, perform in Europe and do it all on the most efficient of budgets.

Uncanny Vally continues a Hand2Mouth theme of developing performances based on the life experiences of the performers themselves. We all have deep sensory memories. The smells, sights, sounds and touch of our lives.

The Uncanny Valley is the place where one performer experiences their sensory memories related by a different performer. It's an audience moving experience. We have all had those experiences.

Further the piece is constructed around a conceit of travel to some outer space in which the characters explore memory and its dangers.

The piece recalls Dumb Type's Memorandum.

Hand2Mouth presents the current evolution of the continuing Uncanny Valley project at Reed in the theater. Leave extra time to find it if you are not familiar with the campus More information at Friday - Sunday 7:30PM, and Sunday 4. $8

May 14-17 Open Engagement Event

Art moves forward continuously, expanding its definition. An interesting branch is social practice art. Descriptions of social practice art in criticism and theory quickly get off the track into art speak, and I'm not interested in going there. But if you are interested in what social practice art is today, you can meet and compare experiences with many of the world's practitioners. All at the Open Engagement conference happening in Portland Friday through Monday.

Their website has all the information and is refreshingly plainspeak.

Portland State University is a center in this art direction. PSU's Harrell Fletcher is well known for projects like Learning To Love You More. The PSU social practice artists have organized this conference as a project drawing participants from social practice centers. There are talks, discussions, gallery installations, participatory events, free, and open to you.

I'm particularly interested in what I call socially conscious social practice art, in which the artists work in the community almost like social workers. Examples would be the Future Farmers Victory Gardens, Natasha Wheat's Dreams Can Come True and Project Grow.

A common comment is "that is not art". This has been the historic nature of art. Radical forms emerge and they either succeed in being accepted (usually gradually and grudgingly) as art or not. No one but the viewer can make that decision, and each is right.

This program is an opportunity to look at what artists are up to on the front edge of culture, or what cultural workers are up to on the front edge of art.

At PSU and locations around Portland. Details at Free

May 14 Natascha Snellman

Natascha Snellman, partially raised and schooled in Portland visits her work from Los Angeles. That recent work has been on the human gaze in zoos, always a rich vein, and celebrity identity, which itself is defined by gaze. Recommended. At Fourteen30 Gallery 1430 SE 3rd Opening 6PM-9

May 13 Arty Words

Local artist, critic, curator and organizer, Jeff Jahn is the presenter this month in the Art Museum's Artist Talks series. In this program, Jahn opines on two favorite pieces from the collection, Dan Flavin's Untitled 2 and Anne Truitt’s Bonne. After, the group retires for wine and discussion. At the Portland Art Museum 1219 SW Park 6PM-8 Free members, otherwise regular admission and tour the Museum before

Portland's Tin House Books presents readings and music at Disjecta. Author Kieth Lee Morris discusses his book Call it What You Want with Lee Montgomery chief editor at Tin House. Ages and Ages preforms abstract choral music with a percussion background. At Disjecta in the Templeton Building 5 SE 3rd, by the skatepark. Park carefully, the lot under the bridge is notorious for towing. 7:30PM 21 and over. $7, or $20 with books by Montgomery and Morris

Sunday, May 09, 2010

May 9 Video on Making Video Art

Bill Viola is a favorite video artist. He has been at it for some time and has refined, refined, refined. Portland cinematographer Harry Dawson has worked with Viola for many of those years and he has made a documentary about the process. There is a Viola piece in the current museum show Disquieted, Quintet of the Astonished, which is a very long running study of human emotion shot with a hight speed camera, then reduced to slow motion. It's part of The Passions series developed while Viola was resident artist at the Getty, and Dawson was the collaborating cinematographer.

The film, Art of Collaboration, shows this afternoon. Admission includes admission to the museum to see the Disquieted show. Films at the Art Museum Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park, 2PM $12, $5 members

Friday, May 07, 2010

May 8 Jungle Jam

Hip hop dancing is a global phenomena. In Portland there is a heavy presence in the suburbs. That would be pretty global with respect to Portland. Jungle Jam is a 1 on 1 competition with a $200 cash money prize, in Gresham. The night will proceed from four way preliminaries to two way finals. Limited to 64 competitors. Wheels of steel: DJ Fish Boogie-Misguided Steps. Judges: Junior-Art of Movement, Rybonix-Misguided Steps/20th Century Boyz, Thomas Origami-Soul Felons. There is also an underground family friendly bboy-bgirl performance jam at Salmon Street Studios Friday. Jungle Jam at Centennial High School, 3505 SE 182nd, Gresham. Doors 6PM, Battles 7-10 $7

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

May 7 Eastside Art Openings

Artist curator Jess Hirsch presents Folk Feng Shui. My Chinese friend describes her grandfather's explanation of feng shui. It can be translated as windows and doors. Before window glass, windows and doors were covered with heavy curtains to keep the wind out. It was necessary to orient the windows and doors in relation to the sun and prevailing winds to keep those heating bills down. That is feng shui. He explained that years later people in Hong Kong got a hold of the idea and made up layers of mysticism to make money. Some major Hong Kong commercial buildings are even sited on "land meridians". So there you have it. Artist Hirsch has playfully sampled the idea and is also responsible for the new Nationale's auspicious feng shui. Her unique contribution is considering bodies in the space as part of and aligned with its feng shui. Nationale has a new series of multiple performances and events in the space, you are invited for a small member fee, it's a great bargain (click on members in the link). Opening at NATIONALE 811 E Burnside in back. 6PM-9

House Arrest is a show by artists Nan Curtis, Ianthe Jackson, Rachel Peddersen and Tyler Wallace. It should be a fun show of loosely domestic themed work. At Worksound 820 SE Alder 6PM-10

Photographer Liz Haley is known for ambiguous psychological portraits resembling motion picture stills. She has been expanding on this idea with constructed composites, in still form and as short videos. This show continues the constructed theme with SAME SPHERE: never meeting. She also wins the copywriting award of the month: "Perhaps now, comfort is in the privacy of your own virtual identity. In a time where life is performed in front of a camera broadcasting the minute details of daily personal activities, are people revealing more or less? Is the increased fervor for virtual connection a somber echo in the skies of an increasingly ailing society or is the need satiating a long overdue reminder that people the world over are strikingly similar? With technology so pervasive, this unique era brings to light many questions of community, isolation, authenticity and 'connection'. Are these imagined structures of community an invasion or complement to the natural world?" At Pushdot Studio 1021 SE Caruthers 6PM-9

Portland sculptor Sanna-Lisa Gesang-Gottowt has a show of intimate sculptures at salon Primp. Included are her snow eggs. 4335 SE Division 7PM-9

America Beautiful Possibility is a show by visiting Homeland resident artist Alison Pebworth. She is traveling America's byways, sampling stories of communities she visits and presenting her work, Chautauqua-style. It's part of her recontextualization of American culture through folk style painting resembling historical advertising before the capability to print photographic images cheaply. One theme are some aspects of history not entirely honorable we often glance over. Another is a fascinating history of psychiatry, pre-DSM. In 1869, American neurologist George M. Beard proposed a condition Neurasthenia, "the exhaustion of the central nervous system's energy reserves attributed to the stresses of life in the fast-paced industrial age of America" (from the artist). This would be pre-Freud. Other American psychologists dubbed it "Americanitis". Artist Pebworth invites your opinion of Americanitis, has it disappeared? The show is a fascinating artistic interpretation of history. Strongly recommended. At Gallery Homeland 2505 SE 11th x Division 6PM-9

Illustrator Nicomi "Nix" Turner and painter Justin Barry present a collaboration Nocturnal: Life in Darkness - Skulls, Botany and Bats, a Journey Through Nature's Darkness. Bats get a bad rap. They are champion mosquito eaters. See these artists' thoughts on nightlife. At Redux 811 E Burnside 6PM-10

Sound is art too. This is a student sound performance at PNCA, the result of Seth Nehil’s Intermediate Sound class. Sound artists presenting include Hill Hudson, Tuna Poanessa, Kayla Martin, Nina “Buenos” Diaz, Missy Canez, Alex Smith, Thomas Himes, Tana Becker, Devvin Trainer, Kyle Raquipiso, Kristen Smallwood, Rbrt Burns, Gabi Villasenor, Darja Bajagic and Nehil himself. Hear the Hubbub at PNCA 1241 NW Johnson 7PM-9

Portland illustrator Andrea Benson has an unusual amalgam of drawing and encaustic. You can see it at 23Sandy 623 NE 23 at Sandy 5PM-8

Activist artist Gabe Flores has an installation, Greener than you at Milepost 5 in the lobby of the modern loft building.

Disjecta has an early batch of graduating artist thesis shows. This one is MFA graduates from the University of Oregon. Included are Jared Davis-Haug, John Paul Gardner, Christian Harger, Lori Heagle, Eugenia Kroik, Sandee McGee, Tim Meyer, Oran Miller, Scott Nieradka, Carly Piccarello, Rob Smith, Jesse Sugarmann, and Ashley Brooke Taylor. At Disjecta 8371 N. Interstate 6PM-9

May 6 Westside Art Openings+

The Everett Lofts are always changing and the planets have aligned to create quite a few of them producing consistently well curated shows. See them all and choose your favorites! NW Broadway and Everett

Portland filmmaker Gus Van Sandt has remixed his collection of Polaroid portraits with digital scissors for this show, Cut-ups. Many of the images were characters in his films. It's odd psychological work. At PDX Contemporary Gallery 925 NW Flanders

Printmaker and illustrator Sarah Horowitz, master of expressive detail in primarily botanical subject matter shows Archaelogies. At 714 NW Davis

Blue Sky Gallery contrasts East with West and North with South this month. Korean photographer Suk Kuhn Oh has made masks of well known Korean children's book characters then photographed friends wearing them in everyday situations. Livia Corona has made a study of Enanitos Toreros, dwarf bullfighters of Mexico. Within Blue Sky is the Nines Gallery, home to installation art by its founders and their invitees. This month is a clattering installation of coffee and teapots. It's by Portland artist Bill Will. Please Northwest coffee or tea purveyor buy it! At Blue Sky Gallery 122 NW 8th

Olympia artist Nikki McClure shows her intricate paper stencil work which became the illustrations for her children's book Mama, Is It Summer Yet? At Powell's Basil Hayward Gallery, 3rd floor. 10th and W Burnside

Reading Frenzy is home to very reasonably priced artwork, in addition to many other unique books, zines, media, stationary and mode. This month they have a show themed on Awards! Artists include Jen Davison Wick, Jason Blackheart, Elsa Chaves, Aaron Draplin, Jennifer Armbrust, BT Livermore, Amy Ruppel, Sean Tejaratchi, Briar Levit, Mike Novak, Bethany Ng, Ryan Jacob Smith, Julianna Bright, Thomas Cobb, Kate Madden and Mary Kate McDevitt. In our world, they range from truly awesome, to touching, to sadly ironic. This is the artists' view. At Reading Frenzy 921 SW Oak

Chicago's Visibility Arts is a program for developmentally disabled artists as are Portland's Project Grow, Creative Growth in Oakland and others. This evening the Lizard Lounge, a sustainably focused clothing store hosts an art show from Visibility Arts. At Lizard Lounge 1323 NW Irving 7PM-10

Outsider exponents Hungry Eyeball have organized a show at Tender Loving Empire by Brendan Newell, Tripper Dungan, Santiago Uceda, Brett Superstar, Jason Graham, Sam Guerrero, BT Livermore, Ryan Berkley, Aidan Koch and Eatcho. Music 8:30. 412 SW 10th

PNCA students have organized a benefit art sale of 8x8 inch panels for Sisters of the Road. On the loading dock outside the Manuel Izquerdo gallery. 5PM-8

Grass Hut has Joel Trussell at their new location in Floating World. 20 NW 5th

Laura Russo gallery has sculpture by noted artist and professor Michihiro Kosuge. His work will be recognizable to all as public sculpture in Portland. This work is carved and polished stone. At Laura Russo 805 NW 21

The PNCA+OCAC joint MFA in design craft open their studios. Eastside 421 NE 10th 5PM-8 Free

Saturday, May 01, 2010

May 1 is Mayday

May 1-2 is a social practice art instance. For free you can make something yourself. Build Something Together ranges sandwich making to Zoobombing. It's at Sea Change Gallery, an Everett Lofts standout. On Everett between Broadway and 6th.

Ditto both days is Crafty Wonderland, a DIY business venue for craft creatives. They have moved bigtime to take over the Portland Convention Center Saturday and Sunday.