Friday, December 27, 2013

December 27 Free Bacon!

Tonight after 5 the Museum has free admission. It's also an opportunity to see the Frances Bacon triptych, Three Studies of Lucian Freud. Let's just say it's been in the news. And you can see the Samurai exhibit for the low price of $5. These Fridays really give the museum a sense of life. At the Portland Art Museum 1219 SW Park 5PM-8 Free

Saturday, December 21, 2013

December 22 Pray in You're Way

The earliest recorded history comes from civilizations built on slaves. Those civilizations left behind spiritual ruins, many of which can be visited today. In that period, the smartest and most creative often served the emperor or the church. Sometimes they were one. Today, the smartest and most creative have a myriad of options, thankfully.

The early period creatives realized that grand architecture was a spiritual attraction. It wowed. The spiritual experience is a neurochemical phenomena, and those soaring buildings, music and ritual make it happen. Those creatives set about building stunning temples, many with architectural innovations, to inspire. The proportions of the Parthenon, the arch of the Grand Mosque, the buttresses of Notre Dame, the extent of the Tōdai-ji, Pueblo kivas.

So church architecture is its own genre. Modern examples include Gaudí's Sagrada Família, Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple, Louis Kahn's First Unitarian Church.

Artists are sampling churches. Damien Hirst has made kaleidoscopic compositions of famous stained glass work. And in Portland, artists Matt Henderson and Van Pham, living in a church, have traveled to churches all over the country which have been repurposed. The new churches are rock gyms, donut shops, band rehearsal studios, residences and more. Their project is Xhurch.

In past years they created the alien nativity scene, one of Portland's most perfectly formed art events. Tonight they bring their reports of Xhurches to you.

Accompanying the Xhurch field trip images and video are performances and art by Golden Retriever, Earth & You, Brenna Murphy, Scott Mayoral, Bike Temple, Emily Pothast, David Golightly, Guru Rugu, Sisters of the Lattice, and the Institute for New Feeling.

Where? Well, in an xhurch: Alberta Abbey.

M.A.S.S. IV + Xhurches Symposium at Alberta Abby. Advance tickets 126 NE Alberta Street 8PM by donation to $15

Saturday, December 14, 2013

December 16 Getting to Know One

Getting to Know YouTube collaborators Crystal Baxley and Stefan Ransom celebrate the anniversary of the monthly series. They are one! So after seeing all those months of stuff, they are laying down their own favorites. At Getting to Know You(Tube) at the Hollywood Theater 4122 NE Sandy Boulevard. 7:30PM $5

Illustration central Pony Club is also having a benefit sale of work tonight. There should be a cornucopia of great art for the right reason. Art party and sale with a live band. At the Cleaners at the Ace Hotel. SW Stark and 10th. 6PM-10 Free

December 14 Moar Arts

Art is like food. If it tastes good, it is good. In other words, aesthetics are individual; good and bad are a neural response. Good and bad are also mutually self defining. Often people form tribes or subcultures around their aesthetics, and social processes contribute to neuroaesthetics. At Portlandorusnow, we operate in the gallery-museum chain of being, art school, art export, experimental and front edge aesthetic subcultures. But in Portland, there are dozens of other aesthetic tribes.

The Big 400 is a celebration of that.

There is a good argument that this format for a show began in Portland, 2001, with the Charm Bracelet: Meeting People show in Oak Street Lofts. That event was organized by Brad Adkins and Chris Buckingham. Its opening was also an early social practice art project.

This version began with Chris Haberman and Jason Brown in 2007 in the Olympic Mills building. Olympic Mills developer Brad Malsin has consistently focused his historic reuse projects on small creative business, and art has been a branding element for his projects. Operating as Po Boy Art, Haberman and Brown have long curated the Goodfoot monthly art shows. The Goodfoot built on the art, music, beer model of the Blue Gallery, one of the first Pearl district galleries. And art shows are one of Portland's most vital social processes, magnetic attractors within their tribes. So we have several entwined virtuous cycles.

And there are really few cities in the world with the density, demographic structure and values for this phenomena.

Tonight 4-500 artists have made up to 10 pieces, 8"x8", for a total of more than 4000 works for sale, for $40 each. The works are labeled only on the back, and are in no particular order. This event is quite popular so many people arrive at the opening. If you find something you like, take it off the wall, and take it to the checkout. Cash or credit. Instant karma.

The price of admission is a can of food for the Oregon Food Bank. And you can do the math, a commercial gallery would be happy with the show's 10 hour revenue. Even the ultra conservative Portland Business Alliance sees value in art. 1000 free parking vouchers are available at the mall guest desk - lower floor - for the Smart Park directly East of the mall. Of course you can go by train, bus or bike too.

The Big 400 at the People's Art of Portland 700 SW 5th 2PM-9 Can of food

Friday, December 13, 2013

December 13 - 14 What Mean We, American?

Americans are cowboys. The impact of the infinite frontier on American culture was laid out in Walter Prescott Webb's book The Great Frontier. He was from Texas, which takes those ideas further than most states. The freedom to experiment and to live large free from the social constraints of, say Japan, has made for some ironic, living large, absurd, cultural memes. It all makes sense, in the context of signaling theory and evolutionary psychology.

American ME is a dance theater romp inspired by some of Americans' odder cultural expositions in the context of, for most, a passing American dream.

Director, Mizu Diserto and collaborators Stephanie Lanckton, Douglas Allen & Nathan HG, collaboratively developed the material over many months. They all have a great sense of humor, so expect that. With Roland Toledo, sound design and Ian Lucero, film.

See American ME At the Headwaters Theater, 55 NE Farragut St. #9. The theater is in the back of the building by the active railroad tracks facing Winchell Street. Map Friday 8PM, Saturday 6PM,8PM. Students, artists, seniors $12, $15

December 13 La Canada

This gallery has a relationship with Los Angeles. That means they have a better idea than most Portlander's about what art is collected in Los Angeles. Tonight Pieces by Canadian artist living in LA, Monique Mouton opens. At Portland's only member of the New Art Dealers Alliance, Fourteen30 Gallery 1501 SW Market Street Map 6PM-8

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December 12-13 Seavision: More Benning Than Hirst

The sea. Buried in our genome is an attraction, yet unexplained by science. You know.

This special event represents a collaboration between long running film archivists, the Cinema Project, and the most unusual underground art gallery in Portland, instantiating on a retiring ocean-going vessel.

The films tonight are themed on sea. The films of Jean Painlevé are star. Painlevé, who lived from 1902-1989, built a studio by the Normandy sea. He built film lenses to film sometimes microscopic sea life in aquariums he constructed, or built underwater breathing equipment to film in the ocean itself. His work was revived by American musicians Yo La Tengo who set improvisational scores on Painlevé, many of whose works were created in the silent era with subtitles. Perfect. Also on the program are filmmakers David Gatten and Alex Mackenzie. Gatten, in his What the Water Said series, uses seawater to alter the chemistry of film. Mackenzie presents a double projection made at the sea.

Recommended. Highly. Dress very, very, warmly, the projection space on the river is not heated, and allow time to get lost en route.

At the 12128 Labrador Project It's moored by Fred's Marina 12900 NW Marina Way, Portland. Map More detailed directions, don't get lost, on the website. 7:30PM $8

December 11 Crafty Vixen

This blog does not often cover craft in Portland. It's big. Fortunately craft in Portland is a little different. It is often contemporary and idea-based, as opposed to exclusively tradition-based. The Oregon College of Arts and Crafts + PNCA MFA program magnets to idea-based work. I have always been pleasantly surprised by the work seen and conversations had at this yearly studio opening.

Artists Ximena Bedoya, Reese Bowes, Leah Brottman, Meghan Chalmers-Mcdonald, Jennifer Cooke, Gopika Dahanukar, Willow D’arcy, Sarah Davis, Shawn Daughton, Richard Decker, Christian Donnelly, Joey Edwards, Sam Estrella, Jadene Fourman, Meghann Gilligan, Marie Goebel, Elizabeth Goltz, Daniel Hodges, Brian Hutsebout, Alyssa Kail, Edward Key, Bukola Koiki, Rachel Mckenna, Cecelia Murphy, Ryan Newson, Tyler Peterson, Nicholas Parker, James Rouse, Michael Schnitman, Alisha Sullivan, Caitlin Sweet, Lange Wei and Emily Wyant show. At the PNCA The Bison Building, the MFA in Applied Craft and Design Studios 421 NE 10th 6PM-9 Free

Sunday, December 08, 2013

December 8 Deluxe Bear Front

Front is a slim journal broadsheet style. It is focused on writing about dance and contemporary performance. It is written by the performers, not critics. Front edition 3: Rubies drops today. The party is free, the paper itself is $4, and also available around town. Front distribution party at PICA HQ 415 SW 10th Ave, Suite 300. 5PM-7 Free

I always think of the journal Orlo as something that could only exist in Portland, Oregon, US. It is a long running curation of the intersection of the literary arts, the visual arts and a reverence for the environment. More than a few writers have written in Orlo's Bear Deluxe before their breakthrough books. Tonight is their annual holiday party and issue 35 release. The event includes live music and readings. There is also an opportunity for photos with Santa Salmon from 5PM-6:30. Details and schedule at Orlo party at Ford Food and Drink 2505 SE 11th 5PM-10 Free, donations encouraged

Thursday, December 05, 2013

December 6 Appendix Adieu

The other big happy trails tonight is Appendix Project Space. It has operated in a series of garages off Alberta alleys. Hope their website is maintained as record to amazing art shows, including first American shows from world artists. The landlord is changing up the house in the late stage of neighborhood gentrification. And the remaining organizers are moving to New York. They release their book, a record of all the shows, published by Container Corp tonight. We are missing the hay bales and we'll miss the campfire. But we know the principals are going to do more better. Appendix Project Space On the alley between 26th and 27th, South of Alberta. Map 7-late Free

December 5 Westside Art Openings

Grass Hut Gallery has been online for a long time. Their curatorial vision needs an audience beyond Portland the interwebs provide. In its Burnside location, it was one of the best clubhouses in Portland. Not only a gallery, but a studio inside out to the world in a glass box. It was a strong contributor to the 811 vibe in its own special snowflake way. It also found home cohabiting with two locations of the Floating World world of comics and graphic novels. I'm sure the Grass Hut sculptures and paintings went to sleep with a smile each night surrounded by a room full of graphic energy. The Grass Hut has its last show tonight before returning to an online-only business. Stop by and send them off on their continuing adventure. And like them in the online world, because they will continue to have new cool artworks for sale there. Grass Hut in Floating World. 400 NE Couch

Augen has Trish Grantham with illustration work and Mary Hinckley with geometric work in glass. Grantham is one of the hardest working artists in Portland and you have seen her work. It equally makes a home in the imagination of adults and children. While the bird-on-it-brand seems to have stuck to Portland, Grantham's signage for local businesses has equal stature in placemaking here. At Augen Gallery 716 NW Davis early close 8

Crystal Schenk is a perfect match for the Bullseye glass studio residency. She has always been very adventurous in materials and we can't wait to see the result. At Bullseye Glass Gallery 300 NW 13th

Portland is filled with individuals who have done amazing things. One is Manya Shapiro. She was right there working along side the feminist artists of the 1970's whose names you had to study in school. Her new show is Tiny Dresses. She and her family have been one of the top supporters of the arts in Portland for a generation. Founding board member and key visionary for PICA. At Annie Meyer Artwork Gallery 120 NW 9th #102

Desire Path is a show of illustration by Jen Lobo. At Hellion Gallery through the lobby of the arched brick entry, up the stairs and to the back. Very upper floor Japan-style. 19 NW 5th Suite 208. Map 7PM-10 Free

Though a small fraction of Americans, about fifteen percent deny it, the earth is warming. One result if more wildfire. David Nadel shows Burns, photographs of post burn landscapes in Montana. It's a good thing they have coal and natural gas to fall back on there. New Orleans is its own place. It has different law. It has many charming traditions. Its sinking. But it also has the second highest murder rate in the country, about fifteen times that of Portland. Tooth for an Eye is a series of photographs by Deborah Luster of the sites in New Orleans of murders. The photographs are remote in time from the actual event but are accompanied by narratives of the murders. At Blue Sky Gallery map 122 NW 8th 6PM-9

American photographer Harry Callahan lived from 1912 to 1999. Over that time he made photographs in monochrome and color, developed a double exposure aesthetic and taught at RISD. Usually you would see his work in museums. But you can see it tonight in a small Portland gallery, free.
At Charles Hartman Fine Art 134 NW 8th

Everett Lofts are recommended as always. It's easier for you to see them all than for me to write suggestions. Some close as early as 9PM. At the Everett Lofts 625 NW Everett. Bounded by NW Everett, Broadway, Flanders and 6th Map closing ranges from 9PM-10:30ish

Likewise there are always good shows at PNCA, so stop by. At PNCA 1241 NW Johnson Map