Portland art blog + news + exhibition reviews + galleries + contemporary northwest art

recent entries

Resist: Inauguration at Una Gallery
Early February links
First Thursday Picks February 2017
Dead tree media & dead horse flogging news
Post Snowpocalypse Weekend Picks
More Disjecta'd
New Year opportunities
Monday Integrity Links
First Thursday Picks January 2017
Jason Berlin + Alanna Risse at Rainmaker
Saying goodby to 2016
Mid December Links

recent comments

dm
Double J
dm

categories

 

Book Review
Calls for Artists
Design Review
Essays
Interviews
News
Openings & Events
Photoblogs
Reviews
Video
Links
About PORT

regular contributors

 

Tori Abernathy
Amy Bernstein
Katherine Bovee
Emily Cappa
Patrick Collier
Arcy Douglass
Megan Driscoll
Jesse Hayward
Sarah Henderson
Jeff Jahn
Kelly Kutchko
Drew Lenihan
Victor Maldonado
Christopher Moon
Jascha Owens
Alex Rauch
Gary Wiseman

archives

 

Guest Contributors
Past Contributors
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005

contact us

 

Contact us

search

 


syndicate

 

Atom
RSS

powered by

 

Movable Type 3.16

This site is licensed under a

 

Creative Commons License

Monday 06.05.06

« Fund Your Projects | Main | Affair In the Air »

Seeing the Oregonian for what it is

Look we give them a tough time occasionally but the Oregonian does provide a startling amount of visual arts coverage like today's review of TJ Norris' Grey|Area show. Yes, it is more descriptive than an intellectual mediation on the specific details of sublimely liminal, less than colorful work, but it does get the main points about the curator and the one artist's work which just doesn't quite cut it. Most newspapers for a city of 2.1 million metro don't come close to this and if you want depth... there is a reason PORT exists. There is a place for generalist publications and a place for insider concerns.

Also, DK published his second best bit of writing to date with his expose on the Portland Art Center last week (his best was the retirement piece on PAM's beloved Donald Jenkins). He's tough on PAC but patient, pointing out their inconsistencies while slyly making important points about the inconsistencies of other art organizations as well. I do have concerns about whether programming by committee is a good idea though?

Portland has to be tough on its arts organizations because nearly all are still either nascent or only just recently finding their strides. The city is under served but that is exciting (for the time bieng).

The O even has Brian Libby of Portland Architecture freelancing.

So why all the visual arts coverage? Because Portland's changes in identity and sophistication are some of the most rapid I've seen in any US city and the visual arts are the single best gauge of that shift.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 05, 2006 at 0:00 | Comments (3)


Comments

As one of the board members of Portland Art Center I thank dk for his insightful article.

I'm not sure I agree that "Portland needs to be tough on its arts organizations" as you say. I guess for once I would like to see Portland be supportive or it's arts organizations, see the need for their success and find real ways to help them meet their goals. I don't think most people understand that without financial support (even just by joining as a member) it is a challenge every day to even keep the place up and running.

The reason I got involved in Portland Art Center was that I saw the fire being built at the Modern Zoo and was afraid that without some real involvement by members of the business community and government of this city, the fire would die out and we would be sent back into our typical Oregon mediocrity.

It's ok to be hard on our programming, which I believe has seen some amazing installations such as Memory by John Mace, and Liminals' Resurrectory, but there must be ways to really find out what Gavin is trying to do and be supportive in making it happen.

It can only be good for all of us!

Posted by: dm [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 5, 2006 11:45 AM

Thanks dm, you are always welcome here.

I agree with you to a point, yes there should be greater support but I also firmly believe that support must be earned. The need alone doesnt justify support. Also, since so many arts organizations are vying for a small pool of dollars I feel it it makes it doubly important that the organizations clearly demonstrate (not just promote) how they are adding to the cultural community.

Just presenting space isn't enough and in the visual arts quality always trumps attendance and beer sales. Consistent quality is key to getting support from major donors too. Making the distinction between an important cultural institution and a night club masquerading as a cultural institution is an important question that needs to be asked in Portland these days. We already have good clubs in Portland and some like Holocene even have art but we need a good institution for emerging talent to present itself. The trick is to know the difference between OK programming and programming that frequently really works (like John Mace).

I'm not being negative here just critical... I do think PAC has done an admirable job of actually providing visual art programming instead of just promoting themselves as a visual arts organization that only sporadically programs. PAC has been a nearly continuous presence and that is important, especially if you are fundraising.

Still consistent quality and followthrough are incredibly important. Yes John Mace's opening show had everyone excited about PAC... but the momentum waned with successive shows.

I believe Barry Johnson's show is a step in the right direction though. Still it isn't as interesting as Mace's show over a year ago... though far from perfect it was daring and that's why it looms so large in the organizations history.

Of course money is attracted to talent and the best talent takes risks. For example, TJ Norris's show at guestroom was a slam dunk for that gallery... all it takes is one really good show and suddenly they have momentum.

Then there is the buzz, you don't want people making comments like this on the Mercury blog (scroll down). Then again you can't please everyone and its quite a trick to make the dissenters part of what strengthens the supporters. I sense PAC has a stronger sense of its strengths and limitations now and that is key.

Keep up the good work, I suspect most everyone is watching PAC very closely.



Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 5, 2006 08:04 PM

Jeff,
I can't disagree with anything you are saying. We are excited to be in a (semi) finished space where we can actually get on with some of our ideas and programming. We are glad we don't have to raise the big money to build out the other space. We appreciate you paying attention and hope we can prove ourselves to the community and show that we do have value and are filling the needs of the community.

Posted by: dm [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 6, 2006 10:08 AM

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Remember me?


s p o n s o r s
Site Design: Jennifer Armbrust   •   Site Development: Philippe Blanc & Katherine Bovee