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High Tech / Low Tech
Jacqueline Ehlis opening at NAAU
ArtTalk Summer
A Better Bridge over the Columbia River
Closing Events
Information Studio
The New Scene on NW Broadway
Roger Ballen at Quality Pictures
Portlandia in Comics
The Design and Construction of the Japanese Garden: A Lecture by Shiro Nakane

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Monday 06.30.08

Monday Links

Power Slice (Portland) and Peripheral Vision (Seattle) are two very intelligent non-vanity additions to NW blogosphere.

Louise Bourgeois at the Guggenheim looks great in the NYT's... check out their slideshow. The Guggenheim does amazing things to sculpture shows, yet this reminds me of how lame Matthew Barney's show there was by comparison.

Tyler Green is right about these Gertrude Stein's twins, makes me wonder what a whole show of Gertrude Stein portraits would be like? Kind of like an intellectually superior night of the living dead?!

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 30, 2008 at 10:23 | Comments (0)


High Tech / Low Tech

Northwest Designer Craftsmen

This Thursday, High Tech/Low Tech is opening at the Oregon College of Arts & Crafts. The exhibition, comprised of work by members of the Northwest Designer Craftsmen, explores the dichotomy of old and new present in craft design. While craft is based in low tech artisan roots, craft artists are still often "the first in the art world to explore the development of new materials and methods." The exhibition runs through August 24.

Opening reception • 4-7pm • July 3
OCAC Hoffman Gallery • 8245 SW Barnes Rd. • 503.297.5544

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 30, 2008 at 0:55 | Comments (0)


Friday 06.27.08

Jacqueline Ehlis opening at NAAU


The influential Jacqueline Ehlis (a favorite of collectors) is the next Couture stipend show at NAAU. As always, her work explores the perimeters of painting, material and space but what really differentiates her work this time out is the fact that this is a non-commercial show. Previous solo outings at Savage in 2005 and 2002 were critically and financially successful. Thus, expectations are high as the first A-list Portland artist in NAAU's Couture series, which previously opened with the quirky Lo-Fi & geek-tastic BYOTV, followed by the ambitious but slightly scattered multimedia melange of Infinitus (decent but not quite Lee Bul or Doug Aitken's level of multimedia focus). By comparison Ehlis tends to bring a no nonsense, rigorous studio-oriented approach that makes her top shelf shows a must see (even for other dealers).... be there.

Opening reception • 6-9pm • July 2
New American Art Union • 922 SE Ankeny St. • 503.231.8294

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 27, 2008 at 12:11 | Comments (0)


ArtTalk Summer

Eva Lake, "New Duo 1 & 2" from the "Richter Scale" series

ArtTalk's summer season has started. Although the PSU MFA Monday night lecture series is taking a break, they're still interviewing artists each Monday afternoon on KPSU. This Monday, they're interviewing local painter Eva Lake.

Art Radio • Noon-1pm • Mondays through July 28
ArtTalk • 98.3FM on campus • Streaming on KPSU.org

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 27, 2008 at 8:50 | Comments (0)


Thursday 06.26.08

A Better Bridge over the Columbia River

Zaha Hadid's Shiekh Zayed Bridge... it is time to up the ante on the new I-5 Columbia River crossing

On Tuesday night it was announced that the Columbia River Crossing Taskforce has recommended that an entirely new bridge be built to replace the aging pair of bridges that constitute the only remaining lift spans on I-5. What hasn't been discussed much are the opportunities that the estimated 4.2 billion dollar project opens for a new type of bridge, one designed to meet 21st century ecological and humanistic pressures. By not putting an onus on smarter design the project has negatively polarized some that would otherwise welcome a better bridge.

Yes the bridge is controversial but it's also the single best opportunity for Portland to put its money where it's mouth is, ethically, aesthetically, ecologically and technologically about being a progressive city. We aren't fond of cars here or more people, but they are unavoidable. Portlanders do however prefer better design, mass transit, human scale experiences, nature and green building ideas. The Tribune's article today emphasizes how the project must have MAX train mass transit. Ok that's a start, but it needs more...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 26, 2008 at 14:59 | Comments (8)


Closing Events

Historic image of the Waterfront, from Linda Wysong

Linda Wysong, the June Artist in Residence on the South Waterfront, will be giving her final performance tours in her Backyard Conversations series. Footprints Along the River explores the Waterfront's history, and you can join the tour tonight at 5pm or Saturday, June 28 at 11am. Tours meet at the AiR studio, 3623 SW River Pkwy @ Gains in the John Ross Tower. Don't miss Wysong's closing reception on Saturday night, where she'll air the series of video portraits she's created to put a human face on the construction projects. You can preview an excerpt on YouTube here.

Closing reception • 8-10pm (Screening at 9pm) • June 28
AiR Studio • 3623 SW River Parkway


The closing event for the Portland Mural Show is happening this weekend. It's your last chance to check out the "snapshot of extant murals around Portland," as well as work by new Portland muralists. The rocking block party features 37 artists painting live, as well as a painting performance and a variety of musical guests.

Closing party • Noon-6pm • June 28
Olympic Mills Gallery • 107 SE Washington St.

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 26, 2008 at 10:04 | Comments (1)


Wednesday 06.25.08

Information Studio


Tahni Holt's Information Studio is happening this weekend. Participants (four at a time) will be following instructions given over headphones to the best of their ability. The "audience"-created performances will be recorded, and put online in a secret place where only you - and the people you choose to share the link with - can see. Participation is free, but spots must be reserved (see times below) by contacting Holt at hello@tahniholt.com or 503.708.5801.

Performance times: Every 30 minutes from 3pm-7:30pm Friday June 27, from 5pm-9:30pm Saturday June 28, and 2pm-4pm Sunday June 29.
PSU Smith Center • 1825 SW Broadway

This is the beginning of a series of nine interactive projects in, around, and about the Smith center commissioned by PSU through Oregon's Percent for Public Art program.

Brittany Powell

Brittany Powell's Smith Project started running last week. Powell has created six postcards of rarely celebrated views of the Smith Center, placing stacks of them at each site. The postcards are free while supplies (30,000) last, so come get one to send your loved ones a little view of PSU.

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 25, 2008 at 10:25 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 06.24.08

The New Scene on NW Broadway

For the nearly 9 and a half years I've lived here The Everett Station Lofts have been the best incubators of local talent introducing Portland to the likes of Jacqueline Ehlis, Brenden Clenaghen, Laura Fritz, Jenene Nagy, TJ Norris, Roxanne Jackson, Stephen Slappe and Stephanie Robison etc. Consequently, everytime I hear some all-talk no art background person declare how they are going to change Portland I kinda chuckle because "the Lofts" currently in resurgence mode with Igloo, The Life, Sequential, Tilt, Pip and now Tractor and the soon to open On gallery…) so routinely change the up and coming scene that no one entity could hope to change the ever-changing. True even the best of these galleries typically last only a year or two but they provide an important blueprint to others aspiring to create live work spaces for Portland's scene… the lofts are located in Chinatown so it's all location location location + a little well placed energy and some post art school knowledge = a formula for success (though there is a glass ceiling).

Crushed Orange A19-7 at Tractor Gallery

A great example is the inaugural exhibit at Tractor gallery in the Everett Station Lofts by Mackenzie Shubert and Charles Olson. Titled Crushed Orange A19-7 it reminds me of Mark di Suvero and Kurt Schwitters' Merzbau... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 24, 2008 at 10:59 | Comments (3)


Monday 06.23.08


Just in time for Monday, I have another big batch of calls for artists for you! Make sure to "Read More."

Jáce Gáce is having their second annual Overkill exhibition. The first show launched the beer & waffle house as a fun and interesting east side art space, and they're hoping it'll get even better this year. It's a non-juried free for all, accepting submissions from June 30 - July 1. If you follow the guidelines, no one will be turned away until their walls are full, so get more information here.

Read more, read more!

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 23, 2008 at 12:22 | Comments (0)


Friday 06.20.08

Roger Ballen at Quality Pictures

Animal Abstraction, Roger Ballen at Quality Pictures

The intrinsic nature of photography is confounding. Picked apart, the latin translates directly, meaning "light drawing". Caught from light particles bouncing off the objects surrounding us, the history of photography's purpose was the capture of those particles on light sensitive emulsions, and the result was the precise emulation of the world around us, so to speak. Due to the nature of this process, most of the world's audience considers the photographic image a small but somewhat accurate piece of reality. In the world of art, of course,. . .(more)

Posted by Amy Bernstein on June 20, 2008 at 12:40 | Comments (2)


Thursday 06.19.08

Portlandia in Comics

Raquel, Portland Comic

It's happening TONIGHT. Spanish friend of Worksound Raquel created a fabulous comic about her experiences living in Portland for the last three months. Worksound is throwing a release / goodbye party for her and her comic, as well as the release of Suspect Parts' 7". Music features Sad Horse, Suspect Parts, Fred Valez and Philip Kruse, and DJ: Nolita. It's also a good chance to catch the PNCA MFA show if you missed the opening.

Release Party • 9:30-midnight • June 19
Worksound PDX • 820 SE Alder • mojomodou@gmail.com

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 19, 2008 at 10:36 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 06.17.08

The Design and Construction of the Japanese Garden: A Lecture by Shiro Nakane

Kinkaku-ji or the Golden Pavillion in the snow

Shiro Nakane of Nakane and Associates spoke at PNCA on Tuesday night. In an excellent lecture that was co-sponsored with the Portland Japanese Garden, his talk was called "Honoring the Past and Envisioning the Future" and was the last part of the PNCA + Five: Idea Studios program for this year. It was a privilege to get an introduction to the design of Japanese gardens by the preeminent landscape architect of our time whose family has actually restored some of the most prominent gardens in Japan. It is hard to find a western equivalent for the temples and gardens of Kyoto and Mr. Nakane's role in their restoration. The closest I could think of would be if the cathedrals of Western Europe were somehow all within walking distance to one another in a small town and his family has been responsible for not only the restoration of the older ones but also the construction of new cathedrals as well.

Shisen-do in Kyoto demonstrating the relationship between the interior and exterior spaces

Posted by Arcy Douglass on June 17, 2008 at 15:19 | Comments (4)


Eliza Ferdinand Installation

Eliza Ferdinand & Molly Enright

PNCA graduate Eliza Ferdinand is back in town for "a night of multidisciplinary artwork and fun" at Gallery Homeland. Interactive sculptures will be installed throughout the space, and Ferdinand will be debuting a duo performance with Molly Enright, followed by a musical set by her group Dang Momma.

Installation & performance event • 8pm • June 20
Gallery Homeland • 2505 SE 11th • info@galleryhomeland.org

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 17, 2008 at 13:13 | Comments (0)


For your consideration

First off, irony has ebbed now that the Art in America art blogging roundtable from last November by Peter Plagens... (which PORT participated in) is now on-line.

Second, we don't usually plug fundraisers on PORT but PSU's online auction provides scholarships for their students. Some of the artist's included are Chris Johanson, Robert Pruitt, Fritz Haeg, Jim Drain, James Lavadour, Storm Tharp, Bruce Conkle, Dan Attoe, Mads Lynnerup, Harrell Fletcher and Rigo 23 etc. It's a great opportunity to help PSU art students and score some good pieces. Also, we hear Harrell's "The American War" was recently added to MoMA's collection.

Peter Schjeldahl has a nice piece on the Jeff Koons retrospective (which I intend to see).

Lastly, this interview in the O simply wasn't fit to print. Apparently the editors over there either don't care that they have a credibility problem or simply want to heckle Portland's art scene. Either way it's shamefully passive aggressive and a wasted hatchet job effort. Soliciting JV level questions to ask the curator was a cop out too. Note, Jen Graves of the Stranger is more respected in the area arts community and got a much better interview.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 17, 2008 at 12:05 | Comments (0)


Monday 06.16.08

The Cool School

founders of the Ferus Gallery
The "cool school" of the Ferus Gallery, circa 196?

The documentary The Cool School is airing tomorrow night on Public Broadcasting's Independent Lens series. The film looks at the history of the Ferus Gallery, "which nurtured Los Angeles's first significant post-war artists between 1957 and 1966." Founded initially by Walter Hopps and Ed Kienholz, the small gallery launched and/or solidified the careers of the likes of Ed Ruscha, Craig Kauffman, Robert Irwin, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella... and on, and on, and on. The documentary of this incredibly important institution was co-produced by our very own Oregon Public Broadcasting. (And one has to wonder: If OPB has such success getting funding, why can't Portland arts institutions do the same?)

View it locally on OPB at 11pm, June 17. You can learn more about the film here, and view the OPB schedule here (look for "Independent Lens").

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 16, 2008 at 10:46 | Comments (1)


Friday 06.13.08

The first Contemporary Northwest Art Awards

A tiny sample of Marie Watt's installation

So is this Contemporary Northwest Art Awards deal at the Portland art Museum worth seeing? People have had their doubts and well... I've seen it and yes (unequivocally) you should too...

The CNAA's open tomorrow to Museum members as a gala and the 5 artists will speak on Sunday at 2:00. A huge, free and warmer weather bash is planned for July 25th

The Verdict: As a collection of 5 solo shows it starts with two of the best exhibitions we've seen in Portland in the last year before losing its nerve (in a very professional way).
I'll save in depth formal reviews for later because it really deserves 5 reviews, but in short here is why it does and doesn't work:

Overall it is a serious museum show, not like the somewhat ADHD style biennials, even the stuff that falls short... falls short with well installed authority. You get to explore precisely why and how each artist succeeds or fails.

It starts with a bang, Marie Watt really steps up with a Joseph Beuys meets Louise Bourgeois festival of fond remembrance that utilizes the Belluschi designed atrium space to great effect. If you like craft, spatially activated art and do-gooder social coincidence stuff (quite reminiscent of MK Guth's Whitney Biennial piece but more crafty) then this will please you. If you were one of the people annoyed that Watt was the only Portland artist included and asked why her?... then her installation should answer the question (in case you missed her Smithsonian show). Fact is it is unfair for her to represent Portland alone... but she does a good job representing herself and this is an eye opener compared to her consistently good but never quite awe inspiring solo shows at PDX...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 13, 2008 at 14:23 | Comments (7)


Brighter Than a Thousand Suns

Robert Beckmann
Test House - First Light, 2008
Oil on Canvas
36 x 48 inches
(c) Robert Beckmann 2008

"I have become death, the destroyer of worlds," J. Robert Oppenheimer spontaneously said upon witnessing the first detonation of a nuclear bomb on July 16, 1945. The statement is a slight mistranslation of a passage from the classic Hindu text the Bhagavad-Gita. It is hard to imagine that Oppenheimer's declaration is even an overstatement. The bomb has one purpose: to destroy. But even something as seemingly straight forward as the atomic bomb never remains clear for very long and soon enough the questions begin to arise: What does it mean? Why do we feel compelled to build them? Is it protection for ourselves or from ourselves? In a direct way, by looking at Ashland artist's Robert Beckmann's new paintings that are part of a group show at Jim Kempner Fine Art in New York, the viewer is able to come to grips with some of these questions in their own way. More...

Posted by Arcy Douglass on June 13, 2008 at 10:07 | Comments (0)


Shiro Nakane Lectures

nakane lectures a portland japanese gardens
Shiro Nakane at work

The Japanese Gardens and PNCA are co-sponsoring a lecture by internationally renowned Japanese garden landscape architect Shiro Nakane. Nakane will address the challenges of preserving and revitalizing traditional methods with modern design aesthetics, and the unique problems presented by designing for longevity.

Artist lecture • 6:30pm • June 16
PNCA • 1241 NW Johnson • Swigert Commons

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 13, 2008 at 9:07 | Comments (0)


Thursday 06.12.08

Rererato Turns 1!


Experimental music, art, and performance space Rererato is celebrating their first anniversary this weekend with Rererato TV. The above list of artists and performers will come together to create a "music and art variety show in front of a live studio audience" - you! The show will later be broadcast online.

Live TV! • 6pm • June 14
Rererato • 5135 NE 42nd • info@rererato.com

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 12, 2008 at 8:40 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 06.11.08

Are you ready?

Ok, get ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work, because I have a lot of artist opportunities for you (don't forget to Read More). Starting with...

9th NW biennial

The Tacoma Art Museum is seeking submissions for it's 9th NW Biennial. Frankly, last year's Biennial was less than satisfactory, and sadly lacked much Portland influence. So this year, Portland, step up your game! It is time to represent, and show off what the creative darlings of the NW can really do. Submissions are due July 26 - guidelines can be found here.

More, more, more behind the cut!

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 11, 2008 at 10:57 | Comments (1)


Tuesday 06.10.08

I will see where it takes me from here: A conversation with Ed Ruscha

A portrait of Ed Ruscha by Dennis Hopper from 1964

Ed Ruscha is one of America's greatest painters. During the last forty years of producing an amazing body of work, he is best known for his recontextualizations of words and environments. These often jarring juxtapositions have helped us to reexamine the world we live in. An exhibtion of Ed Ruscha's work will be at the Portland Art Museum from June 14 to September 21, 2008.

I read that you studied with Robert Irwin at the Chouinard Art Institute. What was he like as a teacher?

That's right. Well, he was very rigorous and interesting. He was a task master. He taught a watercolor class and he went through elaborate steps to teach every student how to prepare the paper for the watercolors. You would have to prepare this paper by wetting and stretching it and the paper would be taut like the head of a drum. Irwin was a committed abstract painter and he was a vital person in my estimation during my early years. It just went on from there. He was one of several people that I studied under. Although I got quite a bit, not just from the teachers, but also from the students themselves, just being in that atmosphere.

At one point you mentioned that in the sixties, you were the biggest collector of your own work. What was that like?

There is more than a shred of truth there. It was about 1961 when I really got swinging into my own art. I had it for a few years before I exhibited it, and I didn't sell too much of my early work. Even during exhibits I would only sell one or two things. So I held on to quite a bit of my own work during the early years. (More...)

Posted by Arcy Douglass on June 10, 2008 at 1:15 | Comments (2)


Monday 06.09.08

Film, Film, and Do You Make Film?

From the Ottawa Animation Film Festival

There's lots going on at the NW Film Center. This weekend, they're airing the best of the 2007 Ottawa Animation Festival. In its 32nd year, the festival drew submissions from over 70 countries, and this 90 minute screening features the best of the final 97 entries.

First screening • 7pm • June 13
Second screening • 6pm • June 15
NW Film Center • Whitsell Auditorium • 1219 SW Park AVE

On Thursday, they're screening the best of the 34th Northwest Film & Video Festival. This touring program features the best of the best in contemporary northwest film making, and several visiting artists will be in attendance.

Film screening • 8pm • June 12
NW Film Center • Whitsell Auditorium • 1219 SW Park AVE

Do you make film? The NW Film Center is seeking submissions for the 35th Northwest Film Fest. Entries are due by August 1. More info can be found here.

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 09, 2008 at 23:00 | Comments (0)


John Malpede Lectures

john malpede

The final lecture for the 2007-2008 season of the PSU MFA Monday Night Lecture Series is happening tonight. Director, activist, and writer John Malpede will speak about his socially radical performance art. In 1985, Malpede founded the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD), "the first performance group in the nation comprised primarily of homeless and formerly homeless people." Malpede's work through the LAPD and other radical performance pieces, which often include collaborations with dancers, poets, artists, architects, and other directors, has earned him a reputation as "a nationally acclaimed theater radical and social visionary." This lecture is especially relevant in light of our fair city's struggles with gentrification.

Artist lecture • 7:30-8:30pm • June 9
PMMNLS • 5th AVE Cinema • SW 5th & Hall

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 09, 2008 at 9:45 | Comments (0)


Friday 06.06.08

Justine Kurland interviewed in Portland

Kurland_Ghost ShipSM.jpg
Ghost Ship, 2001
Satin finish UV laminated C-print
30 by 40 in. 76.2 by 101.6 cm.
All images Courtesy Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York.

Photographer Justine Kurland has spent the past decade staking her claim in the vast territory of American myth. Her color landscapes, most often stages and backdrops for figurative tableaus, are portals to an adjacent world, a Siamese twin world comprised of unseen moments from this one.

Kurland earned early accolades for her neo-romantic scenes of teenage girls adrift in the overlooked spaces of suburban wildlands. Tough, tender and imbued with the awkward grace of those years... (more)

Posted by Ryan Pierce on June 06, 2008 at 11:28 | Comments (0)


Thursday 06.05.08

First Friday Picks June 2008

Harlan at Pushdot
Susan Harlan

Susan Harlan is delivering a different take on the glass mania invading Portland this month. Her series Invisible Territories features natural specimens preserved in glass slides, then digitally printed onto fused enamel glass panels. Fusing organic specimens into glass, Harlan's work explores and exposes the natural world in a way that breaks from the "organic" forms often found in blown glass sculpture.

Opening reception • 6-9pm • June 6
Artist Glass Conference reception • 6-9pm • June 20
Pushdot Studio • 1021 SE Caruthers St. • 503.224.5925

More below the cut.

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 05, 2008 at 11:29 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 06.03.08

First Thursday Picks June 2008

andres sparrow lane at QPCA
Holly Andres, "Untitled" from "Sparrow Lane"

The slightly unnerving photography of Holly Andres will be featured this month at Quality Pictures. Her Sparrow Lane series explores adolescent girls "on the cusp of acquiring forbidden knowledge" - a metaphor for the transition to womanhood, as well as a tribute to the rich fantasy life of childhood. Each photograph is carefully posed, using familiar iconography to suggest discovery, while withholding narrative cues to force the viewer to come to his or her own conclusion about the action in the scene. This mystery, combined with Andres' use of twins and other girls eerily similar in appearance, creates a strange and surreal atmosphere that invites the viewer into the other-world of the young girls.

UPDATE: Amber, the young woman in the above photograph, was recently diagnosed with Ewig's Sarcoma, a rare form of juvenile cancer. Andres and QPCA are selling 50 limited edition signed 8x10 prints of the above photograph for $50 each. All proceeds from these sales will go to Amber, as well as partial proceeds from the sales of larger prints. Please contact QPCA at 503.227.5060 or info@qpca.com to inquire.

Opening reception • 6-9pm • June 5
Quality Pictures Contemporary Art • 916 NW Hoyt • 503.227.5060

Much more below the cut, including a selection of local glass shows happening in conjunction with the upcoming Glass Conference.

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 03, 2008 at 12:00 | Comments (0)


Monday 06.02.08

Amy Yoes Lectures

amy yoes lectures for PNCA and PSU
Amy Yoes, "Sign Language", in Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY

Amy Yoes is lecturing tonight for the ongoing PSU MFA Monday Night Lecture Series. Yoes' work focuses on ornamental and architectural space. She has recently began to integrate animation and light, as her work simultaneously becomes more and more three dimensional.

Artist lecture • 7:30-8:30pm • June 2 • Free!
PMMNLS • 5th AVE Cinema • SW 5th & Hall

Posted by Megan Driscoll on June 02, 2008 at 12:15 | Comments (1)

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