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

Calvin Ross Carl



Book Review
Calls for Artists
Design Review
Openings & Events
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



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






powered by


Movable Type 3.16

This site is licensed under a


Creative Commons License

Wednesday 08.26.09

« loud silence | Main | Grande Ronde »

Betty Bowen Finalists 2009

Betty Bowen (on the right)

The Betty Bowen Award selection committee has selected 5 finalists this year, who will now compete for the prize. The 2 Oregonians are Jovencio de la Paz and Josh Faught. The three others are Jenny Heishman, Sean Johnson, and Matthew Offenbacher.

Though I'm a little suspicious of regional art awards (usually driven by politics instead of pure artistic strength) I think this list at least does a good job of highlighting lesser known artists in the region instead of well known critical/institutional favorites, which was something Bowen wanted. I predict Sean Johnson, Heishman or Faught will win but Im rooting for Paz who is the Portland based darkhorse candidate. Johnson deals in uncertainty so there's an inherent edge to that work that resonates with these topsey turvey times... but maybe he's too entertaining to win?

Overall, I'd like to see all of the regional art awards matter a bit more by making very strong statements ... but that isn't exactly what museums do (unless someone starts a Linda Farris Award). Typically Museums have trouble on a political level playing the strongest efforts by the strongest artists in an "all out" contest (any contest with Alex Schweder and Sean Healy or Storm Tharp etc. would be that contest) because the curators have a lot of political pressure and no incentives to really stick their necks out like that (hence the committees). Instead, museums (quite logically) try to even things out as a display of their intervening authority. It's fine but it makes art in the region look softer than it is. Instead, I've noticed regional artists often do stronger work nationally outside the regional awards shows.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on August 26, 2009 at 16:58 | Comments (2)


My vote goes to Jovencio. Good luck!

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 26, 2009 05:27 PM

Politics in the art scene is an interesting topic. I don't know if the regional art contest is the a worthy suspect simply because it is smaller than a nation wide campaign. Some stories on this avoided subject could be intriguing.

Posted by: elle4 [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 28, 2009 11:22 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