The results of our first ever Portland art scene reader's poll are in and it
definitely confirms that 2009 was an extremely interesting and active year.
Overall, these things tend to favor young emerging artists whose social networks
(formed in art school) tend to rally round popularity contests like this. Still,
it's a worthwhile exercise and the results do reflect quality as well as popularity.
In some cases the margins were so overwhelming that it forms a kind of art scene
Ruth Ann Brown
Art Scene MVP 2009:
With a commanding majority of 68.2% of the votes
Ruth Ann Brown ran away with this category. Her successful Couture
Series at NAAU
channeled and funded one of the scene's biggest strengths,
installation art. I guessed this would be the result but the voting margins
were even more heavily stacked than expected. Sure there were lots of write ins and grumblings
about this category but facts were 2009 was RAB's year.
Oregon Painting Society's Radiant Dream Face (installation view)
Favorite solo art exhibition in Portland for 2009: Radiant
Dream Face by Oregon Painting Society
at PSU's Autzen Gallery with 21.2%
of the votes. Though a group the exhibition qualifies as a solo show since they
exhibit as a single artist with an obvious single aesthetic. Not far behind
Rose's Movements at TBA
. Voting was widely dispersed and other shows like
MK Guth at Elizabeth Leach, Rose McCormick at NAAU, Arnold Kemp at PDX, Laura
Fritz at NAAU, Raphael at PAM, Stephen Slappe at the Art Gym and Vanessa Renwick
at NAAU all posted strong double digit #'s as well. Interesting how only Raphael
was the only non-local artist to post strong results... I think it speaks both
to the "home court" strength of the local scene and the expense of
bringing in art from elsewhere.
Midori Hirose and Joshua Orion Kermiet at Fontanelle
Best group show for 2009:
With 21.6% of the votes Joshua
Orion Kermiet and Midori Hirosi at Fontanelle Gallery
was the clear leader.
In second place, China Design Now at PAM and a two way tie for third place between
Show at Fourteen30
and Damien Gilley and Ethan Rose at Gallery Homeland,
edging Store for a Month out by one vote.
Exhibition space of the year:
You can see this one coming too, with
39.9% of the votes NAAU
blew away the 17.4% of votes for the Museum of Contemporary Craft. In third
place was a tie between the Portland Art Museum and Reed's Cooley Gallery, both
capturing 11.6% of the votes. Like most categories voting was widely spread amongst
many choices with no one emerging with a majority.
Alternative space of the year:
With 22.6% of votes Rock's
held a commanding lead over Gallery Homeland with 15.2% of votes. In
third place was Littlefield at 12.2% with Appendix, Tractor and Worksound not
Best dressed art scenester:
Ok this was just for chuckles and frankly ANY
survey that doesn't include Glenda Goldwater as a choice isn't terribly comprehensive...
she received 1 write-in vote (same as me and Im a shining example of "what
not to do.") Winners were a tie between the ever stunning Jeanine Jablonski
and the stunned Patrick Rock at 24%.
Biggest debut in Portland:
With 20.1% of the vote Midori
held off a last minute surge by Ryan Pierce (16.9%) who also edged
by just 1 vote for the #2 slot.
Congratulations to all of the winners and thanks to all of our readers (especially the ones that took the time to do the survey).