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

recent entries

Giving Thanks Readings
Meet RACC's new leader Madison Cario
November Reviews
Early November Links
Spooky reviews
Countdown to Portlandageddon?
Mid October Links including PNCA/OCAC merger talks
Paul Allen, philanthropist and arts champion dead at 65
Midwest Art Initiative Tour
Haunting October Picks
End of September News
September review cluster

recent comments

Double J
Brian Libby



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
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
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 02.03.10

« First Thursday Picks February 2010 | Main | First Friday Picks February 2010 »

Portland2010 Biennial artists announced

Eighteen Oregon visual and performance-based artists have been selected to present a series of one-person exhibitions at for the Portland2010 biennial at; The Art Gym, Disjecta, Rock's Box, Alpern Gallery, IFCC and The Elizabeth Leach Gallery starting March 13th.

It's a solid list... maybe too solid since many will complain the majority are already well known, omnipresent or alumni from the now discontinued Oregon Biennials at PAM. The well deserved Crystal Schenk and Ditch Projects are the only riskier new names in the list, the other inclusions just gives us an opportunity to revisit some of our favorite artists. Question is, is that enough? Portland currently is in the midst of a strong new wave of new talent (probably more than ever before) that can't be found here.

Curator (and PORT pal) Cris Moss considered 300 artists and will include the following in Portland2010:

Holly Andres
Corey Arnold
Pat Boas
John Brodie
Bruce Conkle & Marne Lucas
David Corbett
Ditch Project
David Eckard
Damien Gilley
Sean Healy
Tahni Holt
Oregon Painting Society
Melody Owen
Jenene Nagy
Crystal Schenk
Heidi Schwegler
Stephen Slappe
Kartz Ucci

Let's further analyze this. From a 50,000ft view one wonders if scattering the show throughout the city helps either the show or Disjecta, which originated the show and applied for the original grant money to make this possible. Most of these artists are already showing regularly in venues scattered about the city, though the stipends for these deserving artists are always welcome (and Moss' idea).

What's more it has been a long time since a group show meant all that much in Portland (partially why The Oregon Biennial was discontinued)... it's a city of strong solo shows now and what's more weve seen solos from most of these artists recently.

Lastly, where these large group shows have been useful in the past has been in introducing new talent on a big stage. The legacy of the 1999 Oregon Biennial alone introduced Heidi Schwegler, Sean Healy and Jacqueline Ehlis. I miss the fact that none of the artists on this list are at that "undiscovered" stage... they have already been introduced... ok maybe Crystal Schenk if you discount her Milepiost 5 and PNCA Biennial notables last year. Maybe the problem is that new noteables are constantly being discovered.

At the same time I'm certain this will be a good show, but will it be consequential since it likely wont be a turning point in anyone's career? Then again good shows are always worthwhile, let's wait and see what these artists deliver. Though making a list is hardly the easy part, the actual work and how it is handled is what it all comes down to.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 03, 2010 at 14:12 | Comments (6)


kinda disappointed.I love these guys, they are my friends and family here but none of these artists are new to pdx scene. we do know every inch of their work in fact. they are pdx rising stars. so where is the surprise? the unknowed emerging artists that could benefit from this exposure? I think they will just accuse us of nepotism.

Posted by: Modou [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 4, 2010 02:38 AM

Does the presence of the new Portland Biennial say something about the Portland Art Museum's decision to scrap the Oregon Biennial in favor of the Contemporary Northwest Art Awards?

Posted by: Brian Libby [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 4, 2010 10:23 AM

Probably cause and effect.

These shows are rungs on a ladder.

Many artists saw the Oregon Biennial as a ladder to getting gallery representation. But that causes all sorts of rats nests for the museum... really a major museum should not be in the talent scout business but that is precisely what many artists missed...

That talent scout role is more for alt-spaces, critics and the gallerists. 10 years ago Portland didnt have as many galleries and alt spaces so the OB filled a purpose... things are way more robust now.

That's why some will be irked even if Portland2010 is a good show... artists were looking for a ladder rung... instead this is kind of a role call. Any PORT reader will know all about these artists. I think a few artists like Dandridge Geiger, Bailey Winters or any # of other rising but not yet widely celebrated artists would have satisfied this need. Biennials are often a big break.

The CNAA's are striving to be a different rung on the ladder... a way of call attention to excellence ready for national recognition. The First CNAA's were a lil safe but a good 1st steps, as were the 2001-2006 Oregon Biennials. 1999's OB really really mattered and changed peoples concept of Portland's art scene (Kanjo made bold curatorial moves in that show).

Now Portland's scene has been validated by all of the now national and international artists working here.

Will the 2011 CNAA's and the Portland2010 do this situation justice? Time will tell. It takes a strong show.... which is an especially difficult thing for any curator. Esp. when neither Disjecta of PAM currently has someone in a full time position devoted to the task. It takes years of watching with such a show in mind to really hit it out of the park.

I thik the Couture series was the first thing to really capture themment... half the shows were really great, half were good experiments... a great mix of surprise and followthrough.

My personal feeling is that the artist scene is simply more developed than the institutional scene here. That situation presents opportunities. Im certain that the CNAA's and Portland 2010 will be good to strong shows, but will they define Portland or the region?

Maybe that is asking too much... maybe not? I see both sides.

I think people forget that its better to let the artists or "the scene" to lead and have institutions follow... biennials are a kind of moment for the general public to catch up with the scene. That has civic value too...

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 4, 2010 12:21 PM

ah. art debates, you have to love them...
I was expecting this exhibition to ruffle some feathers. And if it didnít I would be more concerned. There are numerous definitions of what a Biennial is and/or should be. I have reasons for selecting the included artists and am fully prepared to discuss them. At some time around the last week of March and the first week of April I will be hosting an open forum to discus this topic. There are numerous great minds, artists, and curators in this community and I hope you all will attend. Please keep your eyes open for when it is posted.
p.s. I will be supplying a box of MMA gloves in case it gets a bit out of control.
Cris Moss

Posted by: cmoss [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 5, 2010 12:43 PM

Wait...MMA gloves. We actually get to fight? Hell yes!

Posted by: jenene [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 8, 2010 10:02 AM

dumb question: is there some form you fill out to throw a show called the Oregon Biennial? I understand that PAM no longer puts on these shows, but why would you put on a show and call it the oregon biennial when people have associated it with the museum? why not make something new and bring attention to portland for putting on a successful new show rather than trying to resuscitate a dead exhibition series?

Posted by: Pearl [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 8, 2010 05:11 PM

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