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Tuesday 06.01.10

« art school: talking, showing | Main | First Thursday Picks June 2010 »

Today PORT is 5


Today is the 5th anniversary of PORT: portlandart.net and I'd like to use the occasion to draw attention to all of the excellent writers who have helped make this ground breaking publication what it is. PORT is much less a business (barely a business) and more of a community service as a venue for cogent, decisive information and critical discussion. With over 135,000 unique readers in April alone the site is infinitely more popular than we ever imagined it would be when Jennifer Armbrust, Katherine Bovee and I started it back in 2005. With notice from Art in America, The Walker, Andy Warhol Foundation and The Whitney... PORT is arguably the most influential art publication in the history of the Pacific Northwest. It's been pivotal in the discussion of the I-5 and Willamette Bridges, new art groups that suddenly end up at the Tate Modern and even the recent Donald Judd conference/exhibition. Like any publication PORT's success puts demands on everyone, asking our institutions, other publications and galleries to step it up a notch or two... (why I shut down Organism as its mission was more narrow than PORT and my own curatorial scope had become). Somehow PORT evolves fast enough to stay at the bleeding edge of where Portland's art scene and the international art world mix (kind of like the treacherous Columbia bar). Maybe PORT stays supple because each writer is encouraged to pursue their own particular interests rather than a series of assignments? It's an approach that engenders a core-level of integrity and passionate interest since it's hardly a lucrative endeavor. Overall, we all try our best and everyone involved makes sacrifices to make it happen, so feel free to give an attaboy to any of our writers in the comments (though arts writing is inherently thankless).


Check out some of what I consider to be our best posts:

Arcy's groundbreaking essay on Mark Rothko's formative years in Portland

Amy's Okwui Enwezor interview

Jasha's review of Leon Golub's show currently on view at PAM

Alex's two part interview with Inigo Manglano Ovalle, Part II is probably the best interview ever done with that artist

Megan's review of Dinh Q. Le's last show

Gary's recent interview with Oregon's own Adam Stennett for Disquieted

Sarah's stunning photos for China Design Now

Isaac's essay on the Holbein Madonna

And my own Taking Full Stock of the Portland Art Scene post (yes Ill post part II this summer, as time allows).

Overall, it's career defining reviews that I enjoy the most though... PORT isn't about ingratiating ourselves to the scene or heckling it from outside, we simply care about relevance, critical ideas and how the entire arts ecosystem can thrive through excellence. To put it bluntly, if there's a problem worth fixing we will do our best to point it out and if there is a moment of real excellence we will be there too... thank you readers and sponsors for counting on us. We do our best to earn that trust, without pandering (something rare in the art world).

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 01, 2010 at 12:35 | Comments (1)


Happy Anniversary with many more years to go.....thanks for all you write.

Posted by: sae [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 2, 2010 08:34 AM

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