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First Thursday Picks June 2011
artists wanted: young filmmakers & animal lovers
urban green: art in the japanese garden
last thursday alley
The Beginning of the End Of Us: a Conversation with Deborah Kass
craft conversation: christy matson
Notes on Open Engagement 2011
Storm Tharp curates the Lumber Room
mfa show: applied craft & design
book release party
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Tuesday 05.31.11

First Thursday Picks June 2011

Richard Barnes, "Smithsonian Ungulate"

Blue Sky presents Richard Barnes' Animal Logic, a series that "looks at museums as 'containers' of the celebrated and the forgotten, the odd and the everyday, and representative of the dreams and aspirations of the person, culture, or nation that assembled such collections...Barnes's several large-format prints on display at Blue Sky reveal the often unnatural side of some of the world's renowned natural history museums."

Opening reception • 6-9pm • June 2
Blue Sky Gallery • 122 NW 8th • 503.225.0210

(Lots more: Hayley Barker at Hartman, Michael Brophy at Laura Russo, Mise-en-Scène at Elizabeth Leach, Linda Hutchins at Pulliam, Scott Patt at Grass Hut, PNCA MFA in Visual Studies thesis show, oomph at PDX.)

Posted by Megan Driscoll on May 31, 2011 at 19:53 | Comments (0)


Friday 05.27.11

artists wanted: young filmmakers & animal lovers

The NW Film Center is seeking young filmmakers in grades K-12 for their 35th annual young people's film festival. Entries are due June 30 and there's tons of info on the event and how to submit on the festival website.

Multnomah County Animal Services is hosting their 4th annual adoption party, "Petlandia" and they're looking for 6-7 artists and/or craftsfolk to sell animal-oriented work at the event. No cost for a booth besides a refundable deposit and you keep 100% of sales. Applications are due June 6, and you can apply by contacting diana.grappasonno@multco.us with "art vendor submission" in the subject line, info about your past vending experience, and links to your online portfolio. (Full disclosure: This blogger has a puppy & a soft spot for animals.)

Posted by Megan Driscoll on May 27, 2011 at 12:47 | Comments (0)


Thursday 05.26.11

urban green: art in the japanese garden

From "Urban Green"

For their ongoing Art in the Garden series, the Portland Japanese Garden presents Urban Green: Small Trees for Small Spaces. Tokyo bonsai shop owner Kenji Kobayashi, who studied landscape architecture many years ago under one of the garden's former directors, will present his modern style of bonsai in the Pavilion. The show will be kicked off tonight with a lecture by Dr. Jared Braiterman, a design anthropologist and founder of Tokyo Green Space, and there will be a lecture/demonstration of Sakei (an offshoot on bonsai) by David De Groot of Weyerhauser Bonsai on June 16. Both events are $15 for non-members and require reservations.

Bonsai exhibition • May 27 - June 19, 2011
Portland Japanese Garden • 611 SW Kingston • 503.223.1321

Posted by Megan Driscoll on May 26, 2011 at 9:31 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 05.25.11

last thursday alley

Ariana Jacob

In addition to the ongoing Andrew Norman Wilson show, Appendix presents Ariana Jacob's Teach me how to think like you in the Hay Batch. "I want to understand how other people think. To research this I am developing techniques for consensual brainwashing, which will allow me to think like other people - to think like you. While testing these techniques on myself I will also be investigating the cultural conditions out of which this desire to think like another person grows."

(Re)opening reception(s) • 6pm • May 26
Appendix Project Space • South alley off Alberta b/w 26th & 27th

Posted by Megan Driscoll on May 25, 2011 at 9:25 | Comments (1)


Tuesday 05.24.11



The PDX Re-Print series continues this week with Voices of Portland. The book "documents the history of Portland's neighborhoods through oral histories conducted in the mid 1970s. Self-published by Christine Emenc with a CETA grant in 1976, the book presents a conversational and non-authoritative telling of changes in the city. Celebrate the reprinting of this out-of-print book with a panel discussion on Portland's development, approaches to oral histories and ethnography."

Lecture • 7pm • May 26 • $0-10
Dill Pickle Club @ Project Grow • 2156 N Williams

Local photography specialist Jennifer Stoots is starting a weekly lecture series on the history of photography. The "Photography's Evolution lecture series will be dedicated to a discussion of the Artists/Photographers throughout the medium's history, along with the significant publishers, curators, institutions, gallerists and collectors who have fostered the art since its inception." The first one is this Thursday, it covers 1900-1919, including "Color Photography, Social Documentation, The Photo-Secession, Camera Work, The Little Galleries of the Photo Secession ("Gallery 291"), Snapshot Shooters, Modernism, and Dada." Contact stoots@photostoots.com to get on the email list for upcoming lectures.

Lecture • 7-8:30pm • May 26 • $15
Stoots @ 23 Sandy Gallery • 623 NE 23rd @ Sandy

Posted by Megan Driscoll on May 24, 2011 at 15:06 | Comments (0)


The Beginning of the End Of Us: a Conversation with Deborah Kass

"Day After Day", 2010, Oil and Acrylic

Deborah Kass's paintings are revelations. Written and designed with brighter times in mind, she appropriates art history and pop culture in order to comment on the now as well as the then. Recontextualized and upended, the result is an existential question shrouded in glamour. Employing seduction and nostalgia, . . .(more)

Posted by Amy Bernstein on May 24, 2011 at 6:37 | Comments (0)


Monday 05.23.11

craft conversation: christy matson

Christy Matson

Christy Matson is the current Artist-in-Residence at MoCC in conjunction with Laurie Herrick: Weaving Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. She'll be discussing her processes and methodologies this week: "By responding to Herrick's patterns and structure through visual and aural responses, Matson shows connections between performance and handwork, abstraction and concrete form, and how the structures of weaving are being used in new ways by a younger generation of weavers."

Artist talk • 6:30-8:30pm • May 25
Museum of Contemporary Craft • 724 NW Davis • 503.223.2654

Posted by Megan Driscoll on May 23, 2011 at 11:10 | Comments (0)


Saturday 05.21.11

Notes on Open Engagement 2011

(Fear Him)

I was speaking with a friend last week in Los Angeles. It was a short visit, yet in catching up, I mentioned I would be covering Open Engagement for PORT. Being of a socially just mind, he said he would some day like to attend and wished me a good time. I responded with signs of lingering doubt, and perhaps a tad too much sarcasm when I went on to give as an example of the 'happenings', the Best Friends for a Day project. His response was, "You won't know unless you try it. You might meet someone whom you will be very sad to see leave at the end of that day. Perhaps even devastated." He was serious, and I suspect we parted on slightly less amicable terms... (more)

Posted by Patrick Collier on May 21, 2011 at 16:25 | Comments (8)


Thursday 05.19.11

Storm Tharp curates the Lumber Room

(L to R) Tharp's The Decorator, Matt Sheridan Smith, Walead Beshty and Richard Misrach

The secret lives of art residing in private collections are generally just as private as the collectors that have acquired them, but when Sarah Meigs asked Storm Tharp to curate her collection to better explore a work of his “The Decorator”, they both turned that dynamic inside out. It's complicated to discuss but Sarah still remains relatively low key... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 19, 2011 at 14:54 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 05.18.11

mfa show: applied craft & design


PNCA & OCAC present Make Way, practicum work from the first wave of graduates from their joint MFA in Applied Craft & Design program. "The exhibition features students' practicum projects that explore the convergence of art, craft and design practices."

Opening reception • 5-9pm • May 20
Galleria building • 921 SW Morrison @ 10th

Posted by Megan Driscoll on May 18, 2011 at 15:09 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 05.17.11

book release party


Monograph Bookwerks is having a book release party this week for Art Criticism and Other Short Stories, "a collection of fan fiction about contemporary art by artists." There will be in-store readings from contributors Helen Reed, Sam Korman, Anna Gray & Ryan Wilson Paulsen, and Jen Delos Reyes. "Fan fiction for contemporary art allows for inhabitations of imagined landscapes, speculative relationships with art objects, and dream encounters with artists."

Art book launch • 7-9pm • May 19
Monograph Bookwerks • 5005 NE 27th • 503.284.5005

Posted by Megan Driscoll on May 17, 2011 at 8:52 | Comments (0)


Monday 05.16.11

Monday Links

Tracey Emin is having her mid career retrospective at the Hayward Gallery. She's an artist I want to hate, but find really interesting... perhaps the most influential of any living artist amongst anyone with an MFA in the last 15 years. In her typically counter-intuitive fashion she's advocating for Britain's conservative party as good for the arts. She hasn't had a major show in the Northwest ever but if she does... it may give PORT the excuse weve needed to do a really great interview.

There was a nice, respectful expose on Rene Rickabaugh in the O! this weekend.

On Portland Architecture the Oregon Sustainability Center is looking for design imput. To me this new schematic doesn't seem cohesive and doesn't scream "Im the greenest office building on the planet" like it needs to.

Jerry Saltz thinks that, "Architecture killed the American Folk Art Museum"... which has had lackluster attendance despite being right next to MoMA. I've always felt that it was simply too subtle and unwelcoming a facade and a good example of an architect getting too close to an artistic statement that has nothing to do with the institution's needs. MoMA is buying the building.

Update: apparently the architecture critics are fighting back... they are dead wrong, for the reasons Jerry and I have already stated. Museums should serve the art and roll out the red carpet for visitors, especially when they are the little guy next to the 800 lb gorilla on the block. It was a tactical error and therefore a fatally flawed design.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 16, 2011 at 10:53 | Comments (0)


Friday 05.13.11

alt.spaces: Worksound & Appendix

Chris Freeman

Worksound presents New Mutants, curated by Stephen Slappe, featuring video, installation, and photography by Tabor Robak, Missy Canez, Chris Freeman, and Nadia Buyse. "Bubbling up from the crevices of culture, scraping digital dirt from their heels!"

Opening reception • 6-9pm • May 14
Worksound • 820 SE Alder • mojomodou@gmail.com

Andrew Norman Wilson

Appendix presents works by Andrew Norman Wilson, following his participation in PSU's Open Engagement conference. "In the four works: FlowSpot, Global Countdown, Workers Leaving the Googleplex, and Virtual Assistance - Video Task, Wilson dips beneath the surface of a growing pool of branding, imagery and mythos to pull out and examine the potentials and mechanics within an ecology of corporate superentities."

One night show • 8pm • May 14
Appendix Project Space • South alley off NE Alberta b/w 26th & 27th

Posted by Megan Driscoll on May 13, 2011 at 18:18 | Comments (0)


China redefines farce

Human rights are meaningless, you will be assimilated? Here's a contemporary art museum

So check out this wonderful Borg cube style contemporary art museum in Guangdong China. Neat eh, except that erecting huge contemporary museums while still holding and apparently torturing Ai Weiwei makes the entire idea of contemporary art in China incredibly farcical. It essentially undoes the entire effort of the 2008 Olympic games.

That's right, every time something Chinese blips up on the press radar I'm going to use it as an excuse to bring up Ai Weiwei's incarceration and I think everybody else should do it too.

Overall, the Chinese government has painted themselves into a corner and I fear it wont end well for anyone involved. Thankfully Secretary of State Hillary Clinton isn't glossing over this issue and has been heaping on the pressure this week.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 13, 2011 at 14:52 | Comments (1)


Thursday 05.12.11

Open Engagement 2011 conference at PSU


PSU presents the Open Engagement conference, a free public conference out of the MFA in Art and Social Practice program. The conference is directed by Jen Delos Reyes and planned with Harrell Fletcher and students. This year's featured artists include Julie Ault, Fritz Haeg, and Pablo Helguera, whose work "touches on subjects including democracy, group work, the boundary (or lack there of) between art and life, education, and transdisciplinarity." Open Engagement is also hosting the Bureau for Open Culture, an exhibition by the Bruce High Quality Foundation University, and a summit on art and education. Events take place May 13-15, 2011 and you can read more about the schedule and how to attend (it's free) on the conference website.

Posted by Megan Driscoll on May 12, 2011 at 8:19 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 05.10.11

Storm Tharp in the lumber room


Sarah Meigs' lumber room presents Reader on a Black Background, a collaboration with Storm Tharp. Meigs wanted to better understand The Decorator, a piece by Tharp that she purchased in 2010, and so she invited him to curate an exhibition of works selected from her collection and write a corresponding essay. The lumber room is a semi-private space; the show will only be open to the public for two 3-day stretches.

Exhibition 1 • 11am-6pm • May 12-14
Exhibition 2 • 11am-6pm • May 19-21
the lumber room • 419 NW 9th

Posted by Megan Driscoll on May 10, 2011 at 9:23 | Comments (0)


The Score 2: space to grow

Since I'm now beginning my 13th year of living in Portland I thought another iteration of the score was in order. A lot has changed, in fact back in 1999 people kept saying "things never change here." I very publicly bet against them by doing some curating and writing in 2000 and the rest is history (stasis is always a terrible bet). Now the scene has made a habit of of it's perpetually growing international profile and the question is more about how the scene will direct its energy rather than simple regionalist grumbling. In short, everyone that gets talked about here has simply upped their game and international profile and The Score is just another way to keep tabs of this new reality. Some feel criticism should be be gentle... but that generally means they simply want to ingratiate themselves, which is fine but it's also important to take a stand, especially when things are obviously wrong. Sometimes the critic's role is to say what everyone perhaps already knows but needs to say publicly. It keeps us honest and therefore a stronger art scene.

(all photos Jeff Jahn)

Perhaps the biggest change is the proliferation of alternative spaces and a generally higher level of sophistication, typified by huge influx of installation/new media art to a one time more traditional painting and crafted object art scene (not that they need to be mutually exclusive). There is room for both in any worthwhile scene.

... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 10, 2011 at 0:48 | Comments (0)


Monday 05.09.11

artist opportunities

The Andy Warhol Foundation has opened their 2011 application for the arts writers grants: "The Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program supports individual writers whose work addresses contemporary visual art through grants in the following categories: articles, blogs, books, new and alternative media, and short-form writing. Grants range from $3,000 to $50,000 depending on the needs and scope of the project." Applications are due June 8 and you can learn all about it on the program's website.

Cuturehall, a "curated online resource for contemporary art," has put out a call for new artists to be featured in their June 15th Feature Issue. Application fees are $35, deadline's May 22, and you can get all the details here.

Posted by Megan Driscoll on May 09, 2011 at 9:27 | Comments (0)


Thursday 05.05.11

First Weekend Picks May 2011

Exhibition preparation at the PCVA, image ©PAM

The YU Contemporary Art Center presents its inaugural exhibition, Selections From the PCVA Archive. The show will "revisit and honor the legacy of the PCVA and look into a vibrant and important moment in the history of contemporary art in Portland, providing historical context for YU and inspiring a forward-looking vision for a world-class contemporary art center in the city." The show will also launch the YU library and its first publication, Veneer Magazine 08/18.

Opening reception • 6-9pm • May 6
YU Contemporary • 800 SE 10th • 503.236.7996

(More: Paulaus Kapteyn at Nationale, On&On&On part II at Ditch Projects, fringe economies at Newspace.)

Posted by Megan Driscoll on May 05, 2011 at 17:23 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 05.03.11

First Thursday Picks May 2011

Johannes Girardoni, "Exposed Icon #23"

PDX Contemporary presents Light Matters, sculpture and installation by Austrian-born artist Johannes Girardoni. "Girardoni's works are reductive investigations at the intersection of sculpture and painting, through which he explores the continuously shifting relationship between reality and image. His material vocabulary - found wood, plywood, wax, pigment, light, enamel and plexiglass - and its physical constellation become both the carrier of an explicitly painterly event and the foundation of an immaterial phenomenon."

Opening reception • 6-8pm • May 5
PDX Contemporary • 925 NW Flanders • 503.222.0063

(More: Tom Cramer at Laura Russo, Robert Yoder at Froelick, Chris Johanson at Froelick.)

Posted by Megan Driscoll on May 03, 2011 at 12:30 | Comments (0)


Monday 05.02.11

TBA Visual Arts 2011

Jesse Sugarmann's Red Storm Rising

PICA has just announced its TBA ON SIGHT visual arts lineup for 2011. The theme seems to be a broad institutional critique with the title, "Evidence of Bricks: The building up, but mostly tearing down, of institutions, societies, structures and ideas." Highlights will probably be Oregonians Patrick Rock and Jesse Sugarmann, both of whom use giant inflatables few curators in Portland have the Cajones to use (Rock's gender-bending Hermaphrodite Simulacra shown here in 2005 is simply the baddest inflatable art piece I've ever encountered). Last year's TBA offerings (with the theme "Human Beings")were both excellent (Charles Atlas, John Smith etc) and somewhat inconsistent in the way that festival art tends to be and the sheer number of artists this year indicates another ambitious lineup.

PICA's press release list:

TBA ON SIGHT is a collection of installations, exhibitions, projections, and gatherings by visual artists, curated and organized by Kristan Kennedy, Visual Art Curator for PICA.

... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 02, 2011 at 15:31 | Comments (0)

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