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RACC responds to budget cuts
Monday Links
Get on it
Events & Openings : Last Week of April 2013
Monday Links
Weekend Events & Openings : April 19th -21st 2013
MOCA makes it
Events : April 17th 2013
Monday Links MoMA edition
Weekend Openings : 13th / 14th of April
Openings : 10th & 11th of April
Thoughts on Brian Ferriso's tenure at PAM and talk at Jimmy Mac's Tonight

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Tuesday 04.30.13

RACC responds to budget cuts


RACC, Portland's regional arts granting organ has published a letter responding to the proposed 10% cuts of funding from the city. In these severe budget shortfall times it does seem appropriate that everyone do some belt tightening.

One thing I noticed was RACC is prepared to, "Suspend the under-utilized Opportunity Grants program for one year (a savings of $200,000"... this raises eyebrows. Why are there a disproportionate amount of cuts all from one area? An important one at that? At first I thought these were individual career opportunity grants (vague language clarified after a phone call to the ever helpful Jeff Hawthorne) but instead these are the Special Opportunity Grants available to institutions. These are the grants that funded major special exhibitions like Donald Judd in 2010 and in 2009 were used to keep many art institutions afloat during the depths of the great recession. It is still a bad idea to completely get rid of a program that has yielded such major results, special opportunities are just that and they go away if you cant support them.

Second, this raises a serious question of why are these funds under utilized when Portland's art venues are in such desperate need of them? Could it be these grants are not set up properly to fill a huge need that everyone I know discusses? This is of crucial interest to high level independent curators.

To put it another way... noteworthy projects are ambassadors for Portland to the rest of the world and for the city to remain attractive to artists it is crucial that the city help them in that capacity. Also, it is a terrible idea to suspend an entire program. To borrow a little logic, I suggest that the cuts in this area be proportionate, and RACC takes a good hard look at why they are under utilized.

RACC should reconsider this isolationist and disproportionate budget solution.

According to RACC: There are several opportunities for the public to comment on the Mayor's proposed budget before it is ultimately approved:

Thursday, May 16th, 6:30pm-8:30pm at City Hall Council Chambers (1221 SW 4th Ave.)
Saturday, May 18th, 3:00-5:00pm at Warner Pacific College (2219 SE 68th Ave.)
Thursday, May 23rd, 6:30pm-8:30pm at Jackson Middle School (10625 SW 35th Ave.)

I encourage everyone who has ever received a Special Opportunity grant or enjoyed a program funded by one attend a meeting and contact RACC about this proposed mistake via this email: jhawthorne AT racc.org (Jeff is a good guy and will want to hear what you have to say). Post comments on PORT if you want to add to the discourse as well.

*Update: we should note that a 10% decrease isn't unfair and that with the somewhat flawed but still important Arts Tax RACC actually has significantly more funds to work with than last year. Perhaps, RACC just revealed a huge hole in their thinking...... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 30, 2013 at 14:30 | Comments (0)


Monday 04.29.13

Monday Links

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 29, 2013 at 15:59 | Comments (0)


Friday 04.26.13

Get on it


Here's a fun artist opportunity... in the past BMW has worked with Robert Rauschenberg, Alexander Calder and Andy Warhol. Time to add your name to the list and this call is specific to Portland artists! 10k in cash prizes and the winning design ends up in the annual Rose Festival's floral parade. Deadline May 15th. Details are here.

Sculpture Center in New York has just opened their annual In Practice call for artists. This year is a little different since the downstairs catacomb-like space is not going to be available this year. Instead they are looking for alternative strategies on the grounds, including publishing. You have till June 17th.

The Soap Factory in Minneapolis also has opportunities, you have until April 30th for this one so get on it.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 26, 2013 at 10:33 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 04.24.13

Events & Openings : Last Week of April 2013

moonrise, Portrait #2: Trojan

On Thursday and Friday Hollywood Theatre will hold programs to celebrate the 33 1/2 year career of Vanessa Renwick & the release of a dvd compilation of Vanessa's work.

The line up for the 25th is raw and raucous. Following the screening on this day will be a brief interview and question and answer session conducted by Richard Herskowitz, the director of the University of Oregon's Cinema Pacific film festival and artistic director of the Houston Cinema Arts Festival.

Line up for the 26th is sublime. Following this screening there will be brief interview and question and answer session conducted by Mack McFarland, who is currently director of PNCA's Feldman Gallery and Project Space as well as an artist.

April 25th & 26th | 7:30 pm
Hollywood Theatre | 4122 NE Sandy Blvd, 97212

& There's More.

Posted by Emily Cappa on April 24, 2013 at 12:04 | Comments (0)


Monday 04.22.13

Monday Links

There is no Northwest style art... yet curatorially many institutions keep trying to program within received stereotypes regarding this non entity. Ursula von Rydingsvard simply does whittling + bare wood better than any regional artist, accept it and move on. PAM even has a nice one in their collection and she had a solo show there a few years back. The thing is though an epic amount of hand work goes into her sculpture... she never fetishes the effort or even the material itself. Instead of the effort her work confronts you as a heuristic whole and thus doesn't need a narrative of "monumental labor" or "equisite labor" to prop it up. It is the completeness one encounters, not the tools or even process, which are there but ultimately tertiary to the experiencing the work.

And since we are on the subject of not romanticizing the artist's hand and struggle here are some images of Donald Judd's Spring Street home and studio... set to open in June as a public museum. One will note that though it is unquestionably a monument to Judd it also features several other artists quite prominently. Many will be shocked to learn that at one point it looked like Spring Street was to be sold off to settle Judd's estate debts. Those behind saving the building as a cultural time capsule should all take a bow... NYC needs artists who are bigger than gallerists, collectors and museums.

Last but not least, Mike Kelley's final project opens.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 22, 2013 at 11:07 | Comments (0)


Thursday 04.18.13

Weekend Events & Openings : April 19th -21st 2013

Picture 5.png
Thomas Looking at Pictures #1 (detail), 2013
Fourteen 30 Contemporary

Mike Bray is the Co-Founder of Ditch Projects, an artist-run studio, installation and performance space located in downtown Springfield, Oregon. Bray currently lives in Eugene, Oregon, where he teaches at the University of Oregon. The subject of his work is oftentimes film, so his work usually begins with video and then oftentimes evolves into something else. Bray's work is compelling, but there is no saying what Fragments of an unknowable whole has in store. I'm supposed to share a quick synopsis of the show and there's nothing I can say other than it's happening.

Fragments of an unknowable whole | Mike Bray
April 19th - May 19th 2013
April 19th | 6-8 PM
Fourteen 30 Contemporary | 1501 SW Market Street. Portland, Oregon 97201 Fourteen 30 Contemporary

Picture 6.png

The Cooley Gallery at Reed college will hold a short set of talk, and a group discussion, investigating various aesthetic and cultural aspects of the Civil War drawings on view at the Cooley Gallery, by three Reed College faculty. The Faculty members are Kris Cohen - Assistant Professor of Art and Humanities, Jan Mieszkowski - Professor of German and Humanities, & Sarah Wagner-McCoy - Assistant Professor of English and Humanities.

Drawing Wars
April 19th | 6:30 PM
Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College |3203 SE Woodstock Blvd. Portland, Oregon 97202

There's More on Saturday & Sunday!

Posted by Emily Cappa on April 18, 2013 at 7:30 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 04.17.13

MOCA makes it

The LAT's is reporting that MOCA now has secured 75 million in pledges for its endowment building campaign. Curiously not a peep from Deitch... hmmm, seems like he isn't taking any credit (look for him to make a quiet exit on a high note around June 30th). You can follow the whole MOCA drama timeline here and it all makes one wonder why the drama ever occurred in the first place? Next project, rebuild curatorial staff and a long term plan for expansion + more endowment so the superb permanent collection can be displayed more fully.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 17, 2013 at 17:32 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 04.16.13

Events : April 17th 2013

Another Documentation, 2012 Scaffolding, wood, metal, concrete and Archival digital prints http://www.clark.edu/news_events/archer/art_talks.php

Avantika Bawa is an artist, curator, and academic. Her drawings and site- specific installations transform the act of drawing into sculptural gestures that react formally and also conceptually to architectural spaces and their history. This process emerges due, in part, to her relationship to Minimalism and its emphasis upon reductive form, modularity and literal scale.

Bawa's curatorial work began with a hotel room show during the Art in Chicago fair (98') and has grown through her studio and gallery, aquaspace (a laboratory for new and multi media art). In April 2004 she was part of a team that launched Drain : Journal for Contemporary Art and Culture, a peer reviewed online journal.

She is currently Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at Washington State University Vancouver, WA & once upon a time she taught at Clark College.

Avantika Bawa Lecture | Avantika Bawa April 17th | 7 PM
PUB 161 (Fireside Lounge), Clark College, | 1933 Fort Vancouver Way. Vancouver, WA

& there's more exciting events on the 17th

Posted by Emily Cappa on April 16, 2013 at 7:07 | Comments (0)


Monday 04.15.13

Monday Links MoMA edition

Everybody in NYC is talking about the Oldenberg show at MoMA (both good and bad). I've seen it and here is the Times coverage. Overall it is very good for an Oldenberg show... which is to say it is mostly just alright.

MoMA is going to be open 7 days a week, starting in May.

And everyone was up in arms that a 12 year old building would be demolished to make room for more MoMA. I see it as karmic payback for moving the Barnes Collection to a new space.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 15, 2013 at 13:15 | Comments (0)


Thursday 04.11.13

Weekend Openings : 13th / 14th of April

Screen Shot 2013-04-12 at 11.54.47 AM.png

Linfield Gallery is currently housing works by sculptor and ceramic artist Roxanne Jackson. Jackson explores themes of death and transformation through her work, focusing on natural processes of decay and destruction, particularly when they come in conflict with human systems. Nature is referenced, by illustrating its inevitable decay.

Jackson's work also contains black humor, drawing on pop culture and the contradictions of contemporary culture and the natural world. She has been known to re-appropriate imagery from horror films, particularly the moment of transformation when a human becomes a beast. Jackson draws from the fact that horror movies depict a dark side of human nature, the creatures created in our collective subconscious ride the boundaries between animal and human & conscious and subconscious.

Blonde Ambition | Roxanne Jackson
April 8 - May 11th, 2013
Opening Reception | April 13th | 3-5 PM
Linfield Gallery | James Miller Fine Arts Center on the Linfield College campus, @ 900 Baker Street SE in McMinnville, OR

& there are more weekend picks !

Posted by Emily Cappa on April 11, 2013 at 16:23 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 04.09.13

Openings : 10th & 11th of April

Left image: Julia Stoops, Thought and Spirit
Right image: Meg Peterson, Orbit II

Meg Peterson & Julia Stoops present The Space Between, an investigation into the use of space as a metaphor for examining experience and reality. The artist's decision to work together has stemmed from a synchronicity in creative process; they share a fascination with science, particularly in physics and geology. The collaboration is a commentary on the intersections and parallels between the sciences and an inherent spirituality found in the world around us. This is their first collaborative exhibition.
This exhibition is supported by the Arts & Culture Council.

The Space Between | Meg Peterson & Julia Stoops
April 1 - April 27th 2013
Opening Reception | April 10th | 4-7 PM
Artist Gallery Talk | April 10th | 3 PM
North View Gallery | Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus,12000 SW 49th Ave. Portland, OR 97219

David Corbett's "Trace", wood, glue, ink and paper, 2012. (photo: Dan Kvitka)

Archer Gallery is pleased to present a 3-person exhibition titled Construct. David Corbett, Josh Smith, & Jordan Tull use the language of architecture and engineering to create 2-dimensional and 3- dimensional work.

Josh Smith's sculptural work is an exploration of modernist architectural method and craft that is elegantly subversive. In Smith's digital collages architectural elements interact with but ultimately disrupt the landscape. Smith's 2-D and 3- D work shares refined craftsmanship and careful intelligence, as well as, startling junctures where the form appeared to be turned inside out and solidity dissolves.

In David Corbett's thickly painted sculptures, lines are haphazard evoking an unsettling eerie feeling. Is this the ruins of an earlier age? Is human presence entrapped in the work? In contrast with his sculptures, Corbett's drawings are less emotionally fraught. Here lines explore the formal qualities of spatial relationships.

Jordan Tull presents 3-dimensional prints. Tull's printed and fabricated 3D hybrids convey the tension between imagination and reality through the lens of ultra-modernity. Complimenting these fabrications by highlighting the origin of the printed matter - large format 2D prints explore the events that occur in Tull's computer aided drafting programs.

In honor of the Archer Gallery's 35th Anniversary, a small sampling of assemblages by gallery founder, James Archer' will be on display too. Archer's sculptures speak the language of Architecture with a modernist voice, providing a modernist counterpoint and historical perspective to the work done by Corbett, Smith, and Tull.

Construct | David Corbett, Josh Smith, Jordan Tull, & James Archer
April 9 - May 2nd, 2013
Opening Reception | April 11th | 5-7 PM
Archer Gallery | Clark College, Penguin Union Building,1933 Fort Vancouver Way. Vancouver, WA

Posted by Emily Cappa on April 09, 2013 at 12:29 | Comments (0)


Monday 04.08.13

Thoughts on Brian Ferriso's tenure at PAM and talk at Jimmy Mac's Tonight

PAM's Executive Director Brian Ferriso

Tonight, Randy Gragg will interview Brian Ferriso, the Portland Art Museum's Executive Director at Jimmy Mac's at 6:00PM.

Here is a primer packed with a few things nobody else is likely to address:

Now in his 7th year, Ferriso is basically priming Portland for what could be considered the final stage of his steady but important reshaping of PAM from a rambling and pragmatic program and collection based on the gilded Francophile blockbusters of his predecessor to one based on the best museum practices with an eye for historical relevance. With a series of excellent hires in the curatorial and education departments and several not so sexy but very important endowment building initiatives (like endowing curatorial positions)... Ferriso has transformed PAM from a constantly reshuffled house of cards to one that plays its hand like the house should, conservatively and consistently. Ferriso has given Portland's cultural flagship an even keel and the ability to avoid icebergs. Yes, he charted a course through a minefield when the economy went off a cliff in 2008!

He's also been the justifying force behind contemporary and modern exhibitions like China Design Now, Disqueted, Carrie Mae Weems, "dossier shows" like last year's Flesh and Bone (culled from the permanent collection)as well as the most important exhibition in the last 50 years for the Museum and last year's homecoming Mark Rothko exhibition. The Rothko show was especially important as even those who had been somewhat unimpressed with PAM walked away thinking... "that was major, good job!" I heard those words over and over again from other Portland art scene insiders. He also oversaw a tremendous image and programmatic makeover that is much more contemporary. Last but not least, Ferriso has made it a priority to find free days at the museum.

Overall, Id give him an A- (possibly an A if he can do a great expansion, which will require a lot of donor education, a great director needs great patrons) ... and he will be courted by other museums in the years to come. I predict he will be director of LACMA, Hirschhorn, Art Institute of Chicago or the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco eventually. The guy is THAT good and we should support his vision of seriousness for PAM and Portland. He's both honest and pragmatic, refreshingly he is smart enough to recognize an important truth when it crosses his path. He is a good listener and only clears his throat when he has something important to say.

Still Ferriso's job is not complete and he is one of those very rare museum directors who actually acknowledges where work needs to be done. Here is a review of his first year in office and here is a current to do list:

...(more after the jump)

Brian Ferriso: Bright Lights Discussion
April 8th | 6:00 PM (Doors at 5:30, free but get yourself a drink or a snack)
Jimmy Mac's | 221 NW 10th

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 08, 2013 at 11:57 | Comments (0)


Friday 04.05.13

Friday links

The New York Times ran an interesting if somewhat unsubstantial article on Donald Judd's 101 Spring Street home becoming a public museum. The important idea is the way artists so rarely dictate their own context today, especially in comparison to Judd. When I co-curated a Judd show a few years ago (also in a cast-iron building) I noted some of the specific criterion at work in this essay. What the article doesn't get into enough is the way that Judd isn't about perfection at all... his work is all about the pragmatic reduction of distraction, part of which is the artist creating their own context and not leaving it to others. Spring Street came before Marfa and is every bit as important as the projects in Texas. Being in New York it makes Spring Street even more crucial... is there any place with more distractions to reduce?

Edward Winkleman discusses defections from the art market.

A German curator feels like Ai Wewei will distract from the German artists at the Venice Biennial... really? Sounds like Ai Weiei just distracted a German curator!

Brian Libby talks about the continuing restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright's Gordon House... the only building by the architect in Oregon.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 05, 2013 at 10:44 | Comments (0)


Thursday 04.04.13

Fred Sandback / Julia Dault at lumber room

Dault (L)/Sandback (R)

In what is perhaps the most exciting contemporary art show this season in Portland, lumber room will be presenting Fred Sandback/Julia Dault. Separated by several generations, both Sandback and Dault both use and test the inherent properties of their materials to reveal physical and kinesthetic realities to the viewer. For example both artists' reliance on gravity and physical tension gives these these key aspects of our existence a presence to consider. Sandback in particular is one of my all time favorite artists.

Fred Sandback/Julia Dault
April 5 - June 8
lumber room | 419 NW 9th
Hours: Friday & Saturday 12-5PM

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 04, 2013 at 16:19 | Comments (0)


April 2013 First Friday


RECESS is excited to present a curated exhibition of resumes and curriculum vitae collected throughout the early months of 2013. The exhibition will open in conjunction with their 2013 open studios. Making a resume is a challenge. Job seekers are pressed to reduce their experiences into coherent chunks, hoping to manifest their specific person-hood on the page. In both content and form, the resume or curriculum vitae becomes a singular portrait of the job seeker's professional self. For Hire explores the methods adopted by job seekers to vocalize their professional merit. For Hire is an exhibition of resumes accepted through an open call in March of 2013.

Not only does RECESS have great events and good exhibits, but also it is home base for several artist who have studios there. On April 5th these artist are opening the doors of their studios and sharing their work. The artists include : Maggie Craig (Figurative Painting), Jenny Vu (Drawing, Painting & Comics), Lucile Marlome (Jewerly Making), Erica Edmonson (Sculpture & Textiles), Ashley Burke (Graphic Design), Paul Clay (Video & Performance), and Chloe Kendall (Video & Printmaking).

For Hire | mulitple participating artists
RECESS OPEN STUDIOS | mulitple participating artists
Opening Reception | April 5th | 7 PM - late
RECESS | 1127 SE 10th Avenue. Portland, OR 97214

& there's more ...

Posted by Emily Cappa on April 04, 2013 at 8:22 | Comments (0)


Inigo Manglano-Ovalle at PSU's Littman Gallery

Still from Inigo Manglano-Ovalle's Always After (The Glass House), 2006

Though there wont be an opening reception until April 26th (for PSU's architecture symposium Littman Gallery. For context, PORT interviewed Ovalle extensively a few years ago detailing his particular interest in Mies van der Rohe. Read it before the artist gives a gallery talk at the reception later this month. The video on display is Always After (The Glass House) which is comprised of footage from the ceremonial demolition of some of Crown Hall's windows before a major renovation in 2005. Crown Hall on IIT's campus in Chicago is considered one of Mies' masterpieces.

Curated by Dr. Isabelle Loring Wallace (Associate Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory, University of Georgia) and Nora Wendl (Assistant Professor of Architecture, Portland State University)

Here is the PR: "The exhibition Always After (The Glass House): Inigo Manglano-Ovalle presents the work of Chicago-based, MacArthur-award winning artist Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, whose technologically sophisticated sculptures and video installations engage modern architecture, while at the same time using this architecture as metaphor. In this exhibition, specially curated for Littman Gallery, two important works from Manglano-Ovalle's oeuvre will be on view: the enigmatic video Always After (The Glass House), 2006 and the large-format print, House with Four Columns, 2010."

Exhibition Dates: April 4 - May 1, 2013
Reception: Friday, April 26, 2013, 7 - 8.30 p.m.
Artist's Lecture: Friday, April 26 from 7 - 8.30 p.m. in Shattuck Hall Annex (as part of PSU's symposium: Strange Utility: Architecture Toward Other Ends taking place April 26-27th
Littman Gallery, Smith Hall, Room 250
Portland State University, 1825 SW Broadway
Hours: M-F 12-4 pm

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 04, 2013 at 6:13 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 04.02.13

April 2013 First Thursday

Untitled, Pictures from the next day 15
archival inkjet print
48 x 32 inches

In Pictures from the next day, Robert Lyons has created a series about one man, Walter Niemec. Walter's unique eccentricities and passions ignited Lyons' interest. Walter has spent his life in Western Massachusetts in the house where he was born. His only time away was as a Navy Radioman during WWII. Through focusing on Walter's objects and space, Lyons presents a discourse on aging, life, and the choices within which one exists. This is the first exhibition of Lyons' work done in the United States.

oil,zinc, phosphorescent and florescent pigment on honeycomb aluminum panel
36.5 x 17.25 inches

In Latencies, Joan Waltemath's abstract paintings focus on constructing spatial voids using harmonic progressions and non-traditional, reflective pigments in oils. She uses interference pigments, graphite, and the juxtaposition of reflective and absorptive surfaces that change as you move toward and around the paintings. The material is rendered to affect a sense of presence, a power that is latent until the viewer experiences it. Roughly the size and shape of a human torso, the paintings are meant to give the viewer a corporeal feeling, and through visual means engage both mind and body.

Pictures from the next day | Robert Lyons
Latencies | Joan Waltemath
April 4 - April 27, 2013
Opening | April 4, 2013 | 6-8 PM
Elizabeth Leach Gallery | 417 N.W. 9th Avenue Portland, OR 97209

... There's More ! ...

Posted by Emily Cappa on April 02, 2013 at 21:48 | Comments (0)


Monday 04.01.13

Paula Rebsom's Threshold at Marylhurst

Detail of Paula Rebsom's THRESHOLD

There is a group of often Portland based artists who are all interested in the way design reveals the animal quotient in viewers. It is an art of interlocution, where design language is bait and therefore the presence of man directs and distills the gaze into a simultaneously concentrated and shattered perception. It is related to design, minimalism, technology and the light & space movement...

One of the most interesting recent projects within this genre is Paula Rebsom's THRESHOLD: Surveying the Domestic Wild recently installed on the Marylhurst University campus and funded by RACC.

The work consists of a porch-like terraced 50 ft green wall with viewing slits and one doorway situated on the edge of the quad and the woods behind. It uses the design language of both a hunting blind, digital pixels(to signify surveillance) and a back yard patio... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 01, 2013 at 13:20 | Comments (0)

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