Here is a fascinating article on the arts and development/gentrification from Great Britain
. Part of the problem I see with Portland's very knee jerk reaction to gentrification is the way it is prophylactic... as if change can somehow be halted. Needless to say that isn't realistic and Mayor Hales announcement last week was a step in the right direction
but it needs to also incorporate the additional amenities that cultural spaces add to a displaced community that is trying to re-seed itself. Portland needs to embed cultural amenities into new development and provide the economic incentives to make it happen. Still, these re-seeded communities are kind of a consolation prize though we also need to protect those special artistic micro-ecosystems that take place in buildings. What's more the city has big red "U"-s on a lot of buildings that though not up to seismic code could be put to some use... just like artists have always done (they know the risks). Also, that means we should reward artists who take risks in Portland... for as progressive a city that we are we are programmatically very conservative on the institutional and awards level. Part of how Portland maintains a competitive edge is to help foster those artists who contribute to the "fine edge" that our city currently enjoys. Portland has to get over its phobia of individual achievement... often letting institutions from elsewhere (museums, publications, awards) be the first to give a national platform to artists from Portland.
A fascinating article on the crisis that art schools currently face, in this case San Francisco's AAU
. One problem that nobody ever seems to bring up is the way fundraising for these schools do not endow specific teaching positions and programs (it is all about buildings and creating new programs rather than strengthening current ones)... that's the reason many of these schools have under experienced professors, tenure and depth of support has evaporated placing all of the pressure on enrollment.
Ah, lets get back to the art... Richard Diebenkorn was born here in Portland Oregon and here are images from his sketchbooks
. He didn't grow up here in a formative way like Rothko did but we hardly need that to appreciate the seeds of his practice in his sketchbooks.
There was a little news on Converge 45
, an international arts festival for Portland beginning next summer. Though the title theme "You in mind" sounds like a "curatorial selfie stick" of an umbrella idea that has been done to death already (there are far smarter concepts we could and should highlight and hopefully the component shows can rescue it from anonymity).
Here is an interesting look at Snohetta, the architecture firm that is designing the planned James Beard Market in downtown Portland
. Currently that preliminary design strikes me as somewhat generic Nordic architecture but the devil is in the details of these things and I'm certain they will give it a more Portland personality. *(Hint more eclecticism that heightens the bizarre cacophony of a bazaar... Portlanders don't easily grow fond of unified textures/treatments.) Both this market project and the new Japanese Garden expansion
set the bar for design in Portland (PAM & Portland Building projects take heed).
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