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

recent entries

Mid April Links
America's Whispered Truths closing at Archer Gallery
Early April Critique of Institution Links
Spring Cleaning Cluster Reviews
Spring Calls
More Spring Cleaning
Early Spring Cleaning Links
D.E. May 1952-2019
Save OCAC protests
February links to Love
The end of OCAC?
End of January Links

recent comments



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
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
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 07.18.18

« Thoughts on the Art Gym moving to OCAC | Main | Mid Summer Reads »

Patricia Reser Center For The Arts unveiled in Beaverton

Patricia Reser Arts Center at night (art gallery is at the far right and main lobby at left)

Yesterday the Beaverton Arts Foundation unveiled the 46 million dollar Patricia Reser Center For The Arts or PRCFTA. With a lead gift of 13 million dollars by Reser it features facilities for dance, speakers, music, theater, art classes and of prime interest to us an art gallery. It is a place making opportunity for Beaverton (a major Portland suburb of 96,000 people, which up to now has suffered what Gertude Stein once said of America, "There is no There There." Well, there is now... or will be soon! I'll give special attention to visual arts, which have been in a lot of turmoil lately and have needed good news like this. The 46 million dollar center is now 80% funded, with commitments of 21 million from the city of Beaverton and 1 million from The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation.

Lead gift patron Patricia Reser discussing the eponymous arts center

you can see from this view how prominently the art gallery (front right tip of building) is positioned, essentially greeting those who turn onto the road and will be visible from cars as they go by.

Main lobby space provides a mixing chamber (the art gallery is to the right) so openings can use this excellent space. It is reminiscent of current Japanese architecture, just compare to the superlative Kengo Kuma designed Portland Japanese Garden expansion, which has a much more intimate lobby as befitting that institution. Here we have a much larger program and as the arts provide an opportunity for people of all backgrounds to mix and touch base this looks both expansive and intimate, like a street cafe.

The theater looks like a wonderfully round venue for speakers, theater, music or a design/visual arts talk. It is a fantastic amenity that all cities the size of Beaverton should have.

Directly above the art gallery is the art classroom, with views of the wetlands below.

Wetlands the center will overlook. The land in this area used to be used for farming horseradishes by the Biggi family. Certainly horseradish needs to find its way into the culinary landscape in and around the center.

The visual arts gallery is still in the design phase but Opsis is spec'ing it so movable walls can be used to let in the sun or keep it out, depending on the needs of artists. I like the trapezoidal non white box nature of it. Today's installation artists often incorporate the borrowed view or even continue their work outside. There are opportunities here. At just over 1100 sq feet it isnt too large or too small.

Art gallery shown with movable walls. Opsis architects are still working on the design but they understand that many contemporary artists need darkness and flexible control of lighting.

Another art gallery view. Contemporary artists are less interested in the fetish of some hermetically sealed white box. As for the exhibition program the center wants to engage serious contemporary artists as well host a yearly high school show. This can be done but with plans for a gallery director/curator they will likely need a good exhibition review panel with expertise as well as an understanding of how to install successful shows. PRCFTA General Manager Chris Ayzoukian (who has experience with the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA...also home to the RedCAT exhibition space) seems to understand the need for both expertise and flexability of program and wants to engage artists and curators in the area (there are many). I think a funding inititiative for guest curator/artists would go a long way and having clear objectives and a serious review panel will help. At this point I think the approach is prudent rather than simply hiring a curator/director who will impose a contemporary art regime on the space. This is a new thing for Beaverton and by using a guest program for outreach perhaps they can reach out and find their as yet new audience. Only after the program matures should it then make a push to "professionalize" at the next level, besides they want to be a place where artists can get a leg up. At this point the institution is in a pioneering discovery phase and needs to acquaint itself with its community. The question is will it just b a community free for all with diminished standards? If the PRCFTA is smart they will allocate certain months to programs with clear objectives, community outreach/host ones like a high school show and more challenging ones for professional artists who consider artistic integrity something they cannot skimp on. Perhaps giving each program outcome an umbrella name... I like Horseradish Contemporary Art Series... or something similar to let people know the expectations. Horseradish is the contemporary art of condiments and there is a history here.

Gino Biggi (Left) with General Manager of the PRCFTA Chris Ayzoukian (center) and Tyler Ryerson from the City of Beaverton explaining how excited he is that his family's horseradish farmland is becoming an arts center and the area is becoming an active community. I just love this connection as change is hard and family histories and stories give soul to a place. There is no need to cover it up as the arts uncover such things.

Artist Valerie Otani and PRCFTA patron Jordan Schnitzer

Beaverton's Mayor Denny Doyle unveiling the name of the center and the poorly kept secret that Pat Reser is the lead donor. Frankly the anonymous reveal and $$$$'s are less interesting to me but the fact that leadership in Beaverton is doing this IS important. The specific execution of programming will be of the utmost importance as architecture is just the ribcage of civilization... its the arts that make the body whole.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on July 18, 2018 at 12:03 | Comments (0)


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