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Friday 03.29.19

Spring Calls

It is time again for the Sculpture Center's in Practice calls and I've always liked their underground catacombs that they use for these shows. Deadline: June 15

PCC Cascade's Paragon Arts Gallery has been one of brightest spots recently in Portland's pressured non profit gallery scene and they take applications. Deadline: April 30th

Normally I wont recommend calls that charge but LAVC's Director is Jenene Nagy (onetime PORT business manager) and I've always liked her eye. $25 Deadline: April 30

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 29, 2019 at 13:02 | Comments (0)


Thursday 03.21.19

More Spring Cleaning

I've been busy with several projects (inside and outside Portland)... including curating a somewhat informal Spring show in Portland this weekend. That said I have a large # of reviews to publish (soon, lots going on behind the scenes). Till then these links should tide you over:

With all of the terrible news its nice to hear something positive, C3: Initiative is leaving St. Johns to join the densest visual arts cluster of venues in Portland, right on the NW Park Blocks. We profiled C3 when they were new and they've done many great things since. Frankly its nice to see an organization grow and understand their niche.

Another bit of good news is the Historic Landmarks Commission has approved the Rothko Pavilion expansion at PAM. The real trick will be to tailor the Rothko painting exhibition space to his paintings. Often they are lit wrong, dont allow for intimate viewing and have weird lines on the floor to protect the paintings from the required close viewing. Yes, urban legends around Rothko still persist in Portland... all thoroughly debunked in this historic post by Arcy, here on PORT.

The sad news of the passing of Okwui Enwezor hits home. Amy Bernstein interviewed the man extensively for PORT in 2009. Other artworlders discuss his legacy here.

Here is a fine and challenging interview with Anish Kapoor in the Guardian. Intelligent and anything but fatalistic in his lifelong query via art his work is both generous and thorny.

Academia and capitalism... neither is working terribly well these days so combining the two seems like trying to turn two wrongs into a right?

The horse ring art project by Scott Wayne Indiana has become a Portland tradition.

...(more on OCAC + social practice)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 21, 2019 at 20:05 | Comments (0)


Saturday 03.02.19

Early Spring Cleaning Links

First, the BBC takes an incredible look at some long hidden Dr. Seuss, who is still so relevant.

The OCAC saga continues as the board met yesterday with no official announcement. Students protested again on Thursday but as usual certain faculty members set out to shame them into suppressing their concerns. Apparently OCAC comes with lessons in fatalistic suppression? bad form. Look, what has been wrong with this entire thing has been a suppressive attitude from the board and a few faculty enforcers who have taken a similar hospice-like approach with an yen for quashing all critical discussion. I feel for all sides (even the board, which seems out of its league) this is a tough situation with a DOA higher education business model but a cult of fatalism at OCAC is how this mess painted itself into a corner (there are other models). The lack of transparency has been turning natural allies into a Dunning-Kruger polarized mess. Take a breath, find a vision or 4 and turn this crisis into an opportunity by playing different views off each other. It has only been a few weeks since the closure of OCAC was announced and I see how tired everyone is. That makes it a good time to step back... and really is this board capable of giving fresh eyes to this? If its Catlin Gable School, if its a sell and lease back, if it is an aromatherapy spa with a craft brewery and an artist's residency, if it is an artist's park, if its a center for craft that helps veterans off the street all could have positive outcomes but the trick is to pivot the model from a loss to an opportunity. Degeneration of all this into a cycle of fatalism and mistrust (both self fulfilling prophecies)is the first cycle to break before making better decisions.

A study finds that artists become famous through their friends not the originality of their work. Ok, one could read that as bad news for the original... though there is a cult of fatalistic/mediocre contemporary work out there where the good is the enemy of the great but Ive found that those patrons and curators with a real eye still exist and are more influential. For example Kahnweiler and Peggy Guggenheim did have an eye and generally its not the richest taste makers who have this ability. It seems like the merely good artists and art institutions are going through a bit of a bubble correction at the moment...

Southern California gets a new art center... note to Oregon higher education institutions, enhance not scale back your galleries.

A philosopher argues why AI cant be an artist. Really? Im not sure seems like being a mediocre artist isnt that hard and has identifiable trends... like putting studio rags on a wall as paintings or stacking grotty ceramics and some other detritus on a wood grained plinth or some scaffolding with meat hanging from it.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 02, 2019 at 11:51 | Comments (0)

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