Arts

“CounterPoint” at Gallery 114

“Counterpoint” by Jon Gottshall Gallery 114, 1100 NW Glisan August 4-27, 2016 Opens Thursday, August 4th, with pre-opening artist’s talk Wednesday, August 3rd, from 7-9 pm The exhibit also features Megan Paetzhold’s multi-medua installation “Studies in: Amblyopia” in the south gallery Story by Jon Gottshall The Sellwood Bridge is Portland’s southernmost Willamette River crossing. The old span, built in 1925, was a narrow, industrial-era structure. High up on its piers, it nevertheless had an uncomplicated, slender beauty as it angled through the trees of the river’s west bank. We’ve known the old bridge was doomed for a long time now. It was never anchored to the bedrock when it was built, and as the western bank shifted, the bridge went dangerously out of plumb. In the time I’ve lived in Portland, the bridge went from handling trucks, buses and cars, to just buses and cars, and finally, only cars were allowed over. Plus, its narrow sidewalk was a terror to every cyclist and pedestrian who had to meet halfway across. Knowing its days were numbered, I began to photograph it. Working at my favorite time to think visually—after 10pm—I became intimately familiar with this broken giant. Today, the old bridge…

Theatre Troupe Seizes Control of Art Salon, Hurls Offenses At Audience

By Ross Blanchard Photo by Reuben Broadfoot. Foreground: Corey O’Hara. Background: Evan Corcoran A few weeks ago at a Ford Gallery event in Southeast Portland, five actors slipped into the venue, seized the microphone from the event’s host during a presentation, and began to shout offenses at the startled and silented crowd. The art salon in PDX Magazine‘s Mechanical venuewas paying tribute to artist Olinka Broadfoot whose show had launched that evening in the Ford Gallery one floor above. Broadfoot had just delivered a talk about her exhibit and poet Dan Raphael had read, when a man in his early thirties, shaved head, and wearing a yellow nylon jacket burst onto the stage and wrested the microphone from the event’s host. “You are under review by us,” he shouted to the stunned crowd. Another man, dressed in a TSA-style uniform, walked through the audience and shone a flashlight in their faces as a third man pointed a video camera at them. “You don’t have to watch inactively any more,” the man on the stage continued. “You feel the discomfort of being watched and addressed, since you came prepared to watch and make yourselves comfortable in the shelter of the dark. Your presence…

Dear Artists, Toss the Instructions and Forget the Critics

Discussed in this essay: – What Painting Is, by James Elkins, Routledge, 1999. – Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness, by Alva Noë, Hill and Wang, 2009. – Ways of Seeing, by John Berger, et al, Copyright 1972; Penguin, 1977. This article focuses on painting, but if you’re into something else—music, dance, ceramics—these ideas probably apply to your creative endeavors, too. I’ve been working full-time as a painter for four years. Before that I earned a Ph.D. in Theory and Cultural Studies at Purdue University where I taught courses on an array of topics from film theory to ballet. In both of these lines of work I’ve found that the way we usually talk about painting blows right past the most important thing in painting: the paint, mixed and applied by hands that try and err and retry. What’s going through a painter’s head as she works? Let me put most answers to that question into two categories: “Art History” and “How-to.” This is an overgeneralization, but follow me. Under “Art History” we have critics and historians in coffee-table books, documentaries, classrooms, and museums. Their goal isn’t so…

After The Faux

Bumps and bruises heal and projects end, but creative, restless minds don’t quit. The Faux Museum in Old Town Portland closed its doors in February. Curator Tom Richards (pictured above. His bruises are from a jogging accident.) operated the art museum since June 2012. When PDX Magazine asked “What’s next for you, Tom?”, he replied with the following open letter to the museum’s fans and to the interested public in which he asks everyone to help him choose amongst myriad options available to an enterprising young man like himself. We’re glad to publish his query. — Ross Blanchard, Editor-in-chief Hello. My name is Tom Richards, and I was the curator/Janitor of the late The Faux Museum, which was a conceptual art museum based in Old Town Portland, Oregon. I say “was” because after January of this year we closed our doors. I know it may be kind of hard to imagine how a conceptual art museum claiming to be the oldest museum in the world could fail. After all we had a Woolly Ant! True, we were surrounded by social services that aid the mentally ill, recovering addicts, and houseless persons; and our neighbors who weren’t strip clubs or dispensaries were bars…

“Byte Me” Tech Art Show Returns to AFRU Friday

AFRU Gallery and Severe Enterprises launches the 4th annual “Byte Me,” a showcase of technological art this Friday at AFRU Gallery (534 SE Oak). Like the three previous Byte Me exhibits, all pieces are interactive works that rely on the use of digital technology. This year’s exhibit, curated by Carlos Severe Marcelin, again features works, big and small, that bend the senses and challenge the mind: “ForeverScape” by Vance Feldman. The live music of organic DJ duo TIPOL project motion and life into an enormous illustration painting that involves hundreds of drawings spanning the walls. “Church of Robotron Altar” by The Church of Robotron is a mobile training facility that uses hazardous environments, religious indoctrination, and emotional triggers to promote the development of the skills necessary to survive in a hostile, post-human environment. “Pixel Basilica” by Libby White is an interactive exploration of cellular automata patterns inspired by the process of converting sand into silicon wafers, and wafers into web sites. “plin.co” by John Brown is an interactive projection mapping, based on the classic Price is Right game. “Magic Window” by Josh Michaels and Hal Bergman portrays interactive, time changing views of cities and nature built using time lapse photography. “Purple Stars” by Grant Keltner….

Give Local Art This Holiday, Part 3

Let’s take a show of digital hands. How many of us have still not picked up gifts for friends and family? Well, here’s your chance to get an original work of art created by local artists for only $40 and it doesn’t involve the tedium of chain store shopping: it’s called the Big 500. Starting Saturday, December 13, at 2 p.m., People’s Art Portland and Mark Woolley Gallery join forces to showcase more than 6,000 of pieces of work by more than 500 regional artists. Each piece is eight inches square, and all are priced at $40. With so much art from which to choose, you can match style and personality to the unique tastes of your loved ones. Although the show runs for a month, the “cash and carry” nature of the display means people will pluck prized pieces as soon as the doors open. Opening day goes until 9 p.m. and admission is free with a canned food donation to benefit the Oregon Food Bank. Embrace the true spirit of giving this holiday season by helping local artists and contributing to charity. This event, organized by Jason Brown, Chris Haberman, Jen Berry, Mark Woolley, and a whole host of volunteers, is located on the top floor of the Pioneer Place…

Give Local Art This Holiday, Part 2

You’ve survived so-called Black Friday. Congratulations. The countdown continues, though, and you still need to choose some thoughtful gifts for the special people in your life. We at PDX Magazine ask you to consider some holiday shopping that rings true to the spirit of giving—the gift of local art. In this second article in our series we bring you a selection of gift ideas, from treating your significant other to a night at the theater, to selecting a volume of poetry for the readers in your life, to just the right gift for the person who has everything. Give Something Unique and Unexpected When was the last time you bought a Tarot deck? College? Never? Whether you’re a mystic or a skeptic, you’ll find The Portland Tarot, a major arcana tarot deck created by Theresa Pridemore, a beautiful and affordable work of art. One rainy fall day, Pridemore, a Portland artist and Tarotist, was inspired to create a totally modern, perfectly Portland Tarot. The 23 card deck—bloomed from Pridemore’s love of The City of Roses—captures Portland’s quirky spirit and features Portlanders who exemplify the city’s soul. Whimsical and profound, The Portland Tarot is as relevant to new readers as it is to those who’ve…

Photography At Large: My Tour With The Wild Ones

“On the count of three, jump back and lean to your right—actually, put that crown on your head first. Mateus, can you help her?” I directed from behind my camera. As Mateus placed a flower crown on top of Bella’s head, I wrapped my arms around myself and hugged tightly. It was a chilly day in New York City’s Central Park and the sun was quickly disappearing behind the city skyline. I had only met Bella and Mateus minutes earlier, but was already comfortable creating art with them—as was everyone else. On the other side of the park, Kory had climbed daringly high into a tree while Sandra, sprawled out on the grass below, quickly snapped photos. Nearby, Wendy was carefully arranging butterflies on Alyssa’s back while Alyssa emoted over her shoulder. Mere hours before, we were all strangers, but had gathered together that day to create conceptual photographs for The Wild Ones tour. We quickly became friends. Combine three best-friend photographers, a van overflowing with camera equipment, and a strong desire to give back to the photographic community and you get The Wild Ones tour. The annual traveling summer workshops are where aspiring photographers befriend and create photographs with…

Give local art this holiday, Part 1

As Black Friday creeps into Thanksgiving, pushing hysterical consumerism into a time reserved for gratitude, consider some holiday shopping that rings true to the spirit of giving. From locally made coloring books for kids, to jewelry for friends, to paintings for Mom, Portland is home to numerous artists whose work needs to be at the top of your holiday shopping list. Give a present that won’t be re-gifted or returned for a gift card later. Give the gift of local art. The following is the first piece in a series in which we offer ideas for holiday gifts that support local artists with whom we’ve worked and whose art we recommend. Give a small piece of art Not all art is expensive. Several galleries host special shows geared toward smaller, more affordable pieces. If you’ve stayed away from art galleries because you assume the work is out of your price range, you should check out a few of these. Guardino Gallery‘s (2929 NE Alberta St.) Little Things show opens Friday on Northeast Alberta. More than 40 artists* are showing their work, with each piece at Little Things measuring 7 x 7 inches or smaller. This is Guardino’s 14th year for the show, which is geared toward…

Photo of Faux Museum by Jayna Milan

New botanical mystery on display at Faux Museum

Past the small curated gift shop of antique postcards, curious pamphlets, oversized classic candy, and other oddities, past the quiet and delightful gentlemen, Tom Richards, seated behind the counter, lies the Faux Museum‘s (139 NW Second Ave.) latest visual journey The Lost Secrets of the Bennett-Brackett Portfolio. Detailed, technical sketches of plants—peculiar plants that you can’t quite identify—line the walls of the museum. These pieces are the crux of the exhibit, a collaboration between Richards, the museum’s curator, and local artist Jessica Brackett, who drew the pieces. The sketches, at once delicate and scientific, are difficult to identify because they’re complete fabrications of Brackett’s—“faux plants” she calls them. “We wanted to make the drawings become a documentation of a grand conspiracy that spanned the ages,” says Brackett. It was she who suggested the notion of a turn-of-the-century lady explorer, the fictional Ms. Bennett-Badger-Brackett, who would follow the “bread crumbs of a secret government conspiracy.” It was Richards who suggested “a larger context involving conspiracy theories and ancient greats like Socrates and Galileo,” according to Brackett. By the end of the collaboration, Brackett notes that the fruition of their planning was equal parts artist and curator. The exhibit tells the tale…