Arts

Patrice Demmon lounges in her folded paper cranes

Fifteen thousand origami cranes by artist Patrice Demmon flock to peace and recovery

If you’ve recently passed through the ambulance entrance of the critical care ward at OHSU’s Doernbecher Children’s Hospital you may have noticed the colorful origami cranes hanging overhead. The cranes displayed at Doernbecher number roughly 5,000. The installation, CraneAge, constitutes just one third of an effort by local artist Patrice Demmon. The other two-thirds hang at the Mark Woolley Gallery at Pioneer Place Mall downtown. According to Japanese, Chinese, and Korean tradition, cranes represent good fortune and longevity. After World War II, a young child diagnosed with leukemia sought to fold a flock of 1,000 cranes in hopes of returning to good health, happiness, and world of eternal peace—a practice known as senbazuru. She died before she was able to fold 1,000, but her classmates finished the task in her honor. In these traditions, it is common to place flocks of 1,000 folded cranes at shrines and temples. Chains of folded cranes are often placed around the necks of those suffering from an illness. The gesture represents a prayer for recovery, a wish for happiness, and a hope for sympathy and peace. The intention of Demmon’s installation is no different. The medical team at Doernbecher and OHSU saved her son’s life…

The Buzz at Maker’s Dozen, Peoples Art of Portland

4-H was a big summer activity in my rural hometown in the 1980s. While other fourth-graders raised calves, rabbits, poultry, and other farm animals, I hunted bugs. To this day I know the common names of a large number of insect species found in northern Michigan. I obtained this knowledge by chasing down field and forest critters that most people avoid touching. I captured them with a big white net, then either freezed or asphyxiated them with isopropyl alcohol in a mayonnaise jar, before finally affixing the corpses to a styrofoam board with very thin, black pins. This was 4-H Entomology. Besides the brutal, Victorian-era science lesson, this summer activity gave me an appreciation for insects—their vastness and varieties and even their beauty. I found this mostly with butterflies and moths, some fierce-looking beetles that had their own aesthetic plusses, but I largely ignored the more common insects. Ants, sawbugs, weevils, and especially common flies had no place in my collection. Anyone who wanders into Paxton Gate on Mississippi Avenue and examines its collections knows that a housefly as an artifact is not commonplace. Certainly not a single housefly…but what if it were thousands of flies? I saw something recently at the Maker’s Dozen…

Mario Robert

Art Opening at Goodfoot on Thursday, June 26

Mario Robert began his painting career at the Mexican-United States border, where Jaurez runs abut El Paso, Texas. He was 16. He watched as violence forced a once-beautiful border city, Jaurez, into a bloody ghost town. The images he saw there affected his painting as much as his world view. This impact on his work did not change until he relocated to Portland. His work is now heavily influenced by the kindness he meets on Portland’s streets, which he describes as strange and mysterious. View his work as part of a group exhibit that opens Thursday at the Goodfoot (2845 SE Stark St.). Three other Portland-based artists round out the show, which runs through July 30. Beth Myrick works primarily with spray paint, reclaimed wood, and a positive message. Her art often features depictions of animals that walk the line between realism and fantasy. Heidi Elise Wirz is an illustrator and screen printer, who is influenced by legends and mythology, particularly Norse, Proto-Germanic, and Celtic. Painter, illustrator, and animator Christopher Creath dabbles in surrealism and exaggeration with an appreciation for texture, both synthetic and organic. “Human experience is all I can capture or recreate,” notes Creath. “Hopefully, in some way, this…

Preview: Maker’s Dozen at People’s Art of Portland Gallery

This Saturday marks the third Saturday of the month, meaning the People’s Art of Portland Gallery (700 SW 5th Ave., Suite 4005) that sits atop the Pioneer Place Mall downtown will be ushering in a new exhibit to debut to the masses. For its third annual show, Maker’s Dozen will bring together thirteen artists from different mediums and styles with Portland ties. The reception runs from 5 to 9 p.m., while the show continues through July 13. Peoples Art of Portland, Po Boy Art/Jason Brown, and Chris Haberman co-present the show that aims to showcase the work of new and veteran artists along side one another. The featured poster artist is David D’Andrea, whose style is reminiscent of 1960s and ’70s album art, and who looks to everything from almanacs to crumbling encyclopedias for inspiration. Works by Brian Echerer/ Velo Gioielli, Ali Schlicting, Hilary Larson, Daniel Haile, Melissa Dow, David Guardado, Kyle Gossman, PDX Magazine No. 2 cover artist Kelli MacConnell, Kimberly Bookman, Jessica S. McGrath, Matthew Hopkins, and Sharden Killmore round out the show. Pictured above, work by Daniel Haile. Below are more works from the exhibit