July, 2014

Inaugural GirlFest NW to highlight female contributions to music on Aug. 2

Last year, local musician Madison Sturdevant felt there was a lack of support and opportunity in our local community for female musicians. From her involvement in the local scene, Sturdevant noted that “music created by girls and women was given less of a chance, and that expectations placed on female artists to look and sound a certain way were heavier than those placed on men.” She started GirlFest NW to change that. This Saturday, August 2, the inaugural GirlFest NW will take the stage of Lola’s Room at the Crystal Ballroom (1332 W Burnside St.) in downtown Portland. The festival not only welcomes music lovers of all ages, but of both sexes too. While the musicians on stage are all ladies, both men and women are invited to come and show their support for the festival’s impressive lineup. The night will include performances by Bed., Blossom, Little Warrior with guest Goldini Bagwell, Daughters of the Dead Sea, Tuff Shet, and Neko + Kahlo. Highlights include Portland-based Little Warrior, which creates a unique sound by experimenting with recording and production techniques, and Daughters of the Dead Sea, a rock-punk outfit hailing from west Seattle, reuniting just for the festival. Tickets are available…

Richard Melloy’s ‘The Way I See It’ Opens at NWIPA Saturday

Richard Melloy’s new exhibit The Way I See It opens at N.W.I.P.A. (6350 SE Foster Rd.) on Saturday, July 18, from 6 t 10 p.m. For the exhibit, the renowned painter has produced one of his riskiest collections yet. Melloy is a veteran artist and an inspiration for creative longevity. PDX Magazine wrote of Melloy in Issue No. 1: “[He’s] bullheaded enough not to quit and smart enough to adapt throughout a long career.” Melloy, 57, graduated from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. He settled in Portland in the 1980s and was part of the nascent art scene in Northwest Portland that would go on to spawn the Pearl District. Now living in the Foster-Powell area in Southeast Portland, Melloy is a sought-after graphic designer, as well as a painter. “As a self-taught painter, it seems like everything I attempt is a risk,” says Melloy. “First, I decide where I want to begin the painting. Second, I figure out a way to paint it. Both the idea and the technique are never static so I am always open to change or refining it. Both processes push and pull until the painting arrives. I am…

Potato salad as art? A look at the unfolding saga on Kickstarter

A Kickstarter campaign involving a Columbus, Ohio man’s project to make potato salad has gone viral. At the time of this publishing, the campaign has raised over $65,000 in its effort to reach a mere $10 goal—and there’s still 24 days left to pledge. It’s being touted as a curious fluke, a viral phenomenon. It’s also a work of art that continues to unfold as the contributions pile up. The campaign is called “Potato Salad.” There’s no video of an eager entrepreneur pitching his or her idea to you. Just a photo of a bowl of potato salad, along side it lies a white and red checkered cloth napkin. Whether intended or not, Zack Danger Brown’s campaign is a social satire. It’s an evolving one that grows more compelling each day as the media feeds off the campaign’s growing popularity. The responses vary, but include (mostly) outrage, some cynically tinged support (“I fucking love the Internet”), and the birth and embrace of the #PotatoSalad hash tag. At its core, Brown’s campaign is understated and even elegant—it’s neither silly nor mocking in its tone. There is no overt naivety nor the wisdom of a visionary apparent in its conception—the viability of a Kickstarter to…

Photograph by Intisar Abioto

Intisar Abioto’s ‘The Black Portlanders’ expands to all of Oregon with new partnership

Local photographer and storyteller Intisar Abioto, who has worked on The Black Portlanders project since February 2013, is now packing up her camera and traveling throughout Oregon to expand the breadth of her photography subjects. Abioto is partnering with the Urban League of Portland to produce photo accompaniments and conduct interviews for the next edition of the State of Black Oregon. Abioto will serve as photographic director for the important report. This year’s State of Black Oregon is a follow-up to the 2009 report, which included stories and data that first made the troubling social and economic realities of black Oregonians visible. According to Abioto, 2014’s report will feature “exploratory photography/imagery, and narrative and lived experience to illustrate the social and economic reality of black Oregonians.” The Urban League and Abioto will travel together to Ashland, Eugene, Bend, and Coos Bay to conduct interviews and photograph participants. “My goal within the project will be to photograph and illustrate the diverse presence of black people in Oregon, both urban and rural,” remarks Abioto. “What does black Oregon look like? Who are black Oregonians? Where are we?” “I don’t have a working mental image of what black Oregon looks like. Do you?”…

PDX Pop Quiz: Name These Portland Artists

Hey, folks. It’s time for a PDX Pop Quiz. Yes, yes, we know you were not warned of this and, yes, maybe it’s unfair of us to just drop this bomb on you without giving you a chance to study. But if you’ve been reading PDX Magazine, you should do fine. We have complete confidence that you will. And if someone you know forwarded this to you and if you’re new to the mag and to Portland art, well, do your best. Don’t forget to share your results on Facebook, Twitter, and wherever else you virtually socialize. The links to do so are at the bottom of the results page of the quiz. Okay. There are 100 PDX Art Points at stake, so sharpen up your clicking finger. Good luck… and no cheating. — Ross Blanchard, Editor-in-chief PDX Pop Quiz: Name These Portland Artists UPDATE: The quiz is temporarily unavailable due to a technical issue. We’re working on it!

July’s First Thursday Roundup

The Sam Roloff Abstract Retrospective, a look at the artist’s works from 2009 to 2014, kicks off this First Thursday with an opening reception at White Space (1439 NW Marshall St.) from 6 to 11 p.m. “I define many of my paintings as time capsules,” says Roloff. “Many of my artworks have 10 or more layers beneath the surface, indicative of the passage of time and the creative process, which are meticulously documented. “Like time and music, my work has movement that leaves a trail of evidence beneath layer upon layer of oils, wax, and glistening resins. Each series that I develop expresses the reality that each of us as individuals—and as citizens of communities, cultures, and nations—has a unique back-story that informs our present, even if only traces remain of what came before. “When collectors purchase one of my paintings, they are actually purchasing a multi-layered collection of all the paintings and scenes within their many layers of imagery, symbolism, ideas, and emotion. The crux of this approach harkens to the tradition of what the Italians call pentimenti: the ghosts of images hidden beneath a painting’s surface.” Pictured above: Equal Rights Marriage Comes to Oregon by Sam Roloff. Oil on canvas….

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…