Portland style: We celebrate style here, as elsewhere, for looking forward and looking back, for making statements and being comfortable, for being original and paying homage. And above all, for letting our selves shine through.
And what that shining says about us.
Make Something. This simple command encapsulates the philosophy that drives Zack and Emily Kosta. Make Something. Emily has the phrase tattooed on her arm. These are not your typical Portland artists. Not only have they dedicated themselves fully to their own artistic expression, they have become creative catalysts for many others.
Nobody knows when we’re leaving, or how far we’re going, or what we’re doing when we get there, or what anybody means by “art” anymore. While the smug Portlanders of Team North pack their perfectly good boats with camp supplies, bacon, coffee and sea shanties, the intrepid Californians of Team South send text message after text message describing a surreal shit-show of oil leaks, exploding truck transmissions, missing tires, delay after delay after delay as they struggle to haul two heaping truckloads of artwork and floatation all the way up from San Francisco and Oakland. Our joint expedition has budgeted one whole week to traverse the minuscule fraction of the Willamette River between Oregon City and Portland, a mere 15 miles, but we’re starting to wonder if we’ll even get that far.
There are only a couple of paths to success for an artist to take and succeed in his passions. Richard Melloy has chosen that of Master Artist — a path that requires one to delve deeply within the intended subject and explore one’s media with the intention of having it inform the work. Melloy is more than an accomplished painter— he is an inspiration for creative longevity and finding a way to make art work for the artist; for being bullheaded enough not to quit and smart enough to adapt.
On September 24, Portland-based Housefire Books released one of its most ambitious titles to date. Selfies, which most resembles an e-book, contains a universe of online content and is the collective product of a group of writers and editors at Housefire. The eight talented writers it took to create this fresh literary experiment (Robert Duncan Gray, Riley Michael Parker, Megan Lint, Ian Dick Jones, Julian Smuggles, Adria Ivinitsky, Natalie Jones and Hazel Cummings) have developed an inter-text environment in hopes of navigating between internet and reality.
On a Wednesday evening in late June, in the faux-speakeasy in the back of Circa 33 on SE Belmont, poet Leah Noble Davidson stood atop an improvised stage — a three-foot-tall wooden box — in front of a packed room of fans and friends on the occasion of the release of her first book: Poetic Scientifica.