Federale, Immigrant Union, and Brush Prairie at Mississippi Studios

Above: Brent DeBoer of Immigrant Union. Photo by Miri Stebivka. Back in November, PDX Magazine sponsored another epic event-adventure featuring local spaghetti western favorites Federale, Brent DeBoer’s Aussie ensemble Immigrant Union, and PDX sweetheart Zia McCabe’s Brush Prairie. A western revival of sorts, the night proved to be quite the hipster hoedown. Each act brought with them a unique approach to classic country-folk jamborees and mystical-magic melodies. From Immigrant Union’s clashing of traditional folk sounds with the flashy foray of experimental glam-rock to Federale’s original revival of classic western movie soundtracks to Brush Prairies covers of timeless outlaw country, the homegrown gritty grooves did not disappoint the sell-out crowd. Check out the event videos below and be sure to join us for our next grand event. —Jef Krohn, Music Editor Note: A special thanks to Stephanie Neil Productions, Mississippi Studios, Nalin Silva, Brent DeBoer, Zia McCabe, and Collin Hegna.   https://vimeo.com/111702583  

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…

Vinnie Kinsella by Jayna Milan

Storytelling on display: Dark Night of the Soul

Hear tragic tales and stories of bold resolve at Dark Night of the Soul III. The storytelling session, presented by experimental performance group Home Theatre Systems, gathers at Floyd Old Town Coffee (118 NW Couch St.) this Thursday. The story-sharing group thrives on the idea that transcendence and community can be achieved by sharing moments of hardship. The third installation of Dark Night of Soul features several members of the PDX Late Bloomers Club, whose members will share their distinct experiences as gay men who remained closeted for 30 to 50-plus years. The event is the first opportunity to hear stories of the like that will be featured in the anthology Fashionably Late, a collection of stories that articulate similar experiences. Fashionably Late, which has an expected release date of National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11, 2015, is the inaugural publication of Eldredge Books, a Portland-based small press started by local publisher Vinnie Kinsella. Doors open at 7 p.m. and admission is $6. — Rachael Lesley Vinnie Kinsella shot for PDX Magazine by Jayna Milan.

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…

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…

Discussing Finances Through Art: Umpqua Bank Launches Exhibit: Growth

A 40-foot geodesic dome appeared in Portland’s Director Park this week. It, and several sculptures by local and national artists that surround the dome, comprise Exhibit: Growth, an experiential art installation commissioned by Umpqua Bank. The exhibit aims to demonstrate the power and beauty of a collective experience by taking visitors on a journey of personal discovery. “This project began with a simple question: what does it take to have a conversation about money?” says Eve Callahan, a senior vice president at the bank who heads Umpqua’s Corporate Communications department. Callahan explains that since the mid-1990s, when Umpqua began to introduce its bank branches as community hubs, the company has tried to surmount the taboo of talking openly about finances in people’s daily lives. “Like it or not, money is an essential part of life. It guides decisions about where we live, what car we drive, where we educate our kids, travel, eat…in short, just about everything. Yet people don’t want to talk about it,” Callahan adds. Umpqua is again challenging people to think about the topic of money, this time in an unconventional way—through art. It commissioned the talent of digital art agencies Fake Love from Brooklyn and The Mill whose Los Angeles team…

Fight or Flight by Corey Arnold

Three must-see picks for November’s First Thursday

This week, reward the brain with some unstructured playtime courtesy of another installment of First Thursday. The Pearl District’s monthly gallery walk grants access to local, national, and international artists in a setting ripe for socialization. Head over to Charles A. Hartman Fine Art Gallery (134 NW 8th Ave.) with friends to discuss the work of Portland-based artist Corey Arnold. His series, Wildlife, rediscovers the meaning of “awesome.” Used during Romanticism to describe nature, awesome defines a thing that simultaneously evokes admiration and fear—Arnold’s work delivers both. Expect to be drawn in by the rich colors and held captive by the creatures before you, and feel free to share your experience with Arnold. The artist will be present for the opening reception, which runs from 5 to 8 p.m. At Annie Meyer Artwork Gallery (120 NW 9th Ave.), local artist Shawn Demarest exhibits Snow Day, a series of vignettes prompted by a rare heavy snowfall that descended on Portland back in February 2014. Demarest uses oil paints to depict outdoor scenes, often initially rendered on site in a technique called en plein air. Her paintings then evolve in her studio where time degrades the details of the scene causing her…

Between Here and There: My Own Starlight Scope Myopia

Blessed with great hearing and strong night vision, Army draftee Lance Grebner was often assigned night watch duty for his company in the Vietnamese central highlands during his 1968-69 tour. His story of becoming a go-to guy on the starlight scope brought up some Naval and academic memories for me. Then his narrative took a turn way beyond my field of vision—down a path not fit for sensitive readers. On that path I heard some scary things, recited some poetry, put my foot in my mouth, and tried my best to channel it all into half of a portrait. I work as a figurative painter. For the past few months, sculptor Christopher Wagner and I have been brushing and carving on a series of two-media portraits of combat veterans we’re calling Between Here and There, a project funded by the Regional Arts and Culture Council. Right now, we’re in the middle of creating ten pairs, a sculpture and a painting of each vet created from live models, simultaneously. Setting aside the common image of the homeless, needy veteran or the uniformed vet just off the plane from Iraq, these portraits celebrate each of our subjects as an individual with his…

Seeing Beyond the Stigma at J. Pepin Art Gallery

“The vernacular that’s used around mental health perpetuates the stigma,” sighs Jennifer Pepin, the artist behind the young, eponymous gallery. “Like, mental illness…I hate those words.” In 2007, the same year that Pepin received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, BMC Health Services Research compiled a list of 250 labels—derisive words such as crazy, bonkers, nuts, and psycho—used to stigmatize individuals with mental health issues. The negative attitudes attached to such labels are far reaching, and frequently generate feelings of fear, distrust, pity, and rejection. For some, joining a support group, which offers a nonjudgmental platform to share and explore similar experiences, is a way to mitigate that stigma. After a severe bout of depression in the summer of 2012, Pepin felt alienated and misunderstood. “I was seeking understanding, and people that could validate what I was experiencing. I simply went online and typed in ‘bipolar support groups.’” To her surprise, Pepin found that her support group was bursting with artistic talent. Among its members were several painters, a classically trained pianist-turned-composer, a published poet, and a dancer. They were people whose thriving creative practices and psychiatric diagnoses weren’t mutually exclusive. Still, Pepin felt that the stigma of mental health was…

Brent DeBoer’s Immigrant Union joins Federale on stage Nov. 6 at Mississippi Studios

“Immigrant Union is a band with uncompromising appeal on the brink of international recognition and admiration,” asserts Jef Krohn, Music Editor at PDX Magazine. Led by Portland’s own Brent DeBoer, of the Dandy Warhols, Immigrant Union rolls into town on psychedelic waves to perform the final show of their North American tour at Mississippi Studios (3939 N. Mississippi Ave.) Thursday, Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. The Melbourne, Australia-based band released their second full length album, Anyway, in September. “The show is a rare opportunity to see this Aussie outfit in an up close and intimate setting before they hit the coliseums and amphitheaters around the world. Not to mention it’s Mississippi Studios, arguably one of the best-sounding venues in Portland.” Presented by PDX Magazine, Immigrant Union opens for Spaghetti Western-inspired local band Federale. The headliner’s conceptual tunes, best described as a tumbleweed of western soundscapes, takes listeners through a musical tracking of opening credits, stampedes, fast-draws, and a ride into the sunset. Federale is half the brain-child of Collin Hegna, the neo-psychedelic bass player of The Brian Jonestown Massacre. In addition, classic country crooners Brush Prairie—featuring Zia McCabe, also of the Dandy Warhols—are booked to open. Expect classic covers from…