Flagon & Vine: Urbane Wine

By Mugroso It’s a beautiful spring Wednesday afternoon in downtown Portlandia. What to do? What to do? Warm, radiant sunshine beckons. Cloudless (OK, nearly cloudless) azure skies. What to do? It’s a perfect day for wine tasting in Oregon’s wine country. If we head out now, we can be there in an hour; but we would find most, if not all of the favorites closed or closing. If only we could get there sooner… Perhaps we can. We walk over to Pioneer Square, catch the TriMet No. 4 Division/Fessenden clean energy bus, and head east across the Hawthorne Bridge. In ten minutes, we are there—Portlandia wine country! A quick visit to PdxUrbanWineries.com will confirm what a short TriMet ride to Southeast proves in person. Oregon wine lovers love their Willamette Valley wineries and the bucolic countryside. But more Oregon wine country can be found right here in Portland. In fact, Portland is home to at least 13 urban wineries, and that number continues to grow. Eleven of these operations have banded together to form the PDX Urban Wineries Association and are listed on the aforementioned website. The associated vintners include Bow & Arrow, Clay Pigeon, ENSO, Jan-Marc, Seven Bridges, Viola,…

Ken Sellen: The Ford Food + Drink Portraits

By Ross Blanchard Above: Self Portrait by Ken Sellen Readers of PDX Magazine will remember our first cover last October—an oil painting of a dresser with seemingly random objects littered across its top. We had to explain to many that, no, this was not a lightly Photoshopped photograph, but an actual painting by Ken Sellen in which he gathered ideas from each of the articles in that issue to produce the work—a visual table of contents. Inside that same issue were watercolor paintings of crayons, that, too, looked so real you might be tempted to reach out and pick them up. That’s what Sellen can do with oils and watercolor. Recently, however, he’s turned to a new medium—Conté crayons, which are a blend of natural pigments, kaolin clay, and graphite. His experiments with Conté started with portraits of a handful of regulars at Ford Food and Drink on Southeast Division and 11th Avenue, where he works. His first pieces using the new medium show Sellen at his best. Sellen’s technique for painting always begins with a sketch, but he’s finding that a drawing alone can be just as satisfying to him. “Like all artists, I have always drawn—usually sketches and…

Reclaiming Agency through Writing: Excerpts from Street Roots’ ‘I Am Not a Poet’

Introduction by Mary Locke While hard-hitting reporting on all matters of human rights has become Street Roots’ mainstay, vendor-contributed poetry has always been the nonprofit newspaper’s anchor. Recently, a number of Portland’s publishing professionals (PDX Magazine‘s associate editor among them) volunteered to comb through 15 years of Street Roots back issues to compile, edit, design, and publish an anthology of the most thoughtful, compelling, and enthralling poetry. In addition, PDX Magazine cover artist Chris Haberman contributed original art to the book’s cover, representing the myriad voices found in the anthology’s nearly 200 poems. Though not all, a number of the selected poems were contributed by those experiencing homelessness. Many of the published poems are created during the newspaper’s weekly writing workshop, where vendor-poets gather to express themselves through the written word. The result is a poetry anthology that examines all aspects of the human condition, not just issues of homelessness—issues that Street Roots actively works to alleviate. I Am Not a Poet: 15 Years of Street Roots Poetry and Art looks at themes of love, survival, hope, and humanity. The book also showcases art that tackles similar ideas, also sourced from previously printed Street Roots content. Enjoy this exclusive excerpt…

Preparing for the Main Stage: Minden Aims High

By Ezra Sandzer-Bell Painting of Casey Burge by Susan Sage When I pulled up to Minden Manor I found the band’s lead singer Casey Burge standing at the front door in skin-tight teal pants and a colorful, striped patchwork coat. Clutching a half-eaten burrito in one hand and preparing a post-meal Marlboro cigarette in the other, he waved me over. We loitered for a minute, making small talk before heading to Alberta Park, a shaded spot in Northeast Portland. Minden, a transplant from Kansas City, has steadily built a name for itself in Portland over the past few years. The band’s colorful live act stands out in this city like a rare bird. Musically, they strike a delicate balance between simple, catchy melodies and rich, complex chord progressions. They know how to get a crowd dancing without appealing to the lowest common denominator. A seven-piece ensemble, Minden features Ryan Johnson on drums, Evan Huston on bass, Daniel Talmadge on synth and vocals, James Taylor on guitar, Papi Fimbres on percussion, and Lia Gist on vocals. Everyone in the band plays a vital role in the mix, and this is especially true of Casey Burge, who doubles as the group’s lead…

Portland Cityscape by Chris Haberman

This month, we offer a poster version of this issue’s cover art at our center spread of the print magazine. Our inaugural art poster, a Portland cityscape by one of the most prolific and popular artists working in Portland today, could not be more appropriate. Chris Haberman is a working artist, curator, and writer native to Portland, Oregon. His art is primarily folk-art in nature, composing paintings of people and text, and creating sculpture from found objects.

Corbett/Kathryn’s Subjective Cartography

All the physical art-making is equal. We both do the same thing. We both do everything,” says Tyler Corbett, of his collaborative art with girlfriend
Erinn Kathryn. “We’re educated as painters and printmakers in this formal, traditional way. But I’m more drawn to innovative art, breaking those formal traditions,” continues Corbett. The three of us are seated in the couple’s art studio in a former laundry warehouse off Sandy Boulevard in inner Southeast Portland.

Art of the Circus at AFRU Gallery

For the exhibit’s May 2 opening night, the vaulted, lofty ceilings of the AFRU Gallery doubled as a circus tent, housing jugglers, contortionists, aerialists and other circus acts. They juggled, contorted, and hung from trapezes to promote the gallery’s First of May exhibit that highlights the carnivalesque work of several Portland and national artists.

Uni-brow Universal: Sculpture and Universality with Scott Foster

By Charity Heller Photos courtesy of the artist Above: Red Right Hand Juxtapoz calls itself new brow, the Portland Art Museum unequivocally displays highbrow—and then there’s our inexplicable civic love of the lowbrow aesthetic. AFRU Gallery, then, can only be described as uni-brow. It’s the perfect place for the expansive, transcendent, welded-steel sculptures of Scott Foster. On display in AFRU Gallery, Foster’s Modern Totems runs June 6 to 29. The gallery’s cavernous space is a fitting backdrop for Foster’s work. Many of his steel figures have finely arched eyebrows, opaque 100-yard stares, lips open to speak. With chiaroscuro lighting—all dark recesses, high ceilings, and long shadows—the work is haunting. Daughter of Alderon is particularly striking—it’s a welded sculpture based on Princess Lea, created for a Star Wars-themed show that opened shortly after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2011. “All this was going through my head, all that shock. I wasn’t trying to portray Carrie Fisher, but the more universal daughter of a planet that’s been totally destroyed.” The eyes of the piece, and others, are hollow. Blank, black reflections. “I’ve always been drawn to the Classical Greek approach, where the eyes are blank, or replaced with glass that is now…

Thiasus, Part 3 of 3: The Plummet

We sat sucking the isopropyl out of a stash of alcohol swabs we’d found in a drawer, peeling and spitting them out like edamame. Limbo to Reykjavik: we’re still in the game, wherever the hell we are.

The Head, the Heart, and the Tails

From the raw materials of water, sugar and heat, moonshiners draw out the drink, cut off the head and the tail, and poison themselves with whatever heart they please.