You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Announcement’ category.

Ceramic Showcase

This weekend is a busy one for the arts and crafts.  Ceramic Showcase, the largest exhibit of ceramic arts in the nation, is occurring April 29th, 30th, and May 1st at the Oregon Convention Center.  The event is free to attend and opens 10-9 Friday & Saturday; 10-5 on Sunday. Featuring demonstrations and play areas, 150 booths of original artwork, an auction, live music and Oregon wines, it is a window into the world of clay.  here is a video preview: 2010 Ceramic Showcase

Artists who participated in Portland Open Studios in 2010 who are exhibiting their work at Showcase include Kris Paul, Deb Shapiro, Babette Harvey, Maria Simon, Chayo Wilson and Sara Swink.


CAP Auction

From the desk of CAP comes these words: On Saturday, April 30, 2011, Cascade AIDS Project (CAP) will host the Annual Art Auction as we honor the organization’s 25th anniversary since incorporating. 

Over the past 22 years, this iconic event has brought over 1,000 artists, galleries, patrons, and community leaders together each year with the goal of raising much-needed funds for the essential programs and services CAP provides.  Considered by many to be one of Portland’s keystone fundraisers, this event was created by the local arts community in 1989 to raise funds in the fight against HIV/AIDS.  The Grand Event ($100/person) includes a salon-style silent auction of 280 artworks along with sweets and savories provided by 25 of Portland’s best food purveyors.  The Patron Dinner ($250/person) includes attendance at the Grand Event plus special entertainment, a gourmet meal, and an exclusive live auction featuring 15+ of the most outstanding artworks donated by prominent artists. An invitation accompanied by a color artwork catalog is published and mailed to 5,000 individuals, as well as distributed to 30 galleries.

The Guest Curator for 2011 is Terri M. Hopkins, Director of The Art Gym at Marylhurst University in Portland, Oregon. Ms. Hopkins will choose 10 to 12 live auction pieces and will coordinate  with a selection committee to choose up to 3 additional live auction artworks, 20 honorable mentions, and 280 silent auction pieces. 

Our Portland Open Studios artists who have contributed work to the juried auction : Theresa Andreas-O’Leary, Marcy Baker, Kindra Crick, Shawn Demarest, Jennifer Feeney, Kristin Fritz, Morgan Madison, Katherine Mead, Jesse Reno, Sabina Zeba Haque, Erika Lee Sears, Kelly Williams and Linda Womack.

For more information:  http://www.capartauction.org/

See you there!

The Time is Now! Apply Here

Call to Artists

Applications are now being accepted for the 2011 Portland Open Studios Tour!

Every year we get the word out to as many artists as we can in the hopes of having an exciting, vibrant tour chock-full of talented artists. Maybe participating in the 2011 Portland Open Studios Tour is in your future? Applications are accepted through March 15th, but starting the process early is a great idea. Once you’ve completed the information page your application is saved and you can return at anytime through March 15th to add images, remove images, edit information, etc.  Also, you save $10 if your application and jury fee are received by March 8th.

This year we are thrilled to have the following jurors:

Modou Dieng is an Assistant Painting and Drawing Professor at PNCA. Dieng is known internationally for his multidisciplinary artistic work conceptualizing visions of contemporary life. He has exhibited with numerous galleries including Steve Turner Gallery (Los Angeles), Pascal Polar Gallery (Brussels), Museum of Contemporary African and Diaspora Art (NY), and Carousel du Louvre (Paris). Dieng is the founder and curator of Portland’s Worksound Gallery.

Elise Wagner has been a working and exhibiting artist in Portland for over twenty years. Best known for her deft handling of the encaustic medium, Wagner teaches both nationally and internationally. Wagner is represented locally by Butters Gallery in addition to Chase Young Gallery in Boston, Hallway Gallery in Bellevue, WA and Aberson Exhibits in Tulsa, OK. Elise Wagner was the recipient of a 2010 Oregon Arts Commission Career Opportunity Grant to fund concurrent 2011 solo exhibitions in Boston and at the Sordoni Art Gallery in Wilkes Barre, PA.

Mark Woolley founded one of the first galleries in the Pearl District in 1993. Known initially as Acanthus Gallery the space featured emerging, mid-career and iconic late career painters and sculptors as well as challenging and provocative “outsider” artists and socio-political installations. For the last 17 years, Woolley has been a force for moving the visual and performing arts forward in Portland and co-founded the Wonder Ballroom in 2005. He currently curates a variety of independent spaces and sponsors select shows throughout the Portland area.

Many additional application questions can be answered on our website’s Apply page or by sending an e-mail to apply@portlandstudios.com.

Best of Luck!

by Morgan Madison

Liv unveils a fresh print in her studio.

Liv Rainey-Smith is a Portland, OR based printmaker.  She was first introduced to the medium while earning her BFA from Oregon College of Arts and Crafts.  I meet Liv Rainey-Smith at Atelier Meridian, the print making studio and arts community in North Portland where she creates her wonderfully imaginative woodcut prints.  It is quickly striking how articulate and well considered she is in our conversation.  It shows a thoughtfulness that comes from a life spent immersed in books and stories.  Indeed, Liv’s interest in these forms of communication and what they can reveal about humanity comes from a very personal place.

As a child Liv faced serious challenges.  She was born with only one ear and a serious heart defect.  At the age of 4 she went through open heart surgery and was in and out of hospitals for her ear up until her early teens.  Liv says; “These experiences helped create a love of reading and creating as well as a fascination with anatomy and mythology.”  These influences are readily apparent in her prints, which are populated with distinctive patterns and fantastical creatures rendered in a crisp graphic style.

Capybara, Woodcut Print, Edition of 30, 8” x 10”, 2010

Capybara is a wonderful example.  Its half rodent/half fish subject sits in regal repose, like some mythological creature.  Liv explains; “The story behind the capybara is that it is the world’s largest rodent, and because it is semi-aquatic it is supposedly considered a fish for purposes of consumption on Fridays and during Lent.  So the print is my ‘early explorer’ illustration of the wondrous rodent-fish of the new world.”  The story and image together reveal enough to set the stage for the viewer’s imagination to take over.  The same can be said for a piece like Egress, whose spirit-like subject swirls in the ether while breathing a plume of fire.  It is a part of her ongoing series Iunges, which depicts otherworldly messengers, angels of communication.  They seem like visitors from some vivid dream.  In fact, Liv cites her own dreams as another source of inspiration for her work.

Egress, Woodcut Print, Edition of 7, 14” x 20”, 2010

This combination of personal experiences with the symbolism of myths and storytelling gives Liv’s work an enigmatic and compelling character.  It inspires a search for meaning that mirrors beautifully the process by which she creates it.  In woodcut printing, ink is applied to paper by a block of wood that has been carved to create a design in relief.  Liv begins most of her pieces with drawings.  However, as she chooses a block and begins to carve Liv pays careful attention to the unique character of each piece of wood.  Its personality and quirks help guide her decisions, and as she reveals the story within the wood block it helps shape the story she shares with us.

To see her process in person and to hear Liv speak about her work and inspiration be sure to make her studio (#62) a stop on your 2010 tour of Portland Open Studios.

Liv’s work will be featured with another Portland Open Studios artist in; Liminal: Paintings by Chris Haberman and Woodcut Prints by Liv Rainey-Smith at Pearl Gallery and Framing, October 7th – November 2nd, with an artists’ reception on opening night.

Her work can also be seen at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, October 1-3 and as part of the Portland Tarot Project show at Splendorporium, November 15 – January 2.

Visit www.livraineysmith.com to see her work online.

by Bonnie Meltzer
Portland Open Studios artists at Museum of Contemporary Craft
Showcase in the Lab, 2nd floor
September 14 – October 23
724 NW Davis

Artists will be at the museum from 6:00 to 8:00 on First Thursday, May 7
Admission free during First Thursday

Final Demonstrations
October 23, 1:00 – 4:00
Glass: Carli Schultz Kruse and Kat Hargis

view of the full case


Portland Open Studios is open to artists of all visual art disciplines
In the call to Portland Open Studios artists for this exhibit there were only two restrictions.  The obvious one was that it had to fit in the case but the second was more ambiguous. The work had to be craft. That might seem straightforward as well until you see that Portland Open Studios artists have stretched and pulled the definition of craft.  They have blurred the definitions even within their chosen craft as well. It used to be that craft meant a beautiful functional object.  Yes, there are those items in the case but ….  There is an unreadable book, its pages shredded and sewn; a clay quilt; a giant bead that would cause the wearer a trip to the chiropractor if worn; an unwearable wooden dress with crocheted wire; a bowl that is not a container but a slowly revolving landscape; and a piece of sculpture that has a surprising opening devise that reveals a space for storage.

There is a national annual exhibition that might help define craft a bit.  It is called “SOFA”, sculptural objects and functional art. Gwen Jones adds this definition, “Craft is art at work”.

Gwen and her husband Kenneth Forcier of Gracewood Design fit that definition very well.  If their stencil painted floor cloths were hung on a wall would they be paintings and not craft? Is it their functionality that makes them craft?  The stencils can be used more than once to create editions (like printmaking) or used in different configurations and combination to make a whole new design.  Does that change the art/ craft balance? Because they are floor cloths and not just paintings they need more technical prowess to make them withstand footsteps and heavy tables. In any case they are also well crafted.

Sewn Clay by Carolyn Drake

Carolyn Drake’s thoughts give insight into the subject in general and specifically to her own work.  “Each craft has traditional associations that accompany it; in ceramics, for instance, vessels nourish, sustain, store, keep things safe.  They imply longevity and are a measure of plenty.  Sewing and quilting bring to mind comfort, security, making-do, warmth, family, and tradition (among other things).  What I am currently utterly fascinated with is what happens when you mesh crafts, and therefore mesh associations. The familiar turns strange, and the associations can become complicated and destabilized”. You can see what happens when you combine media when Carolyn Drake sews clay.  At one of the museum demonstrations at the museum she brought leather hard clay sheets which were perforated with hundreds of holes. A conversation with the visitors to the museum revealed all the technical problems so many holes can cause.  She solved the problem of glaze which would fill the holes during firing necessitating labor intensive reopening them.  Instead of glaze she uses oxides rubbed onto the body of the clay and different kinds of firing methods to obtain color.  The piece in the showcase is made of many small clay pieces sewn together.  In subsequent work she is making larger slabs with a carved block pattern replicating the quilt blocks. Technically, she isn’t sewing to connect her pieces of clay “fabric”  she is embroidering on one bigger piece of clay .

Cat Hargis and Christine Zachery

Cat Hargis and Christine Zachery

When one mixes two different media the attachment of the two takes thought from the inception of the design. Cat Hargis’s combines semiprecious gems and other stones onto her kiln-formed glass platters as a kind of jewelry for glass. Attaching the gems and stones create some of the same kinds of issues Carolyn faces. She has to drill holes in the glass to accommodate the “necklaces” before the final firing. If she does it later she can’t achieve the textures she wants on the final piece. It is no surprise that she once was a jeweler.

Christine Zachery applied to Portland Open Studios as a painter so I was surprised when her mosaic was entered into the MOCC exhibit.  The thing that makes this piece so successful is that she has made the technique of mosaic fit to her work rather than the other way around. Look closely, this is no normal grout filled mosaic. She says, “My method was not to try to do anything new but simply to enrich the surface”.  She may have done both. She develops her  composition as an oil painting and then applies a loose collage of glass pieces over it.  Silver leaf under the glass adds to the sparkle. The painting shows through, in various levels of transparency,  the clear or monochromatic glass. Previous to making these hybrid mosaic paintings she had been adding metal shavings, ground glass and glass pieces directly onto the paint surface. ”Later, I realized that I could go deeper by having an underpainting which shows through the surface”.

Amy Maule

Amy Maule

Although Amy Maule’s work is clay she works in contrasts. The elegant, sleek, smooth white teapot sits atop a pair of chunky, sturdy and textured toddler legs. “I combine tight, wheel-thrown pieces with loose, organic, coil-built pieces to emphasize the difference between the two methods of construction.”

The exhibit and the demonstrations at the museum can help YOU define craft for yourself but it is only a sliver of what each artist does.  To get the whole picture visit the studios of these artists (and others) to see everything– Not only the techniques but all that surrounds an artist at work. The tools, materials, and, of course, many pieces of artwork in various stages of doneness. Factors that influences artists — the article pinned up on the wall; the collections of objects artists use for inspiration; the gardens surrounding the studios are what you can expect.  At the museum see the breadth of Portland Open Studios with artworks of many artists in a pristine environment. During Portland Open Studios you get the depth of each artist.
See it all and continue the conversation.

Tour Guides to Portland Open Studios can be purchased at the Museum shop.

These artists have work in the exhibition. A”*”  indicates additional article about the artist on this blog.

Mary Bennett *
Debra Carus
Carolyn Drake
Sylvia Emard
Greg Hanson
Barbara Gilbert
Gracewood Design-Gwen Jones & Ken Forcier
Cat Hargis
Jeanne Henry
Laurene Howell
Thomas Hughes *
Carli Schultz Kruse
Amy Maule
Robert MC Williams *
Bonnie Meltzer *
Carole Opie
Careen Stoll
Marcy Stone
Christine Zachery

Navigate the Portland Open Studio tour from the palm of your hand.  If you have an iPhone, we have an app for that! This year you may use your Portland Open Studios iPhone app as your tour guide and map to make it easy for you to find the art you love.

Indulge your curiosity with this interactive version of our time-tested Tour Guide. The new iPhone app includes information for all 100 artists, images of their artwork, plus information about our 2010 community partner, Children’s Healing Art Project (CHAP) which brings the healing power of art to children in crisis.

The 2010 tour is on October 9, 10 and 16, 17 (always the 2nd and 3rd weekends of October). All 100 artists’ studios are open from 10am to 5pm, and artists will be on hand to demonstrate their process and answer questions during those hours

Info for an artist you can watch at work

Featuring the same quality images of work by every artist, their contact information and directions, the application places each studio location on a map. Then, when you are ready to travel to the next studio, the app links into iPhone’s GPS-guided maps function to take you there step by step.   Other features of the application include the ability to highlight your favorites artist studios, sort by medium of choice, make notes about your experience at the studio, receive last minute information from the tour organizers, and provide feedback that will help all visitors and artists in the future.  Then keep the artists contact information for future reference as holidays, anniversaries or birthdays approach. A list of wheelchair-accessible studios is also available.

The application is $14.99  a penny less than the printed Tour Guide:  Download your Portland Open Studios iPhone app here!

Find out more about the Portland Open Studios tour at .www.potlandopenstudios.com

A special thanks to board member Shu-Ju Wang and developer John Roberts at MindWarm, Inc. for creating this wonderful application.