The smell of money and a clear front-runner in an upcoming mayoral election brings out the blue ribbon panel folk for Sam Adam’s Creative Capacity Committee.
If you’ve been asleep, Adams convened several gatherings to show Portland’s arts community, using a new set of data and arguments, could – possibly – make a case for support from industry and the general population.
Three committees, and a detailed web site have launched to explain the Creative Capacity strategy: (links here to PDF files) asteering committee made up mostly of business-people and various politicians, a strategy committee made up of art types and art administrators, and a coordinating committee made up of City Hall and RACC brass, with their facilitator / consultant.
So who have been selected for these committees? And perhaps more importantly, what are their affiliations? (Much of the information below is available on the Creative Capacity web site, but in a PDF form which is less searchable than a HTML web page.) Bottom line, this list is a fundraiser’s wet dream.
Steering Committee Members
Martin Medieros, Chair – Swider Medeiros Haver, intellectual property lawyer; recent lecture on Proper Grammar, Usage and Syntax of Business Names.”
Sam Adams – Portland City Council / mayoral candidate
Dave Allen – Pampelmoose / Gang of Four / music industry skeptic
Robert Austin – Mayor of Estacada
Shane Bemis – Mayor of Gresham
James Bernard – Mayor of Milwaukie
Nik Blosser – Celilo Group Media, husband of Deborah Kafoury, likely candidate for Multnomah County Commission, member of the Sokol Blosser wine empire, and board member of the Oregon Business Association.
Julia Brim-Edwards – Nike flack, former school board member, attorney, and board member of the Oregon Business Association.
Chandra Brown – Oregon Iron Works and the Oregon Innovation Council
Rex Burkholder – Metro Councilor, bike advocate
Elaine Calder – Oregon Symphony President
Kenneth Carr – President and CEO of Carr Construction, commercial and multi-family construction
David Chen -partner with OVP Venture Partners and chairman of the Oregon Innovation Council
Brad Cloepfil – Principle, Allied Works
Chris Coleman – Artistic Director, Portland Center Stage
Debi Coleman – Managing Partner at SmartForest Ventures
Eloise Damrosch – Executive Director of the Regional Arts & Culture Council
MaryAnn Deffenbaugh – representing the Portland Art Dealers Association, and co-owner with Rod Pulliam of the Pulliam Deffenbaugh Gallery
Craig Dirksen – Mayor of Tigard
Mark Dodson – CEO / President of Northwest Natural Gas
Lee Domanico – Ex-CEO of Legacy Health System
Sho Dozono – Azumano Travel
Rob Drake – Mayor of Beaverton
Bart Eberwein – Vice President of Hoffman Construction, event chair of the Architecture Foundation of Oregon, board member of the Oregon Arts Commission
Mark Edlen – Gerding-Edlen Development
Jill Eiland – Public Affairs Manager for Intel, board member of the Portland Business Alliance
Chris Erickson – General Manager of the Heathman Hotel, board member of the Northwest Business for Culture and the Arts
Brian Ferriso – Executive Director of the Portland Art Museum
David Fuller – Mayor of Wood Village
Brian Gard – President of Gard and Gerber, and immediate past board chair of Oregon Business Association
Judie Hammerstad – Mayor of Lake Oswego
Clayton Hering – President of Norris, Beggs & Simpson
Roger Hinshaw – President of Bank of America, board of the Portland Business Alliance, board of the United Way, board chair of the World Affairs Council
Tom Hughes – Mayor of Hillsboro
Paul Hurd – Freightliner’s general counsel
Tom Imeson – Port of Portland flack, and former Goldschmidt flack
Walter Jaffe – White Bird Dance (Bio – PDF)
Alan Johnson – Wells Fargo regional president
Vera Katz – former mayor of Portland
Tom Kelly – Owner of Neil Kelly, Inc., board member of the Oregon Business Association, and Greener.
Norman King – Mayor of West Linn
Gloria Lee – Portland Classical Chinese Garden executive director
Andy MacRitchie – Aequitas Capital Management – some sort of vice president
Tom Manley – Pacific NW School of Art, president of the school
Debbie McCabe – Tenth Tree Limited , investments, located in Clackamas
Max Miller – Tonkon Torp partner, board of the Northwest Business for Culture and the Arts, board of Metro Arts
Carole Morse – President of the PGE Foundation and Manager of Community Investments for Portland General Electric, board member of the Northwest Business for Culture and the Arts
Alice Norris – Mayor of Oregon City
Bob Packard – Managing Partner, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca, trustee of Willamette University
Levi Patterson – PopArt , some sort of accounts manager
Judy Peppler – State President of Qwest, Chair Emeritus of the Portland Business Alliance
Maria Rojo de Steffey – Multnomah County Board of Commissioners
Dan Ryan – Portland Public Schools, but also the development director of Oregon Ballet Theatre
Tad Savinar – Artist
Arlene Schnitzer – HARSCH Investment Properties, former owner of the Fountain Gallery, Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation, The Jordan & Mina Schnitzer Foundation, formerly a member of just about every important arts organization in the state
Dick Schouten – Washington County Board of Commissioners
Martha Schrader – Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, chair
Howard Shapiro – Founding chair of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, board of Albina Community Bank
Cheryl Snow – Clackamas County Arts Alliance, executive director
Al Solheim – real estate investor
Steve Stadum – OHSU’s chief administrative officer
Nancy Stueber – President and CEO of OMSI
Paul Thalhofer – Mayor of Troutdale
Jon Ulsh – Executive Director of the Oregon Ballet Theatre, board of Oregon Cultural Advocacy Coalition
Connie Van Brunt – Executive Director of the Portland Schools Foundation
Howard Werth – Senior Vice President of Finance at Gunderson, board secretary of the Associated Oregon Industries, board of the Oregon Metals Industry Council
Homer Williams – Chairman of Williams Dame Development,
Virginia Willard – Executive Director of Northwest Business for the Culture and the Arts
John Willis – Project Manager for CH2M Hill
Rick Wills – Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tektronix
David Wynde – US Bank, Portland Public School board
Duncan Wyse – President of the Oregon Business Council, Oregon State Board of Education, Oregon Innovation Council,
John Gunther, overseer of world culture after WWII, noted in 1944 two everlasting sources of power and influence in Oregon – the Bonneville Power Administration and The Oregonian.
Nothing has changed, it’s BPA and the O. Oregon is a one-newspaper state, and though the Newhouse’s own the paper, Fred Stickel, who came out here from a New Jersey paper owned by Newhouse after the 1959 strike to quiet things down, has kept the paper’s editorial content pro-business, pro-Catholic, anti-union, and stolidly non-progressive. Surprisingly, circulation maintains, ad rates maintain, and in a time when most pundits claim the financial model of paper news is fatally flawed, the Oregonian remains one of the most profitable – and powerful – ventures in the state.
By comparison with other, similar papers, the Oregonian’s local print news is bland, conservative, relying heavily on a predictable calender of local events; their national news comes from wire reports, it’s columnists are boring, it’s entertainment writers follow the herd (often several years behind), and most of it’s business and sports writers have a memory slightly shorter than a news cycle.
But their web site should receive special consideration for it’s fantastically stupid design. It seems to be a template created for all Advance Publication newspapers by someone far far away from Portland, and with only a crayon for creating a flow chart. The search engine does not work, the front page has recipes, the design is chaotic.
HOWEVER, there are good parts well worth review, often buried deep and far from the template. And most are multimedia.
A sliding panorama of Portland’s skyline, marking current high rise construction sites.
An interactive Google map of Portland’s bicycle collisions. Scary!
Don Colburn showed in Living To The End the courage of my friend Lovelle Svart, who chose to use Oregon’s unique death with dignity law and hastened her death.
Have your very own police scanner!
Finally, Doug Bates and his writing partner Rick Attig pushed the envelope of editorial writing in 2006 with a series about the Oregon State Hospital. The result, besides a Pulitzer, has been fast-paced reform at the hospital and the torpid Oregon State legislature promising $600 million to tear down the 100+ year old J building and create a contemporary hospital. In the video above, Doug skewers the tobacco industry, and Jamie Frances captures three children with a set of heartbreaking photos. Kudos, again, for speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves; and creating another vital public artwork.
But geez, the compression! Consider your audience. The pro-Measure 50 vid runs fine on my T-1 line, but must move like mud on a DSL line, and take an hour to download on a phone line.
EXTRA – A Brief History of Newspaper Publishing in Oregon
On three sides of the exterior of the Central Library in downtown Portland, Oregon is a quiz. Under each set of windows are a list of names carved into the granite of the excellent Georgian style building, designed by Albert Doyle, completed in 1912 and wholly remodeled in 2000. The quiz illustrates how our notion of cultural literacy shifts, wanes, is distorted by pedagogues and history-scribblers, and evaporates from our consideration and consciousness.
Try the 19th Century quiz on your pals. If they can guess the representative group for each window, award them with an honorary 18th Century liberal arts degree. If they get smart, ask them to name a text, event or artwork associated to one name for each window.
Taylor Street (South side of the building)
Bookbinders – Tory, Maiolo, De Thou, Eve, Ferrar, Le Gascon, Badier, Duseuil, Padeloup, Derome, Thouvenin, Roger Payne, Bedford, Zaehnsdorf, Rivere
Educators – Bury, Grolier, Cellini, Limousin, Palissy, Bodley, Harvard, Rousseau, Herbert, Frobel, Mann, Lenox, Ruskin, Winsor, Morris
Religious Leaders – Zoroaster, Isaiah, Guatama, Confusius, Paul, Jerome, Augustine, St. Francis, Wiclif, Erasmus, Luther, Loyola, Wesley, Edward, Channing
Military Commanders – Militades, Xerxes, Alexander, Hannibel, Scipio, Caeser, Saladin, Gustavus, Frederick, Marlborough, Napoleon, Wellington, Tecumseh, Lee, Grant
Naval Commanders – Themistocles, Octavius, Drake, Raleigh, Blake, Von Tromp, De Ruyter, Hawke, Boscawen, Rodney, Paul Jones, Nelson, Decatur, Farragut, Porter
Explorers – Marco Polo, Columbus, John Cabot, Vespucius, Da Gama, Balboa, Magellan, De Soto, La Salle, Carver, Gray, Vancouver, Lewis, Clark, Livingstone
Statesmen – Solon, Pericles, Demosthenes, Cicero, Augustus, Richelieu, Burke, Washington, Jefferson, Tallyrand, Metternich, Gladstone, Lincoln, Cavour, Bismarck
Yamhill Street (North side of the building)
Painters – Giotto, Fra Angelico, Mantegna, Botticelli, Valasquez, Titian, Raphael, Correggio, Rubens, Hals, Van Dyck, Rembrant, Murillo, Corot, Whistler
Etchers – Durer, Marc Antonio, Claude, Van Ostade, Canaletto, Hogarth, Piranesi, Bartolozzi, Nanteuil, Millet, Haden, Meryon
Sculptors – Philias, Myron, Polycletus, Praxiteles, Lysippus, Pisano, Ghiberti, Donotello, Della RObbia, Verrocchio, Michelangelo, Goujon, Bernini, Rude, St Gaudens
Architects – Ictinus, Mnesicles, Vituvius, Brunelleschi, Alberti, Bramante, Vignola, Palladio, Inigo Jones, Mansard, Perrault, Wren, Viollet-Le-Duc, Richardson, McKim
Musicians – Palestrina, Bach, Mozart, Handel, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Verdi, Wagner, Brahms, Grieg, MacDowell
Scientists – Euclid, Archimedes, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Leibnitz, Franklin, Linnarus, Herschel, Laviosier, Curvier, Faraday, Darwin, Spencer
Inventors – Boulton, Watt, Jenner, Fulton, Whitney, Senefelder, Stephenson, Daguerre, Morse, Ericsson, Bessemer, Corliss, Howe, Pasteur, Bell
Tenth Avenue (East side of the building)
Printers – Gutenberg, Caxton, Mentelin, John Fust, Schoeffer, Aldus, Jenson, Sweynheym, De Spira, Koburger, Plantin, Pynson, Froben, Estienne, Elzevir
Novelists – Boccaccio, Rabelais, Cervantes, Bunyan, Fielding, Scott, Irving, Balzac, Hugo, Dumas, Hawthorne, Thackery, Dickens, George Eliot, Tolstoi
Historians – Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Livy, Josephus, Plutarch, Tacitus, Froissart, Gibbon, Guizot, Grote, Carlyle, Macaulay, Motley, Parkman
Philosphers – Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epietetus, M. Aurelius, Bacon, Descartes, Spinoza, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Hegal, Comte, Emerson, Mill
Poets – Homer, Virgil, Horace, Dante, Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, Burns, Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, Tennyson, Poe, Browning, Whitman
Dramatists – Aeshylus, Sophocles, Euripides Shakspere, Jonson, Lope De Vega, Corneille, Moliere, Voltaire, Lessing, Goethe, Schiller, Alfieri, Sheridan, Ibsen
I finally made it up to the secret garden above the treetops, in daylight and with something like a camera and found an unlocked door.
On the ninth floor of the Mark Hatfield Federal Courthouse is a secret sculpture garden. At the gate, while being frisked I asked, “which floor is the secret sculpture garden, the one where judges can have a quick toke during lunch?” and got an immediate vibrant stare from the blue-suited security guards, “what do you mean secret? It’s not a secret. It’s open to anyone.”
Awkward pause which refreshes.
They took a secret just-in-case picture of me and I stuck my secret art camera back in my pocket and went to find someone else to talk to. I felt slightly less anonymous, but I figured I would soon be in good company.
In the lobby (and all this icon-architecture is at SW Third and Salmon Streets) is a dark and dour oil portrait of Matthew Deady, an early justice of Oregon’s Supreme Court. The portrait, by William Cogswell, made in 1887, hung in the Central Library prior to it’s 2000 remodel, is now fixed to a wall about twenty feet off the ground – it’s a dour, dark portait, popular at the time, but in it’s current position quite impossible to look at. The lobby areas of the courthouse have tightly controlled waterfalls and various insipid aphorisms carved into the granite walls. The place is cold and shivery, just what some asshole like Howard Roark would build.
Get to the ninth floor, skip the courtrooms which are boring and head for the south side of the building. There’s a slightly hidden door which if you’re lucky is unlocked. Scamper out and you’re free.
The artist is Tom Otterness and he calls this set of sculptures Law of Nature, built for the site in 1997. They’re just terrific. The pictures here are lousy – go to Otterness’ web site, they’re much better, but they’re much better in person. Context means much in contemporary sculpture, either abstract or slightly surreal.
The first impression is you’re out of the building and way up high. The air is better, the sounds of wind and weather and not fans and clerks clicking. There are no cameras watching you. And you’re high above the city. And there’s a path to follow, down a ramp, around a corner and into some shrubbery.
Suddenly and slightly underfoot are Tom’s bronze and bucktoothed creatures, Books and TVs, smiling, hypnotized, wander hand in hand. The beaver bites at the base of the trunk while above blind justice hides a secret dagger. A shower drowns a pile of castaway books, a courtroom scene with judge, jury, prosecutor and accused.
It’s hard not to be silly in the midst of such ornate oppression and linear conceit. Tho Otterness’ ridicules his subjects, it’s hard to imagine they would be bothered, because of the arrogance and self-indulgence of law and because of the distance the small sculptures take from the occupants. They’re outside the building, outside the law, they’re small and bronze and playful, the opposite of the ghosts in black robes which haunt the interior halls.