November 2007

Blitzen Trapper – Wild Mountain Nation

They’re rockin’ on tour in Stockholm tonight, and you’re sitting in front of the computer imagining you’re in Portland, Oregon when you’re not really anywhere at all.

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Ahh the joys of retirement! The pic above comes from a calendar fundraiser for the Portland Schools Foundation – The Portland Icons: Predictably Unpredictable 2008, photographed by Charles Waugh. The four figures are, left to right, current Portland mayor Tom Potter, Vera Katz by sculptor Bill Bane, former Portland mayor Vera Katz and former Portland mayor Bud Clark.
Waugh’s pic is a spoof of 21st Avenue gadfly Mike Ryerson’s photo of barkeep Bud Clark exposing himself to a beautiful bronze sculpture, Kvinneakt, made in 1973 by Norman Taylor and sited on the Portland bus mall at Fifth and Washington Streets since 1979. (Kvinneakt means “nude woman” in Norwegian, and Taylor is chair of the U of Washington’s sculpture department.)

Kvinneakt has been removed (deaccessed) while the bus mall is being rehabbed. Thanks to Cyclotram for the photo. Here’s an idea for Waugh’s 2009 calendar – Neil Goldschmidt flipping off City Hall.

Read – The Miracle of Kvinneakt
Read – Expose Yourself to Art™, The Story by Michael Ryerson

Last week I listed the Creative Capacity Steering Committee, packed with business leaders and social networkers. Below is part two, the Creative Capacity Strategy Committee, “comprised of artists, arts organizations, creative businesses and other creative community members will develop recommendations that will be used to develop plan strategies. They will also reach out to engage the creative community, assist in crafting the plan and galvanize the effort to implement the plan’s recommendations.”

It’s unclear how these folks were recruited or chosen; some seem only tangentially attached to the art business. I’d say willingness was probably the most uniform quality among this group.

Strategy Committee Members

Sam Adams – Portland City Council / mayoral candidate

Jennifer Armburst – Owner of the tiny Motel Gallery, “founder emeritus” of PORT

Eva Calcagno – Manager of the Washington County Cooperative Library Services

David Cohen – Executive Director of the Museum of Contemporary Craft

Kelly Coller – Office, a retro boutique office supply and equipment retail shop

KC Cowan – newsreader for Oregon Art Beat

Tim DuRoche – Community Outreach Coordinator for Portland Center Stage – I’d guess this is a PR position

Daniel EtraEcotrust – some sort of membership coordinator

Harrell FletcherPSU Art Department

Chris Haberman – Curator

Kimberly Howard – Managing Director of the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center

Ilan LaksAudio Cinema, creative rental studio space

Elizabeth Leach – Elizabeth Leach Gallery

David Lowe-Rogstad – Substance, advertising

Anne Mangan – Portland Development Commission

Mary McDonald-Lewis – Voice Actress

Andrew McGough – ED of Workforce Systems, what the state employment office should be

Judith Mowry – formerly chief of mediation at Resolutions Northwest

Greg Netzer – ED of Wordstock

Lillian Pitt – Artist

Lisa Radon –Ultra PDX

Gavin Shettler – ED of the soon-to-be-closed Portland Art Center, “Basically, I knew a year ago that we needed a different level of support.”

Jonny Shultz – Q6 – modeling agency

Bwana Spoons – Grass Hut, artist and promoter

Marna Stalcup – RACC, Arts Partners project manager

Karen Stein – Buckman Arts Elementary, parent and PR person

Kathe Swaback

George Thorn – Arts Action Research, arts org consulting, seems not fundraising tho

Minh Tran – Founder of Minh Tran & Company

Laurie Waissman – POVA, chamber of commerce tourism

Linda Womack – Trillium Artisans

Wanda Wright – Painter

Mark Wubbold – PSU Office of Finance

If you’ve ridden the roads of Oregon, you’ve seen muralist Larry Kangas’ work. Kangas’ has painted dozens of large-scale community-centered, curiosity-inspiring artworks all over the state – I don’t have the attention-span to make a worthwhile map, but consider stopping to see these as you can. And you have to stop to see them. Many are imperiled by the weather and time, and the landscape above, recently painted over at the Hollywood Bike Gallery on NE Sandy and about 50th, was worn and faded. The picture above is from August, below is November 2007.

See Larry Kangas’ web site for a directory of his murals.

It’s a big wall so I assume Bike Gallery will hire Kangas to crate another.

My constant problem with Kangas murals is they’re often hard to see. This one on NE Sandy is best seen while standing in the westbound lane. The Kangas mural under the Bridge of the Gods at Cascade Locks is both worn and in shadows (as well as the noise and grit of a parking lot – but you can also score Native salmon from truck vendors in the same lot – $7 a pound!) The mural I’ve called A History of Horses is at a high angle – impossible to see from any one position. The Oregon City mural is in a anonymous parking lot – off the main drag, or another, sited over a barber shop.

I particularly liked the Bike Gallery landscape – it was very large, at points perhaps 60 feet across by 20 feet high, running from a deep forest trail to Sam Hill’s Columbia Gorge highway, through the Esplanade and under the Hawthorne Bridge. A great snapshot of Portland as Bike City USA. Note at the East end of the Hawthorne Bridge the hideous overhang of Interstate 5 has been mercifully left out.

Wordstock 2007 TV AD

What’s the Wordstock Red Book?

Wordstock Festival is happening November 8 through 11 almost everywhere.

Gus Van Sant’s latest ode is again to the cool kids you didn’t really know. It’s been accepted to Cannes – where his Elephant won Best Director + top prize in 2003. Nice in France, maybe, but as a box office indicator – no.

The kids slouch, they smirk, they’re clueless, they get in trouble, the camera follows them around like a puppy. Folks who have seen it, probably publicists both professional and amateur, love it. No reason to doubt them at this point – Gus is usually ahead of the curve.

Sorry this trailer is crappy quality. Gus – send a better link to Portland Public Art!

Official site – in Italian.