Three Dot Thursday: arts news in review

A collection of the week's arts news items

It’s Three Dot Thursday here at the ArtsWatch News Desk. That means two things: 1) We have a few more fresh news items for your consideration; and 2) We collect the week’s previous Three Dots in this one place, so you will NOT be behind the arts news curve, no way, no how, no ma’am. Take a deep breath, we’re going to jump right in…

Christy Wyckoff, "Picture Gorge, NW End," 2014, ink on Ruscombe Stone laid paper, 10 x 12 inches./Courtesy Christy Wyckoff

Christy Wyckoff, “Picture Gorge, NW End,” 2014, ink on Ruscombe Stone laid paper, 10 x 12 inches./Courtesy Christy Wycoff

Last September, Tom Prochaska and Christy Wyckoff tracked the footsteps and Eastern Oregon painting locations of Charles Heaney, the seductive mid-century Oregon painter, and responded to the locations themselves. Hallie Ford Museum will show their drawings alongside related Heaney work May 9-July 19, which strikes me as just about the most Oregon art thing you can do this summer…Pacific Northwest College of Art has jumped Northwest Broadway from its new home (the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design at 511 NW Broadway) and pioneered some lab and studio space in Old Town/Chinatown, at 321 NW Glisan at the west end of the Steel Bridge. Can a college remake a neighborhood?…Muralist alert: a Request for Proposals from artists or artist teams to create an exterior mural at The Barcelona (a new affordable housing project) in Beaverton has been issued. Deadline: 5/15/15.

Our local August Wilson Monologue Competition winners—Isaiah Sims, Hailey Kilgore and Quinci Freeman—are headed to New York for the national finals on May 4, and we wish them the very best time possible…Sitka Center executive director Jalene Case is headed on a two-year motorcycle expedition, so the center for arts and ecology at the coast has begun looking for a replacement…The Agnieszka Laska Dancers perform Thursday night with the Lyrical Strings Duo to music inspired by the Polish and Gypsy folk music traditions, 8 pm April 30, Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta.

Single tickets to Chamber Music Northwest concerts this summer go on sale Monday through the website. A few concerts are already sold out (or nearly so), but do not be alarmed: Plenty of opportunities to get your chamber jones taken care of remain…Bob Keefer’s Eugene Art Talk reports that Eugene Opera’s singing those red ink blues, again, to the tune of $90,000…You ARE going to want to read the Weekend MusicWatch to find out what’s in Brett Campbell’s date book…


Just to play some catch-up, here are the two most recent Three Dot columns:

Olga Sanchez, the artistic director of Milagro for the past 12 very productive and accomplished years, has given her notice and will drive down I-5 in the fall to take up the rigors of the University of Oregon’s Ph.D. program in theater. The Break won’t be complete: Expect her back to direct the world premiere of Beautiful North by Karen Zacarías  next season…The other top-of-the-fold (while we’re using old newspaper jargon like “three dot column”) item: Third Rail Repertory Theatre has found a new home for its 10th anniversary season at Imago, just south of Burnside on Eighth Avenue, another example of creative house-sharing in the city…And Third Rail announced its new season, four plays (The Angry Brigade, Or, Mr. Kolpert, and The New Electric Ballroom) that sound eminently Third Railish—darkly comic, off-kilter, even “titillating,” as the press release suggests. A fifth Wild Card play will be directed by Imago’s Jerry Mouawad, about which more later.

Dominic Rains as Rashid and Alia Attallah as Leila in the world premiere of "Threesome," through March 8, 2015 at Portland Center Stage. Dominic Rains as Rashid and Alia Attallah as Leila in the world premiere of "Threesome," through March 8, 2015 at Portland Center Stage.  Photo: Patrick Weishampel/BLANKEYE.

Dominic Rains and Ali Attallah in “Threesome”/Photo Patrick Weishampel

I loved Molly Gloss‘s poetic response to the Elias Quartet performance of Mozart’s String Quartet No. 19 in C Major at Friends of Chamber Music, a poem that responds to Mozart’s very modern dissonance. Here’s a little taste: “a strange wailing disarray even to my modern ear/that heavy tread of cello, insistent yowl of violin, nothingness/unfolding into tortured shifting meaninglessness”…In January, Chris Coleman directed the Portland Center Stage/ACT world premiere production of  Yussef El Guindi’s Threesomeand that play, with the original cast intact (Alia Attallah (Leila), Dominic Rains (Rashid) and Quinn Franzen (Doug)) moves right along to old Off-Broadway in New York, opening at the 59E59 Theaters in July, which would deserve a heart congratulations to all, if we were that sort of three dot column…Just in case you forgot, earlier this month, Center Stage received a massive ($770,000 now, topping out at more than a million later, most likely) grant from The Wallace Foundation to fund a new audiences initiative, including a new play series, Northwest Stories, created to bring stories about the Northwest and/or by Northwest writers to the stage.

The Belluschi Pavilion at Marylhurst University.

The Belluschi Pavilion at Marylhurst University.

ArtsWatch friend and contributor Dmae Roberts has launched Theatre Diaspora, the city’s first Asian America/Pacific Islander theater company, building on the success of a reading of an early David Henry Hwang play at Portland Center Stage last year, The Dance and the Railroad. She writes about it at the Asian Reporter…My very favorite national music critic/historian these days is the essential New Yorker writer Alex “The Rest Is Noise” Ross, so I’ve been looking forward to his “lecture-demo” with Third Angle, “Hearing Voices,” with the greatest anticipation: It starts at 7:30 pm Friday, May 1, at the Alberta Rose, 3000 NE Alberta, and it will deliver words and music around such great modern and contemporary composers as  Harry Partch, John Cage, Steve Reich, Henry Cowell, Lou Harrison, and 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner John Luther Adams (you can hear Ross on OPB’s Think Out Loud, noon Friday)…The Belluschi Pavilion, a 911 square foot home in the coolest possible modernist vein designed by Pietro Belluschi, was moved to the campus of Marylhurst University a few years ago, reassembled, and from 10 am-3 pm Saturday, May 2, will be open to the public for the first time. Maybe drop in before the Kentucky Derby!


We know what Bag & Baggage does to the classics, how it twists them in creative, delicious and occasionally disturbing ways, which is why we like the looks of artistic director Scott Palmer’s 2015-16 season. This year’s targets: Richard III, The Best of Everything, Moby Dick and Emma, along with the Kristmas Karol…Speaking of B&B, the company’s managing director, Anne Mueller, has moved to Portland Ballet to become its co-artistic director. Mueller spent all of her career in dance (a principal at OBT then its interim artistic director, managing director of the Trey McIntyre Project, etc.) before joining Bag & Baggage two years ago. She joins founders Artistic Director Nancy Davis and Managing Director Jim Lane in the leadership positions at the rising company…Bill Rauch, Oregon Shakespeare Festival artistic director, has been named a visiting fellow for the Ford Foundation’s Art of Change initiative. Rauch will explore such issues as the effects of enabling more young directors of color to work with the classics, diversifying audiences for regional theater and fostering innovations in gender-blind casting, all things he has begun to do at OSF.

Frank Boyden, 2003, "Uncle Skulky is accosted by a few of his demons" Drypoint, spitbite, hand colored, 16.75" x 14.25"

Frank Boyden, 2003, “Uncle Skulky is accosted by a few of his demons”
Drypoint, spitbite, hand colored, 16.75″ x 14.25″

A retrospective of Frank Boyden’s prints, Frank Boyden: Oregon Icon, opens on May 4 in Fairbanks Gallery on the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis. Best known for bringing his deft lines drawn from nature to ceramic work, Boyden easily developed a parallel practice in prints 30 years ago, which this show documents…One of the indispensable elements of The Art Gym at Marylhurst University is its extensive production of catalogues for its shows—I use them constantly in researching artists of all sorts. Right now you can support the publication of this vital resource via a Kickstarter campaign, and directly pay artists for their expenses associated with Art Gym shows. You’ll be keeping a crucial historical record of the arts in the state going in the process…The Portland Youth Philharmonic has appointed Dave Matthys as the conductor of its Portland Youth Wind Ensemble, effective June 1, 2015. Current Wind Ensemble Conductor Larry Johnson, who has led PYWE for 10 years, will focus solely on conducting the Portland Youth Conservatory Orchestra. Matthys has directed the band at Lake Oswego High School for the past 11 years and won the National Federation of High Schools Outstanding Music Educator Award for 2014-2015…Portland Opera scored a grant from Opera America for its “Opera a la Cart” project which, according to the press release, is “inspired by the mobility and ingenuity of the city’s food cart culture, which is internationally celebrated and a source of local pride. Portland Opera will create a traveling performance cart inspired by the food truck aesthetic.”

Don’t forget to take a look at Matt Stangel’s latest installment of Nice Work!—he takes a look at Doug McCune’s transformation of the infographic into art…This summer’s Astoria Music Festival schedule is up. Highlights include Mozart’s Magic Flute, Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, and Israel Nebeker from one of Oregon’s finest indie rock bands, Blind Pilot…Vicente Guzman-Orozco interviews Culture Clash’s Richard Montoya, whose play “American Night: The Ballad of Juan José,” opens next week at Milagro, on race, theater, history, and Portland hipsters.

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