December 2018

Oregon Music 2018: looking outward

Last year’s music roundup first looked homeward. ArtsWatch’s 2017 music coverage focused, as we have from the outset, on our state’s creative culture: music conceived and composed in Oregon. We touched a lot of other bases, too of course, and homegrown music

ArtsWatch Good Reads 2018

Marc Mohan wonders if it matters that the Oscars are a flop. Martha Ullman West revisits the Big Apple of her youth. John Foyston considers sleek cars and fast motorcycles at the art museum. John Longenbaugh starts a podcast “for some very

Getting a drop on the New Year

Photographs by JOE CANTRELL First came the audience, filling downtown Portland’s Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Then the musicians, and the tuning, and the program, which was fitting for a celebration: some selections from Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s sprightly and creative Nutcracker Suite;

Ill wind blows good wood for Newport museum

The Lincoln County Historical Society scored big time in 2004 when it bought a historic, French chateau overlooking the Newport bayfront. The 30,000-square-foot building with gabled roof needed work — one of the reasons the Newport nonprofit was able to buy it

Stage sense: the year in theater

“The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you,” the astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson tells us. But you — by which I mean we humans — are under an obligation, or at least a compulsion, to make sense of the

The Art Gym moves to PAM

THE ART GYM HAS LANDED. The crucial center for Northwest contemporary art has been hunting for a new home since its host, Marylhurst University, decided to shut down. Marylhurst and the Portland Art Museum announced on Friday that the museum and its

Oregon Cultural Trust: Giving once is giving twice

When I visited the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in July this year, the temperatures were on the hot side, but unlike a few previous years, the air was clean and at night, quite pleasant and fresh. Given the vast conflagrations in California earlier

In the Frame 3: Lens on artists

Text and Photographs by K.B. Dixon Photography essentially began as the art of portraiture. With the daguerreotype the portrait—previously painted and available only to an aristocratic few—became relatively inexpensive and available to everyone. John Szarkowski, the legendary director, curator, and poohbah-emeritus at New

Oregon Symphony Orchestra: Nightmares before Christmas

By MATTHEW ANDREWS In my comfy balcony seat in Portland’s Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, I realized with a start that I was about to hear, for the first time ever, a real live orchestra performing the music of my favorite composer. It

Visual Arts 2018: The big picture

The visual arts stories at ArtsWatch this year ranged far and wide and – as usual – didn’t even come close to covering all that went on in the world of Oregon art. While some may see that as a failure, we

MusicWatch Weekly: ringing out, ringing in

Celebrating a new year’s arrival is a perpetual affirmation of hope over experience. So it’s appropriate that some of Oregon’s end of year events represent elements we need more of in classical music: youthful vitality, widespread participation, inclusive American programming, laughter. •

Seeing with fresh eyes

An editor once told me the best way to learn anything is to write about it. That lesson was driven home this year as I took on the beat covering arts on the Oregon Coast. Prior to that, I would have told

Cappella Romana: Straddling Worlds

Story and photographs by FRIDERIKE HEUER Cappella Romana opened its 2018/19 season announcement with the words, “Prepare to be engaged, moved, and inspired.” Consider it done. You could add “an occasional “made breathless” by the sheer beauty of the singing. One of the main

Oregon & Vancouver Symphony Orchestras: reanimating the exquisite corpse

By MATTHEW ANDREWS Two Northwest orchestras—one in Portland, one in Vancouver—recently put on a couple of concerts epitomizing the Perfectly Ordinary Symphonic Concert. In November, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performed music by Hector Berlioz, Aram Khachaturian, and Felix Mendelssohn; in December, Oregon Symphony

Now see this: a year in pictures

By SARAH KREMEN-HICKS Writers do tend to go on a bit, don’t we? Maybe we ought to step back now and then, put the pens down, and let the pictures tell the story. In the following photo essays from 2018, ArtsWatch’s photographers

Montavilla Jazz Festival:  Journeys in space and time

By DAVID MACLAINE In 1959 a student at the University of Oregon started singing jazz gigs with other music students, including future master Ralph Towner and Glenn Moore. A year later she moved to San Francisco, married a bandleader named Sonny King

MusicWatch Weekly: holiday highlights

The winter holiday: a time for rest, reflection, restoration, reconnection. But they too often mean stress: travel, house guests, obligatory cards and gifts. Sometimes by early January, I feel like I need a vacation from my supposed vacation. Which is why it’s

Hobbs Waters dances with destiny

Hobbs Waters hasn’t conquered the world yet, but give him a minute. The 12-year-old Portland-based quadruple threat—he dances, plays trumpet and cello, creates fine art pieces, and runs his own arts business, called City Troll—took a breather just before the holidays at

End of the trail

It’s sure to be a bittersweet night at the Coaster Theatre Playhouse in Cannon Beach when The Trail Band takes the stage Dec. 26. It’s the last performance of the eight-piece ensemble, which has been together since 1991, when it formed at

Sign up for our newsletter