June 2019

Exquisite Gorge 4: The Bee Maven

STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY FRIDERIKE HEUER “The bees build in the crevicesOf loosening masonry, and thereThe mother birds bring grubs and flies.My wall is loosening; honey-bees,Come build in the empty house of the stare.” W.B. Yeats wrote these words in the sixth section of

Singers Zachary Lenox, Hannah Penn, and Vanessa Isiguen, and basset horn players Todd Kuhn, James Shields, and Richard Hawkins perform Mozart at CMNW. Photo by Tom Emerson.

MusicWatch Weekly: clarinets cut loose!

“Good afternoon! I’m David Shifrin, and I play the clarinet!” A big roomful of laughing clarinetists goes “woooo!” and welcomes the Chamber Music Northwest Artistic Director to Portland State University’s Lincoln Performance Hall for the first of the festival’s five New@Noon concerts.

DramaWatch: A vintage Storm

Around 2002 or 2003, not long after Storm Large had moved to Portland and started to establish herself as a local cultural phenom, several friends told me I had to go to the Old Town nightclub Dante’s to hear this amazing rock

Bass-baritone Eric Owens. Photo by Dario Acosta.

Oregon Bach Festival: riding out the storm

The 49th Oregon Bach Festival has lately been looking a bit like a Blah-ch Festival. If the venerable University of Oregon music institution is ever to regain the cultural primacy it once enjoyed in its glory days, I’m afraid we’ll need to

Makrokosmos Project: expansive vision

When Portland native Stephanie Ho first heard Makrokosmos, the massive, four-volume cycle of amplified piano and percussion music written in the 1970s by one of America’s greatest living composers, George Crumb, she thought, “I haven’t lived on this Earth until I heard

Exquisite Gorge 3: The Listener

STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY FRIDERIKE HEUER How does an artist decide which questions to raise and which, if any, answers to provide? How does an educator reach an audience and communicate innovative ideas hoping to stir up responses that foster curiosity and

Column Zero: Summer comes alive

We here at Oregon Arts Watch tend to pay a lot of attention to Oregon composers. In a sense, our job is made easier by the problem outlined yesterday by Senior Editor Brett Campbell: we like local composers, living or recent, diverse

Micah Fletcher and Pyxis Quartet at The Old Church in 2018. Photo by Seth Nehill.

The Sound of Changing Times

A concert is never about only the music. Otherwise we’d just listen to a recording on headphones. At Pyxis Quartet’s Feb 15 concert at Portland’s Old Church, which on that rainy evening felt like the most consequential performance I’ve attended in Portland,

OUTwright: a Booty Candy tale

For a long time now, Fuse Theatre Ensemble has been one of the most openly political theater companies in town. Queer-forward, inclusivity has been a hallmark and a principle of its work for years. But this season is different. This season, the

Yaacov Bergman

Festival changes with tide and time

Can a festival founded three decades ago and dedicated to chamber music remain relevant today with a younger crowd?   As a matter of fact, says Siletz Bay Music Festival conductor Yaacov Bergman,  it can and does. The festival hasn’t been about

Exquisite Gorge 2: The Witness

STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY FRIDERIKE HEUER HOW DO YOU TELL A STORY that is not necessarily your own? How do you draw a landscape that did not always belong to you? How do you document reality without appropriating someone else’s history? These

"Dreamer," by George Rodriguez, greets visitors at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art as they enter the chamber featuring the sculpture series "Sanctuary" (2017, stoneware with glass, courtesy of the artist and the Foster/White Gallery in Seattle). Photo by: David Bates

Stretching from cultural borders to the state’s borders

We have another gallery show in Newberg this week, but before that, please indulge a brief diversion as we drop in on Salem. My ArtsWatch colleagues may write more about this later, but for now you should know that the Hallie Ford

Sing Portland!

Music Notes: transitions & triumphs

Oregon’s leading classical music public radio station All Classical Portland has launched a brand-new second radio network, for children. The International Children’s Arts Network (ICAN) is a 24-hour radio service and, the station announcement says, is the first of its kind in

The unkindness of strangers

The funk and sweat and desperate seediness of New Orleans are so thick in the air above James Canfield’s new dance Sketches of Connotation that you can almost smell them rising from the stage of Lincoln Performance Hall. It’s an intoxicating aroma.

Finding a voice for black media

Something’s happening. And you’d better know what it is. On Friday, June 14, Open Signal Labs is giving six black filmmakers a chance to showcase their work and let the Portland media world know they’re here, they’re thriving, and they’re ready to

Exquisite Gorge 1: Getting started

STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY FRIDERIKE HEUER I have on previous occasions written on this or that aspect of Maryhill Museum of Art in Washington, which I like to visit as often as I can. An eclectic collection of paintings, fashion, artifacts of some Eastern

Among classes at Sitka Center for the Arts is an August workshop on the “Art of the Letter. " Besides creating illustrated envelopes, the class will explore how letter-writing can survive in the digital age.

School’s out, but art classes are in on the Coast

School’s out, but here on the Coast, classes are just beginning, and they’re not just for kids. The Cannon Beach Arts Association has opened registration for its 17th Annual Art Camp, July 8-12. Five-day classes for the younger set include yoga (ages

“River” by Rachel Wolf (chromogenic chemigram - archival digital print)

The alchemy of photography, sans camera

Our lives are saturated with photographic images — pictures taken by tens of millions of people daily on phone cameras, photos that are then Facebooked, Instagrammed, and Tweeted into the world, where our eyeballs are bombarded with this digital hail. Those who

All-American at the ballet

“Dance like you’re real people,” Trey McIntyre told the original cast members of his Robust American Love when he made it on Oregon Ballet Theatre for the 2013-14 season.  McIntyre’s take on the real people, particularly the women, who settled the American

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