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For stories published before 2018, visit our archive site.

Witnesses in a churning world

The idea of art as a pristine thing, separated from the hurly-burly of the everyday world and somehow above it all, is a popular notion. But a much stronger case exists for the idea of art as the expression of the roil

DramaWatch: “Ordinary Days,” “Color” ways and other plays

Isaac Lamb is among the most versatile, widely accomplished of Portland-area theater artists, but he believes he’s found a particular niche with his work for Broadway Rose. Amid the crowd-pleasing classics, nostalgic tributes and revues, there’s room for what we might call

Innkeeper by vocation, actor by avocation

I met Sue Neuer some years ago at the front desk of a favorite Cannon Beach hotel. She knew me as the writer frequently on the road for work. I knew her as the innkeeper who tried to accommodate my need for

Artist Deborah Horrell, 1953-2018

Word has arrived that the longtime Portland artist Deborah Horrell died on August 24 after a six-year battle with lung cancer. She was 65. Her obituary is here. “It is with heavy hearts that we inform you that our dear friend and

Rothko: a tunnel runs through it

The journey of the embattled Rothko Pavilion has taken a short cut – straight through the Portland Art Museum’s proposed link between its poorly connected north and south buildings. When the project went public in 2016 the glassing-in of what is now

In Newport, 30 and going strong

I discovered Newport in 1993, a fluke visit on our way home from Portland to the southern reaches of the state. I stayed in Nye Beach at a hotel that no longer exists, just a few steps from the Performing Arts Center,

Antonio Sonera’s Badass Hospitality

Antonio Sonera is the maverick of the Portland theater scene: a wild card, an enigma, complicated and controversial, undoubtedly gifted, knowledgeable and hard-working. He’s been a vital part of the Portland theater scene for 30-odd years, yet in many ways, he’s on

Labor Day: The Art of Work

Today is Labor Day, the day we celebrate the American labor movement and its drive to guarantee living wages and safe, decent working conditions for all workers. It’s been an official federal holiday since 1894, through boom times and hard times, strikes and

Neil Simon, 1927-2018

Neil Simon, maybe the most successful playwright in American history, died today at 91, leaving behind a little piece of who we are and how we got this way. Not quite a year ago, in a piece on the Portland Civic Theatre

Glass shortage has blowers holding their breath

On the Oregon Coast, creating a work of glass art is a bucket-list favorite, and there’s plenty of places to make that happen. But recent weeks have stressed some mom-and-pop glassblowing studios to the point of, well, a meltdown. It seems there’s

MusicWatch Weekly: Music Notes

The annual summer slowdown in Oregon’s live music season gives us a chance to catch up on some recent news. Do check out other events this week we’ve already previewed elsewhere, including a pair of vintage shows: an encore of a Aquilon

Enemies of the people? No.

MORE THAN THREE HUNDRED NEWSPAPERS AND OTHER PERIODICALS across the United States have published editorials in today’s editions denouncing President Trump’s continuing attacks on the news media, which he has repeatedly characterized as “enemies of the people.” The media campaign, coordinated by the

Gallery Theater: 50 years, 340 plays, thousands of stories

Gallery Players of Oregon has been cranking out plays in downtown McMinnville since 1968, which means we’ve arrived at the 50th anniversary. That kind of endurance for any artistic project is worth celebrating. I cannot hide my enthusiasm about it, and you

Newport honors favorite sons David Ogden Stiers, Ernest Bloch

The central Coast pays homage to two of its famous former citizens this month. As part of the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts’ capital campaign program, plans are under way to change the name of the Performing Arts Center’s Black Box

Singing composer Ernest Bloch’s praises in Newport

NEWPORT — He’s one of Newport’s most famous former residents, but unless you’re a classical music buff, odds are you haven’t heard of him. That would be Ernest Bloch, the composer known in his day as the fourth B, after Bach, Beethoven

A life, stitched in time

I had the great pleasure recently to meet with Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim, the master traditional embroiderer and newly named national folk art fellow, to discuss her life and work. Feryal, who was born in Palestine and lives in Milwaukie, Oregon, is one of

Henk Pander brings Vanport to Newport

NEWPORT — When celebrated Portland artist Henk Pander opens his show here Friday, July 6, it will mark not only his first exhibit in this coastal town, but also the first time nearly all of the watercolors have been out of his

Brian Doyle and the language of the stage

Language, says Portland director Jane Unger to explain why she spent two years pursuing the stage rights to Brian Doyle’s loquacious and widely beloved Mink River, a summary-defying novel stuffed with plotlines, descriptions, lists and riffs on everything from the different types