fourteen30 contemporary

Showing off in Aurora: “Bitter Cherry, Bleeding Heart”

Jeanine Jablonski of Fourteen30 Contemporary curates a group gallery show in the Courtyard House, an architectural show home in Aurora.

The Courtyard House, image courtesy Fourteen30 Contemporary

If you’ve ever fantasized about your dream home, you might have conjured up a place like the Courtyard House. Glass-walled and modernist, the house looks out onto dense greenery while also bringing it indoors via an atrium centered in the open-plan space. On the property, lush gardens of dahlias and lilies end in a two-person studio. A narrow path sheltered by a canopy of grapevines winds toward the Pudding River and further trails. I’m told there’s even a secret swimming hole. It’s all hidden in a small, unassuming neighborhood in Aurora, Oregon, known for its antiquing and historic buildings.


VizArts Monthly: Experiments with space

Amidst foliage or in the air conditioning, there are plenty of art viewing options in July.

Art happenings in innovative spaces offer a much-needed break from the mundanity of July’s summer heat. In Aurora, Fourteen30’s collaborative exhibition is nestled in the Courtyard House; in Ashland, Schneider Museum’s Art Beyond installs art in unexpected natural spaces; in Portland, Melina Bishop presents at Rubus Discolor Project, a gallery in a hundred-year-old house in North Portland. This month’s round-up includes opportunities for air-conditioned road trips, virtual viewings, and in-person openings at favorite local institutions. If you’re like me, your main priority is keeping cool—in which case livestreamed events at Performance Works Northwest and PNCA might be extra appealing. Read on for more information.

Image courtesy Fourteen30 Contemporary

Bitter cherry, Bleeding heart
June 12 – August 15, 2021
Fourteen30 Contemporary with NO ARCHITECTURE
The Courtyard House, Aurora, OR (by appointment)

For the group exhibition Bitter cherry, Bleeding heart, Portland-based gallery Fourteen30 Contemporary collaborated with NO ARCHITECTURE, an internationally-renowned firm based in NYC. The exhibition, installed in Aurora in the NO ARCHITECTURE-designed Courtyard House, focuses on the works of Oregon-based artists like Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Rainen Knecht, and Iván Carmona. The glass-and-concrete home is surrounded by lush Oregon vegetation, and this relationship between the organic and the manufactured serves as inspiration for the artists’ works—some focus on restraint and precision, while others source materials like clay and porcelain straight from the earth.

Work by Elizabeth Malaska, image courtesy Oregon Center for Contemporary Art

Time Being
June 18 – August 8, 2021
Oregon Center for Contemporary Art (formerly Disjecta)
8371 N Interstate Ave (Fri-Sun 12 PM – 5 PM)

Time Being features artists working in a wide range of mediums, including Bean Gilsdorf, Lisa Jarrett, Jaleesa Johnston, Elizabeth Malaska, Maya Vivas, and Samantha Wall. Curated by Oregon Center for Contemporary Art’s Executive and Artistic Director, Blake Shell, this exhibition focuses on the body, reflecting on corporeal relationships with time, history, and identity. Formerly known as Disjecta, the Oregon Contemporary exhibition space is still at the same location. Learn more about their new name and other changes here.

Image courtesy Schneider Museum of Art

Art Beyond
May 15 – July 18, 2021
Schneider Museum of Art
555 Indiana St, Ashland (Tue-Thur 10 AM – 4 PM)

The “outdoor art adventure” Art Beyond is the first project of its kind in the region; it features outdoor sculpture and installation works by twenty-four artists. Works are installed in sites within and surrounding Ashland, including Vesper Meadow, Lithia Park, Willow-Witt Ranch, Scienceworks Hands-On Museum, and Mt. Ashland. Vesper Meadow Restoration Preserve, a demonstration site for biocultural restoration and nature connection, will feature Signal Fire’s 2021 Tinderbox Artist in Residence Gabriel Barrera. Mt. Ashland, a community-focused ski area, will feature plein air artists and installations by Ben Buswell, Ryan Kitson, and others.

Work by Tess Rubinstein, image courtesy Stephanie Chefas Projects

Tess Rubinstein: Pond Song
July 3 – 31, 2021
Stephanie Chefas Projects
305 SE 3rd Ave #202 (Thurs-Sat 1 PM – 6 PM)

Pond Song, Stephanie Chefas Projects’s second solo exhibit by painter/illustrator Tess Rubinstein, reflects on quietude and sensory memory of the rural California coastline. In reference to our past year of increased isolation, Pond Song considers ways to find patience, stillness, and liveliness through an intentional noticing of flora and fauna. Rubinstein, who hails from the Bay Area, is inspired by landscape, patchwork quilts, slow living practices, and the uninhibited female form.

Image courtesy Rubus Discolor Project

Melina Bishop: Always Yours & Mine
June 11 – July 11, 2021
Rubus Discolor Project
1738 N Colfax St (by appointment)

Rubus Discolor Project, an exhibition space in a hundred-year-old house, was founded by artist Leslie Hickey in 2020 and has since hosted several exhibitions by Portland-based artists. Currently installed in the space is sculptor/installation artist Melina Bishop’s Always Yours & Mine, an exhibition of abstract sculpture in organic, textural shapes. The artist refers to them as her “inanimate family.” Book an appointment to view the exhibition here.

Work by Lee Kelly, image courtesy Elizabeth Leach Gallery

Lee Kelly: Recent Work
June 3 – July 31, 2021
Elizabeth Leach Gallery
417 NW 9th Ave (Tue-Sat 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM)

Revered Pacific Northwest artist Lee Kelly, best known for his large-scale public art sculptures, presents a new series of steel sculptures, cast bronze forms, and figurative watercolors at Elizabeth Leach Gallery. Inspired by his past writings, musings and studies, Kelly locates middle ground between modernist forms and ancient aesthetics in his sculptural work. The artist’s emphasis on texture, light, and patina celebrates the materiality of his forms.

Work by Stacy Jo Scott, image courtesy Holding Contemporary

Stacy Jo Scott: Lo, A Vase in the Dark
June 11 – July 24, 2021
Holding Contemporary
916 NW Flanders St (by appointment)

Stacy Jo Scott’s Lo, A Vase in the Dark features new ceramic and print works by the artist, who translates fragments of 3D scans and code-based processes into clay pieces. Through her practice’s consideration of fragmentation and collage, Scott envisions new bodies for partially-told stories, combining digital techniques with ancient skills of clay handworking. For Scott, this way of “reshaping” through clay references the body’s materiality and malleability.

Image courtesy Pacific Northwest College of Art

Roundtable Discussion on Art and Economics
July 2, 2021
Pacific Northwest College of Art

This discussion, organized as part of Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies’s Summer 2020 Lecture Series, features Mexican artist Minerva Cuevas, professor Nicholas Brown, Keyna Eleison (co-director of the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro), and Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz (writer, curator and former director of Bolivia’s National Museum of Art). The four panelists will be prompted to address the ways in which art is determined by the current economic system and envision alternative models. RSVP and view other Summer 2021 events organized by the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies here.

Work by Hyun Jung Jung, image courtesy Well Well Projects

Hyun Jung Jung: Have You Had a Burger?
July 3 – August 1, 2021
Well Well Projects
8371 N Interstate Ave, #1 (Sat-Sun 12 PM – 5 PM)

Korean artist Hyun Jung Jung has encountered many loaded, intrusive questions while living in the United States—Have you had a burger?; Can you paint my nails?; Can you help me with my math homework?; Have you been to North Korea?; Do you have an English name?—which she reflects on in this series of interactive, kinetic, and performance art on view at Well Well Projects. The artist, who graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2017, is also interested in pop culture and textiles, influences which come through clearly in her works.

Performance by Hannah Krafcik and Emily Jones, image courtesy Performance Works Northwest

Alembic Artist Series
Various dates throughout July
Performance Works Northwest
4625 SE 67th Ave, performances also available via livestream

As part of the Alembic Artists program at Performance Works Northwest, resident artists will share their work-in-progress performances throughout July (also viewable online). Performances include apogee by Hannah Krafcik and Emily Jones, a sci-fi-inspired reflection on the nervous system and bodily technologies, and Savannah Fuentes’s Flores de Verano, a Flamenco production with live music by Diego Amador, Jr., among other offerings.

Work by Constance Fowler, image courtesy Hallie Ford Museum of Art

Point of View
January 25, 2021 – TBD
Hallie Ford Museum of Art
700 State St, Salem (Tue-Sat 12 PM – 5 PM)

The Hallie Ford Museum’s ongoing series Point of View invites members of the Willamette University community to share their interpretations of a specific artwork via their area of expertise. Currently, Point of View features Dr. Catherine Lee, an oboist and the Artist Associate of oboe at Willamette University. Lee responds to Constance Fowler’s painting Tidal Drift (1960) through a performance of Alluvium (2016), written for her by composer Taylor Brook. The musical piece emphasizes senses of texture, movement, and spaciousness that Lee found within Fowler’s painting. You can listen to the Alluvium recording in-person at Hallie Ford, or access it via YouTube.

VizArts Monthly: Day trips, local favorites, and virtual viewings

April's art offerings brim with the potential of spring embracing topics from collaboration to cultural heritage to much-needed laughter

The cherry blossom trees are blooming! It can only mean one thing: the slow ascent into spring has begun. Let’s brighten our days with some fresh art, shall we? Galleries are remaining COVID-safe, with ample opportunity to set private viewing appointments. For Portlanders itching to ditch the city for the day, this month’s round-up includes must-see shows in Astoria, Eugene, and Newberg. Those who prefer to stay home can still enjoy new virtual exhibitions at Upfor Gallery and Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Common exhibition themes this month include identity, cultural heritage, and shifts in landscape. There’s plenty of opportunity to challenge your perspectives, but Well Well Projects’ What’s So Funny? promises some long-overdue laughter, too. Enjoy, and don’t forget your mask.

Work by James Castle, image courtesy Adams and Ollman


Visual Arts 2018: The big picture

2018 in Review, Part 7: From museums to studios to brave new spaces, a recap of some of ArtsWatch's views and reviews from a year in art

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 choose to see it as a windfall. We are fortunate to live in such an active arts community. If we could cover everything, it would mean a much smaller everything, and that doesn’t benefit anyone. Here is a neat (and incomplete) encapsulation of visual vrts stories in 2018.

We took you behind the scenes with interviews with Oregon artists that explored origins, processes, interests, and other machinations of established and emerging artists. Paul Sutinen interviewed, among others, Judy Cooke on the occasion of her fall show at Elizabeth Leach and Tom Prochaska on the occasion of his spring show at Froelick. Hannah Krafcik interviewed kiki nicole, and ariella tai about their work with the first and the last, an experimental film/video and new media arts project in Portland. Krafcik was then able to follow up in another interview with Jaleesa Johnston about her screening and workshop at the first and the last.

Judy Cooke, “Pink”, 2018, oil, aluminum, 14” x 10” x 1.5”


Collaboration and creativity under a looming sky

Kristan Kennedy and Arnold Kemp's The Big Dark at Fourteen30 Contemporary


“The Big Dark is a cloud … you appreciate it for reminding you that there is an above and a below. You could think of it like you think of a condition — something ominous or something pestering but also something you get used to, that you can’t do without.” In The Big Dark at FourteenThirty Contemporary, Arnold Kemp and Kristan Kennedy form their own collaborative cloud of artistic expression.

The excerpt above comes from a text written by the artists and released as part of the exhibition that opened on Saturday, November 17 and continues through December 29th. The text is the story of Kennedy’s first experience of the phenomenon of “The Big Dark”: she first encountered it while driving on a day in which the sky was unnaturally gray and the air felt leaden. She describes it as an overwhelming cultural weight, a looming and protective blanket.


A safe space for deep criticism of art

manuel arturo abreu discusses home school, a free pop-up art school in Portland, and its upcoming "field day," June 23

In a recent discussion with manuel arturo abreu (they/them) the co-founder of a Portland-based pop-up art school called home school, a fundamental question surfaced—a question that directly relates to the relevance of this very platform: Why would someone hate art?

For abreu, a poet and artist from the Bronx, the answer is ready and waiting: “Because art sucks. It’s really violent. It’s a violent colonial enterprise. How do we reclaim it?”

In the following discourse, which centers the labor and thinking of home school and its organizers, nothing is sacred. Readers with a love for art, academia, and many of the institutions and frameworks designed to support these, might find themselves set off—but please take that response as definitive sign to keep reading.

Image courtesy of home school and MoMA PS1

The way home school came to be is “a classic story” within the home school-community, said abreu. Victoria Anne Reis (she/her), who now runs home school with abreu, previously lived in New York City and studied at New York University, an institution infamously known for being inaccessible to many students without the aid of punishing loads of student debt.

In search of a different option than “the very marketized education that she was paying for,” Reis began taking classes with the Bruce High Quality Foundation University, an alternative arts education structure that self-identified as “a learning experiment” and “New York’s freest art school.”

BHQFU—which is now defunct—was started by several Cooper Union graduates who, initially, remained anonymous and who derived inspiration from German artist Joseph Beuys’ concept of social sculpture. “Rather than an artist working with paint or cardboard or noise or language, an artist is constructing an aesthetic experience from the social interactions of others,” an unnamed source from Bruce High Quality Foundation said of social sculpture in an interview with Social Text Journal.

Social sculpture is “sculpture where society and community is the medium for the art,” abreu explained.