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VizArts Monthly: April is about photography


While we have yet to escape the various micro-seasons of post-winter, pre-spring Portland (such as Fool’s Spring, Mud Season, and Third Winter), blossoms are indeed blooming and the list of events and openings is getting fuller and fuller.

For example, we’ve got a rich crop of photography shows this April. I’m sure there’s some sort of “exposure” pun to be had from the fact that they’re going up at the same time the sun is starting to come out, but of course we’re above such jokes here at Artswatch. And in any case it probably has more to do with the fact that it’s Portland Photo Month.

If handmade images are more your thing, man have we got a group show for you. Overall, this month’s roundup features a number of colorful options that range from intensely personal to riotously social, with plenty in between.

Themes include: faces, small art spaces, and the experience of being from other places.

Photo by Fazal Sheikh

Common Ground: Photographs by Fazal Sheikh, 1989—2013
Through May 6
Portland Art Museum, 1219 S.W. Park Ave, Portland
“Common Ground” is a rich, affecting survey of Sheikh’s work that features photos from eight different series. Sheikh was born in mid–60’s New York City to an American mother and Kenyan father, but spent many summers of his childhood with family in Nairobi. after studying photography at Princeton University, he returned to Kenya, where he spent extended periods among refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Rwanda. Whereas most photographers and journalists only visited the camps briefly, Sheikh developed ongoing relationships with his subjects that lasted months or even years. The resulting photos show a sense of connection and collaboration beyond the sometimes-voyeuristic gaze of the camera.

Triad 3
Multiple Locations
Through April
“Triad 3” isn’t a typo—this is the third year of Triad, a group show that happens at three different galleries at once. The roster is absolutely bursting with local artists. It’s a great chance to check out small art spaces making a big impact in the local scene and to see work by a broad range of local artists.

Opening Reception 1: 6 p.m. April 6, True Measure Gallery, 3022 E. Burnside St., 503–235–8549.


All Classical Radio James Depreist

Opening Reception 2: 6 p.m. April 13, Grapefruits Art Space, 2119 N. Kerby Ave., Suite D, or

Opening Reception 3: 6 p.m. April 13, OV Project Space, 7604 S.E. Washington St.

Small Talk Collective: We’re Always Touching By Underground Wires
April 6 – May 28, 2018
Pushdot Studio, 2505 SE 11th Avenue, Suite 104
Small Talk is a photography collective of seven talented women. This is the first joint exhibition for the collective, and the occasion is marked with a release of their first photography book. The exhibition is meant to invite the viewers to a conversation “around the strength of joining individual visions in order to speak to broader human desires and themes, including empathy, belonging, memory, and transformation.”

Paula Wilson: FLOORED
March 1-April 14
Williamson Knight, 916 NW Flanders St.
New Mexico-based artist Paula Wilson takes over Williamson Knight with lively constructions and installations for her exhibit “FLOORED.” W|K continues to find new, arresting ways to transform their compact space, located across the street from Upfor and PDX Contemporary. Wilson’s show is a riot of materials, words, and color, crossing many surfaces of installations, hangings, and prints.

Joe Rudko: Intermediate Techniques of Photography
April 4 – 28
Pdx Contemporary, 925 NW Flanders
A clever, visually striking collection of manipulated found photos. Artist Joe Rudko uses drawing, sculpture, and collage to extend and distort sections of the images in found photos in surprising ways. He says his “interventions give these anonymous, once-antiquated snapshots a new life and ability to live beyond their fading past.”


All Classical Radio James Depreist

Bonus event:

Rudko will also be speaking at PDX Contemporary on April 17 for “The Artist’s Studio: What It’s Like To Be In the Studio: Tax Day Happy Hour.” Other panelists include: Anna Gray+Ryan Wilson Paulsen, Elizabeth Knight, Justin L’Amie, Tad Savinar, Adam Sorensen, Heather Watkins, Marie Watt, and Vanessa Renwick. RSVP required by April 10. Email

Meet the artists: Creative Exchange Lab
7 pm Tuesday, April 17
PICA, 15 NE Hancock St.
The Creative Exchange Lab at PICA has been fostering relationships with artists around the world since 2015, as well as creating a rich platform for local artists to engage with global perspectives. CEL plays a pivotal role in the programming of TBA, and this meet and greet is a great chance to get an early look at what PICA is up to.

Visual artists at this event include Hector Remedios (Cuba), Garima Thakur (Portland), and Ji Yang (Chicago/China). Stay after the presentations for drinks, food, and conversation.

Opening reception 6-9 pm April 13
Fruit Salad Club, 1704 NE 16th Ave.
This is a culmination of work inspired by a residency the Fruit Salad Club artists, Libby Landauer and Jillian Barthold, recently completed at the The Jennings Hotel in Joseph, Oregon. The Jennings itself is partly inspired by Scandinavian design with the intention of evoking the mood known as “Hygge”—“the feeling of ultimate coziness and contentment in the present,” according to Landauer. Fruit Salad Club as a space is wonderful mix of color, energy, good humor, and thoughtful design, all packed into a room the size of a large kitchen. Seeing what the artists responsible for making this space bring to it for this show promises to be a good time.


Oregon Cultural Trust

Place Names
Through May 20
The Art Gym, Marylhurst University, 17600 S.W. Pacific Highway (Oregon 43), Lake Oswego
The first show by Art Gym’s new curator Ashley Stull Meyers features Portland artist manuel arturo abreu and Tacoma-based Christopher Paul Jordan, and it’s a personal and charming show that uses painting, sculpture and language to explore the way that we use parts of the built environment around to construct our visual and emotional sense of place. Old maps, interior architecture, graffiti and more will fill the Art Gym with an aura of personal history.

Basquiat’s “Untitled”
Through August 13, 2018
Seattle Art Museum 1300 First Ave, Seattle WA
The painting, now known for recently selling for $110.5 million, will be on display as the sole work in the exhibit.

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Photo Joe Cantrell


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