VizArts Monthly: Big news in various forms

Converge 45 returns for its third year, Cathy Wilkes at YU, tarot art at Union Knott

The big, big news in the Portland arts community is that soon-to-be defunct Marylhurst University’s Art Gym isn’t gone forever! According to the press release issued by the Oregon College of Art and Craft, “all Art Gym operations, collections, and upcoming exhibitions will move to the OCAC campus,” effective October 1.

That’s not all. Next, we’ve got Converge 45 entering its third year, with its first site-specific installation and the return of KsMOCA. Cathy Wilkes comes to the YU, and a whole bunch of good shows are opening at smaller galleries. There’s lots to see this hot August–stay hydrated, stay curious, stay cool.

Grandiflora - Rene Rikabaugh

Grandiflora by Rene Rikabaugh

In bloom: Group Exhibition
August 2 – September 1
Russo Lee Gallery, 805 NW 21st Avenue

Occasioned by the “abundance of summer,” this group show is bursting with different takes on flowers in art. Featuring eight artists who work with floral subjects, occasionally or frequently, the show offers a, um, bouquet of pieces in a variety of mediums. James Allen “excavates” books by meticulously and selectively cutting imagery out of interacting layers of pages, while Chris Russell and Kim Osgood are known for their stylized depictions of wild flowers playing with domestication. Sean Cain and Dan Gluibizzi take a figurative approach, and Mary Josephson presents mixed media mosaics and textiles. Sherrie Wolf and René Rickabaugh bring traditional, masterful still lives to the group, for a rich show that should have something to offer any viewer.

Quilt detail - Amy Subach

Quilt detail by Amy Subach

Many Queens Tarot: Golden Girls Quilt Queens and Graphic Genderfluid Tarot Prints
August 10 – 31
Union Knott Gallery, 2726 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

This promises to be a fun, visually-striking show. Local artists Lettie Jane Rennekamp and Amy Subach present two smartly-unexpected takes on the tarot. Subach, known for her bright, complex Erotic Selfie Quilts, has quilted the four main characters from the beloved sitcom Golden Girls as the four queens of the tarot deck. In this version, Dorothy Zbornak, known for her sharp tongue and one-liners like “Go hug a landmine,” sits on her throne of clouds as the Queen of Swords. Rennekamp tackles the entire deck, having drawn all 78 cards in the Raider-Wait tarot deck in 78 days. Her lively, bold pen-and-ink drawings make one think of what Aubrey Beardsley would make if he was working today. Featuring “diverse body types, writhing animals, and stark florals”, this set of cards is a gorgeous new take on the imagery of the Tarot. Erin Aquarian, runner-up for Willamette Week’s
Favorite Local Celebrity 2018, will offer tarot readings during the opening, and the artists will host a handful of events throughout the month, including a mending circle, a drink and draw, and a kid-friendly make-your-own-tarot party.

Painting detail - Chris Mullins

Painting detail by Chris Mullins

Chris Mullins: Sling of Ostentation
Through August 16
Stumptown Coffee, 4525 SE Division

There’s still time to catch this show of ethereal, sometimes-stormy paintings. Mullins’s work elicits a sense and scale of landscape, but hews to abstraction and the interactions of paint and material. Some pieces verge on color fields, broken by gestures of brightness or contrasting states of paint, while others layer forms and hazy tones like a drive through the Gorge in autumn.

The Six Net Menders - Robert Von Neumann

The Six Net Menders by Robert Von Neumann

Strength and Dignity: Images of the Worker
Through October 21
Hallie Ford Museum of Art, 700 State St., Salem

Curated by Jonathan Bucci, this historically rich exhibition features prints and photographs from the late 19th and early 20th century by European and American artists, depicting the struggle for workers’ rights during this pivotal time in the history of labor. Subjects cover logging, fishing, and metalworking, as well as street vendors and market sellers. Bucci says, “The works were generated at a time of enormous economic, political, and social upheaval–a period that included two world wars, the industrial revolution, worldwide economic collapse, and large scale immigration to the United States. Socialist and capitalist ideas were in much debate in the Western world during this time and concern for how these changes impacted the working classes was a subject of significant artistic output.”

Artists include Jean Charlot, John Stuart Curry, Carl Hall, Darius Kinsey, Lewis Hine, Marion Post Wolcott, and Myra Albert Wiggins, among others.

Painting by Severin Moore

Painting by Severin Moore

Severin Moore: New recipient of the Stumptown Arts Fellowship
Through September 26
Reception Wednesday, August 1 (4–6pm)
Stumptown Coffee, 128 SW 3rd Ave

Moore’s large, bright, abstract paintings broadcast an infectious sense of fun while experimenting and probing ideas around the use of public space and imagery. The acrylic, enamel, and oil paintings investigate “a desire for simplicity” in the intersection of public space, advertisements, graffiti, and its removal. This show will also celebrate Moore’s status as the most recent recipient of the Stumptown Arts Fellowship.

Installation view - Cathy Wilkes

Installation view – Cathy Wilkes

Cathy Wilkes
Through September 16
Yale Union, 800 SE 10th Ave.

Widely exhibited in Scotland and elsewhere in Europe, Wilkes was commissioned by Portland’s Yale Union for her first solo exhibition on the West Coast. Including loans from private collections on San Francisco and Vancouver, B.C., this exhibition is a site-specific installation of both handmade sculptures and “sculptural objects… appropriated from everyday life.” The cavernous exhibition space at the YU is filled with a funereal air by the ponderously somber figures and obtuse but haunting objects. Critic and art historian Joanna Fiduccia will give an talk on August 7 at YU, and material regarding Wilkes will be presented in collaboration with the Portland-based King School Museum of Contemporary Art in September.

Converge 45
August 9 – 12
Multiple Venues

On August 9, Converge 45 returns for its third year. As one of Portland’s newest, most ambitious arts festivals, Converge 45 takes its name from the goal of convening local and international artists in our home city near the 45th parallel. Converge 45 is planned in three-year cycles under an individual artistic director, so this is the culminating year for the first artistic director Kristy Edmunds. The new director will be announced at the opening of the festival on August 9. Here are some highlights:

habitas Installation in Philadelphia

habitas Installation in Philadelphia

Ann Hamilton: habitus
Preview Reception Thursday 8-9 pm August 9, $50
Free and open to the public from August 10-September 16, 3–7 pm
Centennial Mills, NW Naito Parkway and NW 9th Avenue

Hamilton’s large-scale installation is the main work in this year’s festival. The first site-specific installation for Converge 45, twelve enormous cylindrical curtains will be on display in the outdoor pavilion at Centennial Mills, along the Northwest edge of the Willamette River. This instance of the piece, originally shown in Philadelphia in 2016, will feature printed texts that refer to belonging, shelter, and human connection, made specifically with Portland in mind. Viewers are invited to participate through text submissions via Tumblr

KsMOCA at Converge 45 in 2017

KSMoCA’s 2nd Annual International Art Fair
Opening Reception 4-7 pm Friday, August 10
Open 12-5 pm August 11-12
PICA, 15 NE Hancock St.

King School Museum of Contemporary Art (KSMoCA) is a charming, fun, and fresh project that placed a contemporary art museum in a functioning K–8 public school, King Elementary in Northeast Portland. This year, it moves to PICA, showing original artwork by dozens of nationally and internationally known artists as a small but legitimate art fair.

Jenny Holzer
Opening Reception 5-7 pm August 9 (Remarks at 6:00 pm)
Through August 22
Center for Contemporary Art and Culture, PNCA, 511 NW Broadway

This is a great chance to see a small collection of original prints from one of the the most influential and widely-shown conceptual artists working today. The small gallery within PNCA should be a great venue to see these prints featuring Holzer’s blunt, thought-provoking text-based work.

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