This Week in the Mercury

Books in Pockets


Books in Pockets

Future Tense's Tiny Collaboration with Scout Books

Things Behind the Sun


Things Behind the Sun

Tiny Ruins' Beautiful Understatement


Monday, July 21, 2014

Milk Milk Lemonade

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Someone desperately needs to open a candy store around the corner from Olo Fragrance's new joint (at 1407 SE Belmont) called Chocolate's Made. C'mon Portland, you do this kind of shit all the time. Do this one for me.

Olo's Heather Sielaff says she chose the dirty kids' limerick for the storefront/studio space because it's been an earworm for her since childhood, plus she "makes her shit in the back," so it "makes sense," She also says that if the name turns people off they're probably not her kind anyway. Sielaff's line is one of a handful of boutique fragrance companies coming to prominence in Portland, and it's quite arguably leading the pack. You can already find their scents in shops across the country (and locally at Beam & Anchor, Frances May, Nationale, and more), but the shop will be home base and the only source (at least out of the gates) for an in-production line of lotions and other body care products. For now it showcases apothecary items (which currently lean Japanese) and jewelry from the like of Rill Rill and Hazel Cox, among others. It's worth stopping in just to huff on everything, and hours are loose. If the lights are on and the door's unlocked, go in!

  • Olo via Instagram

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mag-Big Lecture at MoCC Tonight (and the Explorers Club Launches Tomorrow)

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 1:14 PM

The Museum of Contemporary Craft is doing a bang-up job of keeping attention trained on its ongoing Fashioning Cascadia exhibit, maintaining activity with artist residencies and lectures throughout its run (it's set to close Oct 11). Mag-Big's Cassie Ridgway took up the residency mantle this week (a dispatch from which you can read on MOD, where she is also a regular contributor), where she is working on the foundation pieces of a new collection based on the idea of a uniform, called ""In the Working Woman's Uniform," which exhibit curator Sarah Margolis-Pineo says is, "a way to bring visibility to—and, in a way, to valorize—the women who have a hand in PDX's grassroots garment industry."

This evening Ridgway, along with her Mag-Big design partner Becca Price, is giving a free lecture at the museum at 6:30 about the history and relevance of uniforms as well as the process of designing a collection. Check out my article on it here before ya go! Also mentioned there is the launch of the Explorers Club, an ADX collaboration with Stargazer Farm, a series of meals and conversations centered around Portland's (and its surrounding area) manufacturing "ecosystem." The first weekly lunch is tomorrow (noon-2 pm) at ADX, and will be followed by dinners/brunches out at the farm. It's an exciting time for discussions of local product, from the city as well as its farmland outskirts, and increasingly the focus is becoming larger than just the food or fashion and craft scenes. Get in on it!

The new uniform.
  • Cassie Ridgway via Instagram
  • The new uniform.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Can A Proposed Nonprofit Reverse Mayor Charlie Hales' Reforms of Last Thursday?

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 10:14 AM


It's been more than the year since a nonprofit group that for years helped organize Alberta's Last Thursday festival held a press conference to announce they were quitting.

Friends of Last Thursday (FoLT) resigned over new strictures on the freewheeling event proposed by Mayor Charlie Hales—changes that have since been realized—and left the mayor's office looking for another organization to take up the cause.

Now that organization is perhaps in the works. Michael O'Connor, a former FoLT member who took off in 2012 to begin a new street fair in southeast, sent out a release Monday night announcing a fundraiser this week for a new organizing group.

"Our current vision is to form an organization of artists, musicians, performers, and fun makers," O'Connor wrote.
"These are the people that make Last Thursday the incredible event that it is."

O'Connor says the group he has in mind will oversee the "infrastructure, management, and support needed to make Last Thursday the best that it can be." It would use grants and fundraising, apparently, to cover the sizable costs associated with Last Thursday. Hales' office estimates the city spent $75,000-80,000 running the event last year.

O'Connor also takes exception with Hales' handling of the event recently. He writes: "In particular, the City recently began fining musicians who can be heard from 150 feet away, and plans to charge participants fees and collect their personal information. We believe that a better solution is possible, and we will do everything we can to alleviate the City’s concerns while preserving the rights of our community."

But it's unclear whether the mayor's office would be willing to let its new regulations lapse. Officials and some neighbors view them as valuable to toning down what can be a raucous and problematic event. O'Connor says he's been in frequent contact with the mayor's office, and that he's not aware of any conditions on his group's stewardship. He says he'll push for different solutions than those the mayor has imposed.

"Any conditions they set, they'll have to have a legal right to do so," he tells the Mercury. "We have legal representation through the ACLU that is helping us make sure."

The group is holding a fundraiser at 7 pm on Thursday at two Alberta bars, The Knock Back and Cruzroom, hoping to raise $600 to register with the state and federal government and set up a website.

Update, 3:30 pm: The mayor's office says it's true O'Connor has called and e-mailed about his ideas. He even had an attorney call. But Hales' staff will need to see financial legitimacy before handing over the reins of last Thursday, says Policy Assistant Chad Stover.

"What it boils down to, for my side, is clearly understanding the logistics and the costs," Stover says. "We need a group that can step up and has the appropriate funding capabilities."

Just what all that means is sort of up in the air, Stover says. Police details for the event cost less now that Last Thursday ends an hour earlier, and there may be less police required overall. It's not clear exactly what costs will be associated with the event going forward, right now, so demanding a specific cash outlay from a nonprofit is tough.

"I'm hoping when we do get to that point we'll be able to say, 'these are some things that are recommended and need to be covered, and here are the costs for doing it,'" Stover says.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Liam Drain/Potter's Field

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 11:59 AM

In this week's Sold Out, I got to profile Liam Drain, one of my... er, favorite ceramicists. (Why does it feel so much weirder to have a favorite ceramicist than it does a favorite painter or photographer? Oh god, is it an art vs craft thing? It is, isn't it.) I've actually known Drain for years, and we met long before he got into his current medium (back then he was more of a photographer). He's hilarious, and one of those people who always has a game-changing record or book recommendation, and it makes a certain lovely kind of sense that he's infusing vases and cups with meditations on "enclosure of common land, and the human misery that ensues from the invention of private property." It can be hard to do justice to someone's tone in print, so I let him do all the talking here. Hopefully it'll pique your interest enough to check out what he does, on Instagram (@liamadrain), Twitter (@DeathPots) or by checking out what he's currently got selling at Lowell.

  • Liam Drain


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Justin Hocking Steps Down as Executive Director of IPRC

Posted by Alison Hallett on Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Big changes over at the Independent Publishing Resource Center: Justin Hocking just sent out a press release announcing that after eight years at the helm of the IPRC, he's stepping down as executive director to focus on teaching and writing. (He just published a well-received memoir, which we excerpted in the Mercury.)

In a not-terrifically-surprising move, IPRC Managing Director Pollyanne Faith Birge has been promoted to executive director. In addition to her work at the IPRC, Birge has worked in Portland's arts/nonprofit world for years, including stints with Know Your City, Stumptown Comics, Inc; she also served as Arts and Culture Outreach and Policy Coordinator under Sam Adams. She is well regarded by all, as far as I can tell.

Hocking, meanwhile, will continue to work with the IPRC in a "new, informal role as the Chairperson of the Certificate Program in Creative Writing."

Justin has done great work during his tenure at the IPRC, including moving the center to a bigger and better location on SE Division; I look forward to seeing what he gets up to next. (Oh, and? Look for his byline in the fall issue of the Mercury's arts guide, Agenda.)

Submit Your Arts Event to the Fall Issue of Agenda by July 30

Posted by Alison Hallett on Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 1:29 PM

I know, it's barely summer, but we're already gearing up for the fall issue of Agenda, the Mercury's new arts and performance magazine. The first issue hit the stands in March, and issue number two's gonna be bigger and—dare we say?—better, with more articles, more calendar listings, and more profiles of local artists, writers, performers, and the things they make.

If you'd like to see your event listed in the fall issue of Agenda, submit event details to by Wednesday, July 30. The calendar will cover September through February; even if you don't yet have full details on all of your programming, get us what you can. (For tips on how to write a press release, check out this post.)

Please note:
We probably won't be able to list every submission in print, but we'll make sure everything makes it into our online calendar, which is what we draw from to generate listings for the weekly print version of the paper. (If you're interested in purchasing advertising in Agenda, direct your inquiry to

Related: If you're an Oregon author with a book coming out this fall, please let me know.

I'd also be interested to hear any feedback on the first issue, as I'm putting together issue two. Feel free to email me or leave a comment here. (If your feedback is "cover more film/opera/classical music/whatever thing you're into that we didn't cover", we're working on it.)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Win VIP Tickets to Back Fence, PDX

Posted by Alison Hallett on Mon, Jun 23, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Our pals at storytelling series Back Fence PDX are gearing up for a big weekend: This Friday, their popular mainstage show moves to the Hollywood Theater, after a long and productive run at the Mission. (The Mission, like the Bagdad, is moving away from hosting live events.)

Back Fence invites interesting musicians, writers, and performers to tell true, unscripted stories based on a given theme. This week's theme is "Rituals and Superstitions," and the show features actress/writer Moon Zappa, performer Jessica Lee Williamson (featured in the video above), Blizten Trapper's Brian Koch, Black Portlanders founder Intisar Abioto, and Robopocalypse author Daniel H. Wilson.

And we've got tickets to give away! In addition to a pair of front row, VIP tickets to Friday's show, winners will receive:

-a $10 gift card to Bunk; you can use it night-of at the Bunk Truck, which will be on-site at the show
-Hollywood theater tickets
-A tasting certificate for two from New Deal Distillery
-a coupon from betsy + iya to receive a free ring

(Can I win? I want to win!)

To enter, email me no later than Wednesday, June 25 at 5 pm with "Back Fence PDX" in the subject line and your full name in the body of the email. I'll select a winner by the end of the day on Wednesday, June 25; you'll hear from Thursday morning if you won. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Back Fence PDX at the Hollywood Theater, 4122 NE Sandy, Friday, June 27 at 8 pm, $13-20, tickets available online here.


Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Mon, Jun 23, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Maybe you've noticed that this rad former service station on N Interstate and Skidmore has been undergoing a transformation over the past few months:


It's been becoming Associated... again:

  • Associated via Facebook

The space was taken over three months ago by Aaron Hoskins, Corey Davis, Caitlin Troutman, and Amanda Yakisoba (full disclosure: Hoskins and Troutman are friends of mine), who have transformed the '30s-era structure into a cafe, antique/collectibles store, and HQ for "artistic services":

We wish to facilitate, encourage, and encompass the Creative economy:
the idea is to offer not only wares (antiques and collectibles) but a physical platform for ideas: to allow other merchants and creative artisans a place to come together and manifest their ideas in a community setting, while simultaneously offering a stylized events venue for film, fashion, photography, performance art, music, etc.

Associated had their soft opener last night, and are officially opening doors next week on July 4. Hoskins has incredible taste when it comes to design, and word is that Portland makers like Mike Spencer and Hazel Cox will be represented on the retail side, while Stumptown Coffee, Fressen Artisan Bakery (yum, pretzels), and Farina Bakery will be on offer in the small cafe space. They're positioned to be "a landmark for the rebirth of the NeonSignDistrict," and even if antiques, plants, and local small goods aren't your bag, it seems like that neighborhood is in need of a good coffee joint. Check 'em out while the sun is shining and the outdoor seating is plentiful.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Risk/Reward Preview: Watch These Segways Try to Do Each Other

Posted by Alison Hallett on Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 3:29 PM

The arts!

Seattle-based artist/dancer/Segwist Erin Pike is one of the performers at this weekend's Risk/Reward festival, an annual showcase of new performance work from West Coast artists. Also on the roster: Ilvs Strauss, a mixed-media artist from Seattle who's known for witty slideshow presentations; the Neutral Fembot Project, a Portland ensemble with a performance-art piece inspired by the work of photographer Cindy Sherman; Portland dancer Lucy Lee Yim; and a preview of the Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble's next show.

The best part: All performances clock in at 20 minutes or under, which means you get an attention-span friendly sampler-platter of cutting-edge West-coast performance and compound adjectives, all in just about two hours. Read more about the participating artists here!

Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 SW Alder, Fri June 20-Sat June 21, 7:30 pm, Sun June 22, 5 pm, $18,


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Forest for the Trees 2014

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Last year was the first for Forest for the Trees, an initiative founded to bring in a mix of local and international artists to paint permanent murals on walls around the city—walls that for many years were off-limits for such projects thanks to some legal challenges. The first year resulted in 10 completed walls by artists from Australia and Canada as well as Portland, which now adorn locations like ADX and Gigantic Brewing Company. This year they're shooting for more than a dozen new projects with 20 artists from here and abroad, to not only make the city more visually interesting but to forge new relationships between Portland and visiting artists. Due to take place in August, the 2014 version is well on its way, but they are trying to raise some cash for supplies and lift rentals, and plane tickets. With five days left they're at 57% of their goal, so if you're into what they're doing, check out the ask video, which also shows you some of the progress they've already made with last year's installment:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sword + Fern to Leave E Burnside

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Emily Baker's Sword + Fern is one of the city's most unique, personal shops. In addition to showcasing its in-house line of wildly popular jewelry, Baker has used it to gather small vintage housewares, art, plants, a line of wildcrafted apothecary products, books, posters, and more. Despite its tiny size, its always invited careful exploration since opening back in 2008, and as such it's been a popular stop for shoppers and out-of-town press alike, helping to pave the lower E Burnside area into the shopping destination it is now.

So, it's a little sad to hear that Baker is closing the E Burnside shop at the end of this month until a new location can be sussed out. In the meantime, Baker is offering 40% off in honor of their anniversary (online code: HAPPY6) until the end of the month, and the online shop isn't going anywhere. Now is an excellent time to get some of the rad, new-agey vibes Baker throws down into your life until her next move becomes apparent.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tonight: Stephanie Syjuco at MoCC

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 1:59 PM

This evening at 6:30 San Francisco mixed-media artist Stephanie Syjuco (her work is part of the permanent collections of both the SF MOMA and the Whitney) is giving a free lecture at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in advance of a two-day workshop she is also teaching next week. It's part of the museum's Fashioning Cascadia exhibit (up now through early October), which has not only condensed a ton of information on the region's apparel industry, but has created some really valuable opportunities to connect with artists and academics from outside the immediate community whose work engages with the world of fashion on fascinating conceptual levels beyond discussion of aesthetics and economic models. It's the kind of programming MoCC specializes in, wherein raising questions is prioritized over presenting explanation, and having that kind of attention turned on the apparel world doesn't happen too often in Portland.

So, what I am trying to say is: I am super excited to see how Suyjuco is going to tie in WWI-era dazzle camouflage (striped battleships; you've seen 'em) with modern surveillance technology and modern approaches to fashion. And if you are too, you should probably key into this and the other events MoCC has on the docket. There aren't many museum institutions in Portland that have the resources to bring in programming like this, and the next time something apparel-related cycles through their doors could well be a while.

  • Stephanie Syjuco

Monday, June 9, 2014

High Art/Low Art: Scooby-Doo Background Paintings

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Here's a relatively ancient blog post from Secret Fun Blog that documents the 50 best background paintings from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? seasons one and two—and DAMN! Taken out of context, they are really gorgeous for a series we normally think of as artistically sub-par. From SFB:

The background art in Scooby Doo Where Are You? (1969-1971) is equally splendid and foreboding. The rich, painterly environment almost compensates for the clunky character animation. Ex-Disney artist, Walt Peregoy set a high standard during his brief, first episode stint as Background Stylist. But the background crew continued to churn out quality, creepy work throughout the following two seasons. Hanna-Barbera may be known for their annoying use of repeated, looping backgrounds but, as you are about to see, in this case the sublime scenery is well worth another look.

Here are just a few:





See all 50 here!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Photos from the Steam Radio Syndicate's Debut Broadcast

Posted by Alison Hallett on Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 11:30 AM

In last week's paper, I wrote about the Steam Radio Syndicate, a new audio collective that's taken up residence on an old WWII tugboat just north of St. Johns. On Friday, the Syndicate had their coming-out party: A four-hour-long show on KBOO featuring music, readings, and theatrical performance, all broadcast live. The show was closed to the public, but we've got photos—hit the jump, or see the full set here.

Continue reading »


Friday, May 9, 2014

Fashioning Cascadia and Seaplane: Epicenter of Independent Fashion Design in Portland, 2001 - 2008

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Fri, May 9, 2014 at 9:59 AM

The Museum of Contemporary Craft's Fashioning Cascadia finally opens today! I was able to attend a press preview while the final touches were being put on yesterday morning, and I'll be back; there is a lot to take in, so allow yourself plenty of time to engage in all the multimedia doodads that make up the whole picture. In the meantime, though, you can check out the Seaplane archives, which are now available via the exhibit site.

Portland fashion certainly existed before Seaplane—the legendary shop founded by Holly Stalder and Kate Towers—but in my mind it's where the independent fashion scene that's since proliferated really took hold; it's certainly where I was first made aware that "Portland" and "fashion" might belong in a sentence together without the word "vintage." It was more than just a store. It might sound corny, but it really was a community, and the fashion shows they used to put on were the place to be. They'd have the coolest music, the members of Sleater-Kinney would be in the front row, and down the runway would come some of the most original design work that money could buy. Looking at the old photos might make those who were part of that extended community a wee bit misty eyed, and if you weren't there take a peek at the scene that motivated a ton of people to consider locally made clothing an artistic pursuit.

  • via PNCA/MoCC

The legacy continues, obviously: take a peek at some of the designers sustaining the momentum featured in this week's feature, as well as IRL at next week's Open Season fashion shows.

Friday, May 2, 2014

This Is Your Last Weekend to See Rodrigo Valenzuela at Archer Gallery

Posted by Alison Hallett on Fri, May 2, 2014 at 2:29 PM


Jenna Lechner wrote a lovely piece in this week's paper about artist Seattle artist Rodrigo Valenzuela, who's got a show at Archer Gallery through this weekend:

IT'S RARE to see art that strikes an intellectual nerve, a visual nerve, and a personal nerve, but the photographs and videos in Rodrigo Valenzuela's fantastic show Help Wanted hit all of these marks: The show is conceptually curious, beautifully crafted, and it has a story behind it.

Valenzuela emigrated from Chile to the United States in 2005. He lived for three years without documentation, finding work through labor agencies and by standing on the street; he recalls his time on construction sites, and "the ridiculousness of a 22-year-old Latino guy eating lunch by himself and reading Kant."

Now he lives in Seattle, where he won The Stranger newspaper's coveted Genius Award in Visual Art last year. The Stranger's art critic, Jen Graves, praised him as "generous and hardworking" in writing about the award.

Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"Prairie Porn" and Product: Kinfolk's Ouur

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 10:59 AM

It's been somewhat difficult to keep track of all the ways Portland's been made fun of in the national media over the past couple weeks between our urine-phobic water management and twee adverts for failed insurance web sites, so don't feel too bad if you missed the NYT's shot aimed at the Portland-based Kinfolk magazine:

The publication has gained a foothold with the international design-foodie elite for its elegant white pages showing little more than beautiful, dreamy young (mostly white) people, wearing loose braids, knit caps, calico skirts and plenty of comfy flannel and doing earthy things like communing over groaning boards of roasted garden vegetables, diving into swimming holes and lazily traversing the world’s byways on vintage bikes with picnic baskets affixed to them.

Heh. Someone was just telling me a few days ago that they and their partner have an inside joke whenever they spot especially perfect, preciously presented Portlanders on the street, quietly asking each other, "Oh, are those the Kinfolk people?" This piece solidifies it: Kinfolk is officially a cultural touchstone. And while the Times article is most interested in poking at its aesthetic as a super-white, Depression-fetish publication, wherein "nobody is shoveling a smelly Chipotle lunch into his or her mouth while toiling in an ugly beige cubicle, nobody owns any appliances or vehicles built after 1970, and certainly nobody is wasting time playing video games on an Android while lounging around in technical-fabric gym-wear," there's also a footnote about Ouur, the publication's expansion into home goods and apparel, which the company officially announced yesterday.

Currently it's only available in Japan, with North American access coming later this year. The clothing emphasizes natural fabrics like linen, cotton and wool and neutral palette, which is certainly consistent with their aesthetic:

  • Tec Petaja

Important questions remain, like where the products are made (the press release mentions US denim manufacturers and fabric sources from Western Europe and Lithuania as well as a variety of Japanese sources), where you'll be able to find them, and what the price point will look like, but the designs seem representative of the stated aim to be "easily interchangeable, comfortable and functional."

Friday, April 25, 2014

Flora and Fauna Forevermore

Posted by Jenna Lechner on Fri, Apr 25, 2014 at 5:16 PM

  • APAK's "Harmonious Kingdom," on display at Hellion Gallery.

This Saturday is your last chance to catch a great show in town—The Tall Trees of Portland, on display at Hellion Gallery (19 NW 5th Ave #208, Saturday 12-5pm). It’s a nice mixture of fantastical flora and fauna. Some might be sick of this style featuring “creatures your roommate’s last band was named after,” however this work is the cream of the crop of this Portland-y style. In the mix are a number of local artists, many who have graced the fine pages of this publication: AJ Fosik, Ryan Bubnis, Souther Salazar, and MORE!

Also worth checking out: a really lovely book with the same title (flip through it at Powell's or Hellion Gallery). It’s all put together by Matt Wagner, the curator at Hellion Gallery. It’s published by Overcup Press. It’s a collection of artist’s work who are featured in this show—it's like a coffee-table art book, but also includes questionaires and peeks inside the studios of the artists, which makes it a little more fun. It catches the pulse of the art in the city right now; I imagine that, in 20 years, this book will serve as a perfect time capsule of the art in our city right now.

Hellion Gallery also presented a show in Tokyo this month—featuring AJ Fosik in collaboration with 13 Tokyo artists, called Beast from a Foreign Land; for pics of that, check out Hellion Gallery's Instagram stream. In the meantime, hit the jump for more snaps from The Tall Trees of Portland show and book.

A questionaire with artist Souther Salazar, featured in The Tall Trees of Portland
  • A questionaire with artist Souther Salazar, featured in The Tall Trees of Portland

Continue reading »

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Blue Rider Design: The World-Class Textile Library in Portland That You've Probably Never Seen

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Though Caleb Sayan, the manager of Blue Rider Designs, has made sporadic public appearances in Portland over the years, in general the Old Town-based textile library that "houses and maintains an international collection of over 40,000 textiles and original artwork" maintains a low profile. It doesn't keep public hours, for starters, and rather quietly moved from its original spot in NYC to right around the corner from my office, and boy have I got to get in there:

This textile library began in New York in 1987 and was skillfully assembled by Andrea Aranow and edited for surface designers of the most exacting standards. Its unique perspective helped them garner inspiration from unique cultural and historical sources worldwide with textile designs representing 6 continents and countless countries. Noted clients included Ralph Lauren, Vuitton, Marni, Dries van Noten, Abercrombie & Fitch and UNIQLO. The collection provides design inspiration to apparel, footwear, wallpaper, upholstery, and stationery industries. The breadth and depth of the textile designs in the collection are exceptional, showcasing aesthetic styles such as mid-century modern, art-deco, toile de Jouy, and tropicals. For whimsical prints clients can peruse French nautical themes, Japanese waves, and 1950s Americana assemblages. For vivid color inspiration a look at our original 1970’s artwork from New York or appliques from Panama and African strip weaving is bound to inspire. Handcrafted highlights from the collection include block-printed linens from England and stenciled kimono silks. The woven selection offers every surface from Japanese crepes to French tissue picks, voided velvets, and jacquards. The needlework section includes French curtains, Victorian laces, and detailed eyelets for simple elegance.

  • Blue Rider Design

Pop over to MOD to watch the video about the collection's origins, featuring some chump named Jimi Hendrix.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

ATTENTION SCOFFLAWS: You Have Until Midnight to Pay the Arts Tax

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Because our reader polls are super-duper scientific, it's a proven fact that 35 percent of eligible Portlanders will refuse to pay the city's $35 arts tax by midnight tonight.


Based on population alone, that's 200,000 people who've decided they can simply get away with not paying a tax approved by 62 percent of voters just eighteen months ago. The real number is actually substantially less, given that you're exempt if you earned less than a $1,000 bucks last year and/or rely on entitlements to make ends meet.

But we're still talking about millions of dollars that could be going to schools and arts organizations that aren't.

Some of you, I realize, have opposed the tax from the start. Fine! And maybe you can get away with ignoring it! The city has said it won't sic collections agencies on scofflaws until they miss a few years of payments. Except the arts tax isn't going away, as much as you might hope. So eventually, they'll catch up to you.

And the rest of you liked it until it came time to pay it—something that was exceedingly difficult last year and even cost you extra money if you tried to do it online. (That's not the case this year.) It's not perfect. This much is true. But then, when the tax raised less money than expected, some of you skeptics who helped bring about that outcome tried pointing to it as some kind of a justification for not paying. Even though it was partly your fault.

The good news is you still have time to do the right thing this year. More than 12 hours' worth! Arts education matters. And it's not just about schools, who have first dibs at whatever's raised. It's also about arts organizations—most of which aren't dripping with money and could really use the money they've been promised to make sure kids who'd otherwise never get to see a play or stroll a museum get those chances.

So click here. Do it now.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Adam Arnold's "BOOM": Another Point of View

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 12:14 PM

It's been a couple weeks now since Adam Arnold's spring show—his first traditional (-ish) runway show in a couple years. I posted a few images with my recap of the event soon after, but more images have come in from longtime Arnold collaborator Christy Klep that help fill out the takeaway from a presentation that mixed dramatic elements with some of the designer's most casually focused apparel to date. Check 'em out over on MOD.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Oh, Crap. It's Time to Pay the Arts Tax! HAVE YOU DONE THAT YET?

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Other papers in town (cough... the Oregonian... cough) seem to be making quite the splash these days with posts built around reader polls and/or comments plucked from previous stories. And now we want to play, too!

So here's a question: Have you paid the arts tax yet? It's due next Tuesday, April 15.

I have not paid it. I know this because the city just emailed me telling me I had not paid it. And then it occurred to me that maybe several of you also hadn't paid your $35 yet.

(Which is something you really should do. For one thing, the city might someday in several years come and send a collections agency after you and other scofflaws who keep laughing at a tax approved by 62 percent of voters in 2012. For another, skimpy collections last year left a bunch of arts organizations, planning expansions of programs for low-income kids, in the lurch. Oh, and also? There's no more fee if you use a debit card.)

Museum of Contemporary Craft Director and Chief Curator Namita Gupta Wiggers Steps Down

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Yesterday evening a press release went out announcing that Director and Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Craft Namita Gupta Wiggers is stepping down from her full-time role at the institution after 10 years. Wiggers oversaw the museum's move from Corbett Ave to the heart of the city, doubled the size of its collection, was responsible for landmark exhibitions like Ai Wei Wei's first West Coast show, and remains one of the city's most interesting interviews, in my opinion. Promisingly, she is expected to continue work with MoCC in some capacity in addition to pursuing other gigs in independent curating, consulting, and teaching, as well as continuing to develop Critical Craft Forum, which she co-founded in 2008. The news comes as the museum is on the cusp of big changes itself, integrating more completely as a department of PNCA, which is itself migrating quickly to take over the North Park Blocks. Wiggers has an incredible wealth of insight and enthusiasm to share, so I hope whatever shakes out for her will keep her voice in a prominent and easily accessed place within the city. As PNCA president Tom Manley puts it, "Her impact on the institution and the field will be felt well into the future, and we look forward to this new phase of our relationship with her."

Monday, April 7, 2014

Early Hints of a Liza Rietz x BOET Collaboration

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Design collaborations are common enough, but early word on one slated for early fall has caught my particular attention. Liza Rietz and BOET's Emily Bixler are apparel and accessory designers for the most part, but both of their work easily overlaps with fine art perspective. Rietz's designs, especially her one of a kind masterpieces, are the sort of clothing you can call "sculptural" without exaggeration, and while Bixler most frequently traffics in metal and fiber as earrings and necklaces, she's also done great installation and wall handing work, even fashioning some lighting fixtures for a month-long trunk show she held at Yo Vintage! last fall. The two have neighboring studios up in NW, and the news of an upcoming shared project is the best kind of inevitable. Via Rietz:

Emily and I have gravitated towards each others work for years now, and are looking to design and make a collection of sculptural clothing combining Emily's signature crochet and textural knitting with my structural garment construction. We are both fascinated by garment as sculpture - focusing on architectural and textural elements and how a garment takes shape once on the physical body. In blending our two distinct but similar modalities, we hope to achieve aspects of design that would otherwise not be possible. We are hoping to have a collection of no more than 10 pieces and we are planning on having an opening in late September or early October with the intention of displaying the collection for a month.

Stay tune for more on the project as it develops over on MOD.

Notions of Beauty: NW Fashion Photography Now

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 11:29 AM

As if it needed further emphasis, the relationship between fashion and photographer has been underscored on the regional level of late by the unprecedented number of lookbooks being produced by shops and designers. And so it seems an appropriate time to celebrate that symbiosis with a proper art show: Notions of Beauty: NW Fashion Photography Now is opening May 1 at the Art Institute's Steven Goldman Gallery, featuring "large-format prints, video, installation, and fashion objects" from the region's shooters, including Holly Andres, Lindsey Avenetti, Julia Barbee, Brendan Coughlin, Lavenda Memory, Sarah Moskovitz, BriAnne Wills, and curator Christine Taylor, among others—22 in all. According to the exhibit statement:

Fashion is so much more than clothing, it is an expression and a cultural statement about how to live, what we find inspirational, and what we desire. Without photography, fashion design would not have the presence it has in our culture. The relationship between designer and photographer is most valuable, and a good match is critical to reaching a larger audience. Photographers hold their own views on what is fashionable, views that revolve around tone, light, form and composition - in addition to fashion and trend. On account of this, many great designers look for a shooter not only with technical ability, but also with an idiosyncratic style. Alas in a more commercial era of lower budgets, the deadpan white walled lookbook, Instagram, and cameras that think for us, creative ideas with spirited viewpoints on beauty are often lost in translation. So we find ourselves asking, what is the creative testimony behind contemporary fashion photography without the brand?

The opening First Thursday party will run from 5-8 pm, and the exhibit itself will be up through the end of May.

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