Art Scatter is a home for writing by Bob Hicks (a.k.a. Mr. Scatter) and Laura Grimes (a.k.a. Mrs. Scatter) on subjects ranging from theater, dance, and visual art to the perils of pickling and the joys of reading and writing on the bus.

Some of our writing is very personal, about subjects important to us and a small circle of family and friends. Much is very public. We mix it up. That’s the way life is, and that’s the way Art Scatter is.

We’re based in Portland, Oregon, and sometimes also write about our travels to places like London, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Bruges, the Olympic Peninsula, and rarer destinations including Enterprise, Oregon (home of Hells Canyon Mule Days) and Cape Foulweather on the Oregon Coast. You might now and again see references to the LSBs, or Large Smelly Boys, who are in residence at Chez Scatter. And sometimes we’ll mention the OED, or Older Educated Daughter, who is precisely that.

We sometimes run commentary by a select group of guest writers, including dance critic extraordinaire Martha Ullman West and food writer and essayist Trisha Pancio Mead. Art Scatter began, in February 2008, as a place for arts and cultural stories by veteran arts journalists Barry Johnson and Bob Hicks, and literary and visual arts essayist Vernon Peterson. Johnson and Peterson eventually left for other pursuits, Johnson to found Oregon ArtsWatch, Portland’s leading home for online arts journalism.

Who we are:

Laura Grimes is a poet, essayist, and humorist who spent many years at The Oregonian newspaper as an editor and designer. She’s worked in nonprofit arts administration and creates vividly reimagined assemblages from repurposed materials. She is also undisputed boss of Scatter’s thriving underground pickle-making enterprises.

Bob Hicks is a journalist who has worked for newspapers in Oregon and the states of Washington and New York. He was an arts critic and editor for 25 years at The Oregonian, and his work has been published in periodicals including American Theatre and Biblio. His most recent book is Beth Van Hoesen: Fauna & Flora (Pomegranate, 2014). He is also an editor of and frequent contributor to Oregon ArtsWatch.

Here are the final two sentences of Art Scatter’s original statement of purpose, as written by Barry Johnson. They still apply: “We gather, we carve, we leave marks, we study marks. We observe culture, we are part of culture.”

a Portland-centric arts and culture blog