Tag Archives: Alberta Arts District

Onda calls it quits, Pander thinks big

Henk Pander, "Leviathan," oil on linen, 69" x 101", 2009. Laura Russo Gallery.

By Bob Hicks

Bad news arrived this morning for Portland art followers: Alberta Street mainstay Onda Gallery is shutting its doors at the end of the year. I’ve always liked gallery owner Allan Oliver and appreciated his efforts to make a home in Portland for the art of Latin America. Three years ago Oliver sold the space to Pablo Merlo Flores, whose wholesale business, Pampeana, represents Latin American gift and craft items across the United States. Oliver continued as gallery director. I’m sorry to see Onda disappear, and wish Allan the best.

Poster for this month's Onda Gallery exhibit. The party's almost over, friends.Here are excerpts from his announcement:

After twelve years at the forefront of the Alberta Street renewal, Onda Gallery will close its doors at the end of the year. The holiday show, featuring art work from Pacific Northwest, Cuban and Ecuadorian artists, will be the last art event at the gallery.

After assuming sole proprietorship in 2001, Allan Oliver curated over one hundred art shows with their openings on the Last Thursday of each month. His mission has been to introduce the Portland area art public to fine artists from Latin American countries, many of whom have presented their work in person, and to young, emerging and mid-career Latino artists living in the Pacific Northwest. …

The public and media are invited to the gallery’s final party on Saturday, November 20, 6-9 PM.


Today is First Thursday, which means new shows in a lot of the city’s galleries, and D.K. Row has several suggestions in this morning’s Oregonian on exhibits to hit. One to keep a special eye on is Henk Pander‘s exhibit of recent works at Laura Russo Gallery. That’s his painting Leviathan at the top of this post, and a leviathan is what it is — 69 inches tall and 101 inches wide.

Pander was born in the Netherlands and trained in the Dutch tradition, and he’s ¬†been one of our most important artists for a long time. His technical skill is part of that. He’s also willing to go into psychological and social areas that are uncomfortable for a lot of artists and art viewers. As he gets older, his work seems to get even more profound. You may recall Martha Ullman West’s tribute to Delores Pander, his wife, who died in June of this year, and Henk’s piercing, loving, astonishing portrait of her that he painted the year before she died. I think we could be seeing some pretty amazing things in this show.



  • Henk Pander, “Leviathan,” oil on linen, 69″ x 101″, 2009. Laura Russo Gallery.
  • Poster for this month’s Onda Gallery exhibit. The party’s almost over, friends.

Art & funk; the happy crunch of kimchi

Mr. Scatter hasn’t been writing a lot lately, at least not for print. Lots of notes, lots of transcriptions, lots of interviews and looking at stuff and thinking about it, but not so much for instant gratification — Mr. Scatter’s or his readers’.

Tabor Porter, carved devil figure, courtesy Guardino GalleryIn case you missed it, he did have this piece in last Friday’s A&E section of The Oregonian, a reflection on that not-so-polite (and extremely loosely organized) form of art known variously as folk, outsider, naive, primitive, self-taught, you name it.

A recent trip to the Bay Area has got him to thinking about artists like The Hairy Who (from Chicago, but they had a big influence on the Bay Area Figurative Art scene) and Robert Arneson, and of course the splendidly loony master cartoonist R. Crumb, whose surprising take on the Book of Genesis is at the Portland Art Museum right now, and fun and funk, and the disappearing distance between high and low art, “taught” and “outsider” art. That’s what the A&E piece is about, in the context of Portland’s variously beloved and maligned Alberta Arts District scene. ‘Nuff said. Read it for yourself.

The view from Mr. Scatter's window: the pagoda in San Francisco's Japantown. Wikimedia CommonsWhile he was in Baghdad by the Bay, Mr. Scatter stayed in Japantown, where the view out his window was the pagoda at right. Best thing about the very good hotel where he stayed, thanks to an excellent online deal: the long deep Japanese soaking tub, which he filled with hot water nightly to wash away the stress of those up-and-down hills. He tried not to think about the ungodly amount of water he was using. Sometimes, a person splurges.

San Francisco is a great place to eat, maybe right up there in the United States with New Orleans and New York, and Mr. Scatter had a bite or two. About a third of the city’s population is Asian, and it follows that eating in Asian spots can be a good bet, even little ones that don’t get much press. That was the deal with a little Korean diner he found one night: good bubbling stew with soft tofu and little oysters. But the side dishes, or banchan, were knockout: nine little bowls of kimchi and other various fermented sprouts, cucumbers, radishes and the like, including a dish of dried anchovies that had been partially reconstituted with oil, giving them a sharp funky taste and a chewy, almost woody texture. Outstanding. San Francisco treat or not, Rice-A-Roni didn’t stand a chance.



— Tabor Porter, carved devil figure, courtesy Guardino Gallery.

— The view from Mr. Scatter’s window: the pagoda in San Francisco’s Japantown. Wikimedia Commons.

Scatter’s Halloween/Day of the Dead rotogravure edition

Mr. Scatter anticipates an evening of answering doorbells and dispensing mass quantities of solidified high fructose corn syrup when the lights go down tonight. But there are other, possibly better, ways to celebrate Fright Night. A visual selection, not one of which has to do with overturning outhouses:

"Canta y no Llores" at Miracle Theatre. Photo: Russell Young

Miracle Theatre Group’s original Day of the Dead play “Canta y no Llores” continues through Nov. 15 at Teatro Milagro. Performed in Spanish and English, it looks back on the trials of the Great Depression. Ticket information here. Photo: Russell Young

Halloween at Disjecta: a night of the living dead

Disjecta, the big barn of an art and performance center just a swing of the ax from the Paul Bunyan statue in Kenton, has a Halloween two-fer. Kid-and-family-friendly stuff rules from noon to 4 on Saturday, with proceeds going to benefit Chief Joseph Elementary School. Then, starting at 9 in the evening and continuing ’til the graveyards empty, all inhibitions are off for a dance party of ghoulish proportions. Details here.

At Onda Gallery, a photograph by Paulina Hermosillo

In the Alberta Art District, Allan Oliver’s Onda Gallery specializes in the art and craft of Latin America. His Day of the Dead exhibit, continuing through Nov. 22, gathers work from nine Hispanic artists from Portland and the Willamette Valley, plus several others exploring similar ideas. The photo above is by Paulina Hermosillo. More information here.