Tag Archives: Allan Oliver

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.

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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.

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ILLUSTRATIONS, from top:

  • 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.

Damn everything but the circus!

Just in time, on a gray Portland day with far more static than electricity in its air, comes this note from Allan Oliver, who runs Onda Gallery on Northeast Alberta Street.

 "Show Time," acrylic on canvas, Deborah Spanton/Onda Gallery“Damn everything but the circus!” Allan advises, quoting the great, undercapitalized e.e. cummings, who wrote in full:

Damn everything but the circus!
. . . damn everything that is grim, dull,
motionless, unrisking, inward turning,
damn everything that won’t get into the
circle, that won’t enjoy, that won’t throw
its heart into the tension, surprise, fear
and delight of the circus, the round
world, the full existence . . .

Mr. Scatter finds himself in complete agreement today, and feels a sudden compulsion to wheel his unicycle out of the garage and go cavorting with a trained elephant. Citizens of the world, we have nothing to lose but the liars, lackeys and cheats!

Before Mr. Scatter dons his clown costume, though, he should explain why Mr. Oliver sent this most appropriate of poems. It was to announce a new, circus-themed show at the gallery of paintings and prints by Deborah Spanton (that’s her acrylic on canvas Show Time pictured) and prints by Gene Flores. The show doesn’t open until April 29 (it runs through May 25), but we simply couldn’t wait to spread the news.

Excuse us, please. We’re off to find the hurdy gurdy man.

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.