By Bob Hicks
Quit fooling around with Photo Booth stretchy faces on your new iPad: time to get serious about this shutterbug thing. April is Portland Photo Month, aligning itself with the biannual Photolucida portfolio extravaganza, and high-quality photo shows are all over town.
On Saturday, a big handful of Pearl District galleries will be open late for receptions, generally until 7 in the evening and generally with the featured photographers on hand. Get details at the Portland Photo Month Web site, which has the advantage of also being an excellent virtual photogravure of what’s going on this month. You’ll also find listings of various artists’ talks: for instance, the excellent nature photographer Ron Cronin speaks at noon Saturday at Augen Gallery.
In print: Meanwhile, I have brief reviews in this morning’s Oregonian A&E section of several gallery shows: Sean Healy’s small-town cultural lament Upstate, which involves a lot of cigarette butts, at Elizabeth Leach; Isaac Layman’s big manipulated household photos, also at Leach; Eirik Johnson and Julie Blackmon’s radically differing but equally appealing photos, at Laura Russo; and Kentree Spiers’ small bright semi-abstract landscapes at Blackfish. Pick up a dead tree and check it out, or see it online here.
Previews of coming attractions: This afternoon I’ll be having coffee with artist Nan Curtis, this year’s winner of one of Portland’s most coveted arts prizes, the Bonnie Bronson Fellowship Award. We’ll be passing along some of what she has to say. A public reception is coming up 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, April 25, in the lounge of Reed College’s Kaul Auditorium.
Last week I sat down with the excellent Portland actor Michael Mendelson (he’s opening soon in The Cherry Orchard at Artists Rep) to talk about his newest passion, the Portland Shakespeare Project. The new company, for which he’s artistic director, opens this summer with one of the Bard’s best comedies, As You Like It, plus a staged reading of Jeffrey Hatcher’s Compleat Female Stage Beauty, a comedy about English theater in the days when men and boys still played the women’s roles. More to come.
Finally, Mr. Scatter is getting ready to embark on yet another expedition into the wild and woolly northlands, on beyond the concrete canyons of Microsoftia and into the frontier territories of Bug and Jam. Who knows what wondrous unanticipated adventures might occur?