Tag Archives: Jeff Jahn

Art notes: 1st Thursday, Sitka Invitational

Margot Voorheis Thompson at Sitka InvitationalMargot Voorheis Thompson/Sitka Invitational

By Bob Hicks

Tonight is First Thursday, Portland’s monthly gallery art walk. (We also have First Friday, Last Thursday and a few other gatherings, but this remains the big one.) Of course you don’t have to see the new exhibits tonight — most of them will be up all month — but if you like the party atmosphere and the thrill of being there first, tonight’s the night.

Fritz Liedtke, "April," from his show "Astra Velum" at Blue Sky.As always there’s a lot to see, more than any sane person can manage in a single evening. I have this roundup of highlights in this morning’s Oregonian, and as much as it covers, it leaves more out. Catch what you like, catch what you can, and remember: you have pretty much all of November to catch up with what you don’t catch tonight.

This weekend is the 18th annual Sitka Art Invitational at the World Forestry Center, just across from the Oregon Zoo. I covered the basics in this story on OregonLive. There are special events Friday night and Saturday after hours, but the big party is 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  Saturday and Sunday, and it’s a bargain: $5 (or free, if you’re younger than 18) gets you in the door, with unlimited return visits. About 120 artists, many of them leading regional names, will have roughly 450 works for sale, all to benefit the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology at Cascade Head on the northern Oregon coast. I’ve visited there, and it’s a very cool place, a haven for artists in residence and also a busy center for people wanting to take short-term art and nature courses.

Jim Neidhardt's "Atomic Fireball" at the Littman Gallery show "unGrounded."


  • Margot Voorheis Thompson at the Sitka Art Invitational.
  • Fritz Liedtke, “April,” from his show “Astra Velum” at Blue Sky.
  • Jim Neidhardt’s “Atomic Fireball” at the Littman Gallery show “foreGround,” curated by Jeff Jahn of PORT.

The craft of merging: Thoughts on a museum in flux

Tip Toland at Bellevue Arts Museum

What is craft? What is art? What is folk art? Outsider art? Contemporary art?

Are the distinctions real? Do they matter, or are they intellectual games people play, rococo road blocks in the path of direct emotional response to aesthetic objects?

Oh — and what’s a museum supposed to be, anyway?

Dumb questions, maybe. Or, as I prefer to think, basic questions — and sometimes, when you’re staring a big change in the face, basic questions are very good things to ask.

Here’s another one: How many museums does a city need to have a healthy critical mass?

Like a lot of people, I’ve been pondering the impending takeover of Portland’s financially sinking Museum of Contemporary Craft by the expansion-minded Pacific Northwest College of Art, a merger that might become final next month. The question at this point is no longer, “Is this a good idea?”. Barring the sudden swooping down from the heavens of a previously unsuspected angel, some sort of merger seems necessary if the museum is to survive, and this is the one that’s been worked out. So the question now is, “How will this work to the best long-term advantage of both institutions?”

Continue reading The craft of merging: Thoughts on a museum in flux

Hey, wait a minute Mr. Postman

Mister postman look and see/You got a letter in your bag for me

Yes, Art Scatter DOES get mail. Most excellent mail, thank you very much. For example, Scott Wayne Indiana sent us a key. Well, not exactly a key (“this is not a key”), but an image of a key. You can see at the left, right? And can you make out what it says? “Do not duplicate.” And what did we do? Just moments ago with a couple of clicks? Mr. Indiana waved the red flag right in front of us, and we couldn’t resist. Anyway, we like Mr. Indiana’s impulses, so we are not obeying the key, and we pass along his invitation to further disobedience. At his website, Mr. Indiana explains how.

We also received a note from Jeff Jahn at Portlandart.net, which he says is now in it’s third year. Art Scatter feels your pain, Mr. Jahn. Three years on the WWW must feel like … well, we could only imagine because we’re only four months in and that feels like… well, we have no idea. Anyway, he directed our attention to two interviews, one with LA art master Ed Ruscha and one with photographer Justine Kurland, and he was absolutely right. It was smart of Arcy Douglass to ask Ruscha about his use of diagonals in his work, and his answer, it has to do with trains (which will be coming up in a relativity post in August — trains, I mean!), was excellent. And Ryan Pierce’s take on Kurland is long and digressive and deep. She’s going to be a great addition to the art world here.

We’ve gotten two recent notes from Alyssa Rosso at the Tacoma Art Museum, which we admit to thinking is a pretty terrific museum, especially in its coddling of Northwest artists. The first is a call for submissions to the museum’s 9th Northwest Biennial. The deadline for you artists out there is July 26, and you have to work through some special entry site. We recommend going to the museum’s website and figuring out things from there. Alison de Lima Greene, cuurator of Contemporary Art and Special Projects at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, will be helping the museum’s Rock Hushka sort through the entries. Good luck! The second email simply lists the museum’s fall shows: recent acquisitions of a surrealist bent (including work by Salvador Dali and such Northwest artists as Morris Graves, Claudia Fitch, Anya Kivarkis, and Karen Willenbrink-Johnson); a Donald Fels collaboration with sign painters in India (which couldn’t sound more interesting); and the responses of Western artists to the Ottoman Empire. Hey, see you in Tacoma!

Finally, Art Scatter has made some very wise purchases at the Studio 333 open house before. Very wise indeed. It’s now called the Boxlift Building, but the artists, and we counted 15, are still conducting the open house. The details: 5 to 10 p.m., Saturday, June 14, 333 NE Hancock St and MLK Blvd. (with a music, wine and hors d’oeuvre reception). And thanks to Boxlift for letting us know about it!