Tag Archives: Nan Curtis

Nan Curtis? Pick up the phone, please

Portland interdisciplinary artist Nan Curtis is the 20th recipient of the annual Bonnie Bronson Fellowship Award. There’ll be a free public reception for her from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 25, in the Gray Lounge of Kaul Auditorium at Reed College.

Nan Curtis, "My Mom's Cigarette Wrapper" 2009 cigarette wrapper, paper, frame“My Mom’s Cigarette Wrapper,” 2009

By Bob Hicks

Don’t call them. They’ll call you. But you really do need to pick up the phone.

“My cell phone rang at 8:30 at night,” Portland artist Nan Curtis recalled the other day over coffee at inner Southeast Portland’s J&M Cafe. “My kids had just gone to bed, and — I didn’t know that number, so I didn’t pick it up.”

Then her land line started ringing. This time Curtis figured something must be up, so she answered.

Nan Curtis, "Mom Rocket," 2010. Steel, afghan, pillow.It was Christine Bourdette, the Portland sculptor who was the first recipient of the Bonnie Bronson Fellowship Award 20 years ago and is chair of the Bronson fund advisory committee. Congratulations, Bourdette  said. We chose you. Oh — and you can’t tell anyone for two months.

Just like that, Curtis joined a distinguished list of Oregon artists who have been named Bronson fellows. In order, the fellows include Bourdette, Judy Cooke, Ronna Neuenschwander, Fernanda D’Agostino, Carolyn King, Lucinda Parker, Judy Hill, Adriene Cruz, Helen Lessick, Ann Hughes, Malia Jensen, Christopher Rauschenberg, Kristy Edmunds, Paul Sutinen, Bill Will, Laura Ross-Paul, MK Guth, Marie Watt, David Eckard, and Curtis.

“Those are totally the artists that I grew up beneath. It’s a pretty cool list of people,” Curtis said.

Continue reading Nan Curtis? Pick up the phone, please

Portland Photo Month, all over town

"Still Life with Lemons, Grapes and Apple," Kerry Davis, at 12x16 GalleryKerry Davis/12×16 Gallery

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.

Mitch Dobrowner, "Bear's Claw," Blue Sky GalleryMitch Dobrowner/Blue Sky 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?