Timeless and Free

Our understanding of time is a fascinating thing. When regarded as an objective phenomena it carries an inexorable weight tied to impermanence and its passage flies before us. However, when detached from a conceptual framework, and regarded instead as a purely subjective experience, we gain access to a boundless abundance that is scarcely less then eternity. By turns of perspective, each moment is both the briefest flicker, and also an endless river of light.

In addition to highlighting shows this month on this topic, I invite you to regard art as a gateway to an experience of timelessness. As you viewer a work of art tonight, allow yourself to become fully immersed in it, and swim in the cool river of its expereince.
Hope to see you tonight,

Noah Alexander Isaac Stein
First Friday PDX President


The Thin Veil refers to a time or place where the boundary between our world and the spirit world, or the mystical and mundane, is less solid and more easily transversed. This show features work by collage artist Greg Traw and over 20 other local artists exploring such liminal and otherworldly spaces in a variety of styles and media. Please join us for opening night, Friday June 2nd, 2023 from 7 to 9 pm. The show runs through July 28th.  
7 PM – 9 PM @ 3421 SE 21ST Ave., Portland, OR 97214 
Portland photographer Phil Harris exhibits images from his Duration series of large-scale time-based inkjet prints. The pictures are about the passage of time, change, and the unstable quality of the fleeting moment. All the images were made using a small hand-held point-and-shoot camera, along with some patience and wholehearted attention. Each assembled picture lays out a process of change that can be hard to understand without a visual guide.
Phil Harris has been a Portland-based art photographer for decades. He taught for some years at Oregon College of Art and Craft, and has exhibited his work around the US. His images are held in numerous collections, public and private.
6 PM – 8 PM @ 2505 SE 11th Avenue, Suite 104 – in the Ford Building, enter on Division Street Portland, OR
10 year anniversarv at Manifestation!Brother husbands on DJ duties.
6 PM – 9 PM @ 2020 SE Bush St., Portland, OR 
5 PM – 8 PM @ 210 W. Evergreen Boulevard #300, Vancouver, WA 
This interdisciplinary exhibit will feature paintings, photographs and language as vehicles for processing the wildfires of 2020 which now visit us annually along the West coast. Painting by Ann Ruttan, photography by Sarah Grew and writing by Apricot Irving will transport you through creative interpretations of this collective experience.Driven equally by hope and despair, Ann has emerged with breathtaking landscape oil paintings showing the unstoppable force of the flame. Sarah has developed sobering carbon photographs onto glass, composed of the ashes from these very same forests, and Apricot’s blog entries capture the reader
4 PM – 8 PM @ 108 E Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver, WA
Join us for adult beverages and nibbles! You can meet the artists while enjoying the ART!
Feature show artists: Tyler (Awake) Bingham, Emily Kepulis, Erick Martinez
Spotlight artist: Kendra Kent
Show runs: June 1-July 2, 2023
Art is also available online, starting on June 1.

Emily Kepulis is a mixed-media visual artist and muralist living in Portland, OR. 
Tyler (Awake) Bingham is a self-taught painter living in Portland, OR. 
Erick Martinez is a figurative sculptor fascinated by the human body and its emotions.
Kendra Kent a visual artist currently living  in Beaverton, OR.
Ha Austin: ceramics
Melody Bush: carved books
Ann Magruder: paintings
Jackie McIntyre: mixed media
This show runs May 4-28.
5 PM – 7 PM @ 140 SE 28th Ave., Portland, OR
East Creative welcomes Drawing Club guest artists Scott Brown, Molly Day, Theresa Devost and Heather Mcgeachy who will be displaying their show-Human Condition 2nd Edition on First Friday June 2nd! Come meet the artists! Tour our studios, enjoy Live Painting, Live music and more. 
6 PM – 9 PM @ 211 SE Madison St., Portland, OR 97214 
Photography by Kelly Delay 
6 PM – 11 PM @ 118 NE 28th Ave, Portland, OR 97232 
 We are thrilled to announceCoalescence, a duo art show featuring the work of Dave Long @mistymenus and Rachel Rusenko @rusenkoart here at Earth Space PDX!This is gonna be a special one! We will unveil the first prototype of el-wire light art collaboration, featuring Rusenko linework, and 3D printing wizardry by Dave Long! Dave will also have several of his animatronic wings on display- vou are warmly encouraged to try them on and play! Along with original paintings by Long and Rusenko, this will be a jam-packed juicy, multi sensory, multi medium experience you won’t want to miss!The show opens Fridav June 2nd from 6-10pm! *Gongfu Tea Service with Antlerstone Tea @antlerstonetea @russell bohr© Tarot Readings with Love Cult @the.love.cult @psvtherialSad Live music by Dave Long @mistymenus
6 PM – 10 PM @ 4135 SE Gladstone St., Portland, OR
Hey friends, we are back for First Friday on June 2nd with a fabulous group print show. 6-10 pm at Bite Studio. You should join us!(Image by Pat Stevens) 
6 PM – 10 PM @ 2000 SE 7th Ave., Portland, OR 
Come join us for our epic Summer Skate Deck Show•. We had over 100 artists answer the call and the artists take 100% of sales. The work is diverse, dynamic, and in a huge variety of mediums. Glass, cloth, clay, epoxy, paint…Free Live Music from & :@superoceanband and @higlowmusicDonations for drinks pay the bands. Special thanks to @fracturebrewing_starkIf you are not tagged you will be on Wednesday. If you are tagged but will not be in the show- you can still come and hang out.
4 PM – 7 PM @ 417 SE 11th Ave, Portland, OR 

 Visit the First Friday PDX website for more events and the First Friday mapContact UsWe love to promote art events involving our participating galleries and artists, please be sure to send your news and any feedback to: press@firstfridaypdx.org
Or use our online event submission form!

General inquires: info@firstfridaypdx.org

What is Art Therapy?

Well, it is definitely not the adult coloring book since there is no art therapist to supervise. It is a hybrid of art and psychology were no one needs any fancy artistic skill in order to do it. The therapist sees clients from all walks of life and uses art to improve their well-being and mental health. 

It started to become prominent in the 1940’s as a distinct discipline. The first person to coin the term art therapy was English artist Adrian Hill in 1942. He was being treated for tuberculosis in 1938 and discovered how art affects the mind and body. Hill’s work was expanded by artist Edward Adamson, who helped establish the British Association of Art Therapists in 1964.

In the United States art therapy was being pioneered by Margaret Naumburg who was coined the “mother of art therapy”. Naumburg was an educator and a therapist.  In 1915, she opened the Walden School in New York City after studying briefly with Maria Montessori in Italy.

Even though art therapy has grown, it is still considered relatively new by today’s standards it is used in a variety of settings such as schools and nursing homes. This type of therapy focuses on inner experience and not on the finished product. In other words, the art therapist is not there to criticise the client’s art, but there to facilitate deep healing.  

As you can see, art therapy is beneficial to society, especially mental health. When verbal communication therapy fails, art is there to the rescue. 

Works cited: 

Altman, Julie. (2009, February 27). Margaret Naumburg. Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia.  Retrieved from https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/naumburg-margaret

Bitonte, Robert A, and Marisa De Santo. (2014, July 3). Art Therapy: An Underutilized, yet Effective Tool. Mental illness vol. 6,1 5354. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4253394/

Diconsiglio, John. (2016 February). Color Me Cautious: Don’t Mistake Adult Coloring Books for Art Therapy. Retrieved from https://columbian.gwu.edu/color-me-cautious-don%E2%80%99t-mistake-adult-coloring-books-art-therapy

Fountain, Henry. (1996, February 10). Edward Adamson, 84, Therapist Who Used Art to Aid Mentally Ill. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/1996/02/10/world/edward-adamson-84-therapist-who-used-art-to-aid-mentally-ill.html

Art & Emotion: Mark Rothko

Orange and Yellow by Mark Rothko

How many people can say that they have had an encounter with a painting that made them cry right there in a museum or art gallery? Did it happened to be a Mark Rothko painting?

For those of you who don’t know who Rothko was, he was an American painter born into a family of Russian Jewish intellects in 1903. His full name was Markus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz which got abbreviated to Mark Rothko in 1940 due to anti-Semitism. In 1913, he immigrated to America with his Mom and sister, they eventually meet up with his father and 2 brothers in Portland, Oregon. Soon after arriving his father sadly died.

Rothko had a complicated relationship to religion and after mourning the death of his father for almost a year, made a conscious decision to move away from organized religion.

He believed that color was “primal, elemental, pure unconscious emotional resonance and response.”(Meditations on Mark Rothko) This emotional response or experience was the reason why he recommended viewers to position themselves as little as 18 inches away from the canvas to have that experience. He described his paintings as “…not a picture of an experience. It is the experience.” This experience is eventually described as a religious transcendence or spiritual transcendence. The barrier that you find in other paintings is gone when you view one of Rothko’s paintings and become a part of it.  It is essentially taking you on a higher plane.

This higher plane is the communication of emotion, that invoke the experiences of grief, ecstasy and destiny. Rothko famously wrote that “The people who weep before my pictures, are having the same religious experiences I had when painting them.”

As seen, his paintings invoked basic human emotions that allowed for the viewer to actually be felt as a human being, in an empathic way. One were the person is listened to and finally understood. It is something that is lacking in today’s world and is needed more and more in a world gone mad.

Works Cited:

Auishai, Tamar, host. “Meditations on Mark Rothko.” Episode 24. The Lonely Palette. 22 November 2017. Retrieved from http://www.thelonelypalette.com/episodes/2017/11/20/episode-24-meditations-on-mark-rothko

Gaylord, Martin. ( 20 September 2008). The mysterious tragedy at the heart of Rothko’s tranquil masterpieces. Retrieved from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturereviews/3560926/The-mysterious-tragedy-at-the-heart-of-Rothkos-tranquil-masterpieces.html

Jain, Mayank. (28 March 2017). HOW TO UNDERSTAND ART – A MARK ROTHKO CASE STUDY. Retrieved from https://www.mayankja.in/blog/how-to-understand-art-a-mark-rothko-case-study

Color and Collage: Tonight at First Friday!


While there are perhaps infinite elements which characterize art, none looms so large in pure expressive power as color. In either exuberant overabundance, or in limited dramatic palates, color, more than form, line, or space is the essence of feeling. Much like feeling itself however, color is also a thing that does not exist independent of its subject but rather alters its.

In this respect color is not unlike collage. Through the repurposing of existing images, collage permits the creation of new subjects and meaning. The previously banal or benign can take on urgent potency with new context.

Like an alchemist, this alteration is the essential power of art. In doing so the artist can recast the mundane to the sublime, ugliness into beauty…and also the reverse. In deciding if such such feats of transmutation are truly possible however, it also a power which the viewer shares.

In the spirit of these thoughts, here are some colorful subjects for you to consider this First Friday:

  • Rainbows and pottery at Spectrum and Carson Culp at Eutectic Gallery
  • Stephanie Chefas Projects welcomes Yellena Jame’s colorful creations in Immerse
  • Mixed media and collage by Israel Hughes at Roll-Up Photo Studio + Gallery
  • Sidestreet Arts presents new collage and mixed media works in All Mixed Up
  • The Night Gallery at Splendorporium
  • A Spring Fling at East Creative Collective
  • A new blog post by Victoria Glanowski on Tetrachromacy

Look forward to seeing you tonight!

Noah Alexander Isaac Stein

First Friday PDX Director



Escape the dreary Northwest gray and immerse yourself in the eye-popping, candy colored rainbow of Spectrum. Blair Clemo will join us for the opening celebration, along with our Back Room artist, Carson Culp. Carson recently returned from a residency in Japan following an apprenticeship at Leach Pottery.

6 pm – pm @ 1930 NE Oregon St


This March, Stephanie Chefas Projects is delighted to present Immerse, the latest exhibition of work from Portland-based artist Yellena James. Prepare to take a deep plunge into the world of James’ creation, where ethereal forms overlap amidst a limitless expanse. Rendered in vibrant color, organic elements thrive within fully conceived ecosystems, as the collective result essentially swallows the viewer whole.

7 pm – 10 pm @ 305 SE 3rd Ave, Ste 202


Painter, collage artist and native Oregonian, Israel Hughes presents new mixed media works that celebrate layers, lines and edges. His intuitive process and improvisatory style are informed by visual poetry, New York Dada and a storied history as a theater manager and blues musician.

5 pm – 9 pm @ 1715 SE Spokane St, Portland


We’re ”All Mixed Up” for the month of March … with collage & mixed media works. Our First Friday Opening offers up fun conversation, delicious reception munchies and adult beverages. If you like to mingle with artists and art lovers, you’ll not want to miss this! (Please be 21 years of age to consume the alcohol).

6 pm – 9 pm @ 140 SE 28th Ave


Join us for the Night Gallery Show. Featuring artists Jason Stewart and Troy Hileman. Also, Ophelia Darkly will be here reading her haunted doll Tarot. This is going to be a dark, creepy, wonderful evening.

7 pm – 9 pm @ 3421 SE 21st Ave


Spring Fling Art and Craft is happening at East Creative in conjunction with First Friday. Frida’s Den will be filled with amazing colorful art and crafts in addition to our fabulous First Friday open studio event. Come on down and see what all the fuss is about. Makers, shakers and artists abound! Plenty of free parking as always. Free Kombucha too.

6 pm – 9 pm @ 211 SE Madison St.


We are excited to welcome the Annie Meyer Gallery to the East Side. Come check out the new location on SE Clinton this Friday!

6 pm – 9 pm @ 2507 SE Clinton St.



“What if I told you that there is this really cool mutation existing in today’s world called tetrachromacy. What is tetrachromacy? Tetrachromacy is “The condition of possessing four independent channels for conveying color information or possessing four types of cone cell in the eye.” Basically, a person has an extra cone that allows them to see the differences in colors that appear identical to others…”

Read the full post here.

Contact Us

We love to promote art events involving our participating galleries and artists, please be sure to send your news and any feedback to: press@firstfridaypdx.org

General inquires: info@firstfridaypdx.org

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