Art in August: Anniversaries, Sex, and Heartbreak

It’s been a great summer for art so far, and the weather has cooled down just in time for First Friday!

Two galleries are celebrating anniversary openings on Friday, and after a great first First Friday Street Exhibition last month, we are looking forward to doing it again. Here is a list of some highlights to check out:

  • The second summer First Friday Street Exhibition, featuring more than 27 local artists, musicians, and more…
  • The Small Talk Photography Collective presents Heart Break City at Redux Boutique and Gallery
  • Midnight night fun with The Sex Show at Afru Gallery.
  • A group exhibition of artists celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Butters Gallery.
  • Live painting at the One Year Anniversary of Wolff Gallery

AUGUST STREET EXHIBITION AND OPEN STUDIOS AT EAST CREATIVE

Featuring the work of 16 independent artists in August, as well as 11 open studios, the street exhibition will showcase artists of the South East Industrial Arts District. Also featuring live music by The Groove Birds, and Slim Bacon. For a a full list of artists visit http://firstfridaypdx.org/streetexhibit/.

6 pm – 9 pm at 211 SE Madison St.
SMALL TALK PRESENTS “HEARTBREAK CITY” AT REDUX BOUTIQUE AND GALLERY

Small Talk is a photography collective formed in Portland, Oregon in 2015. As a group, we explore the nature of what it means to be a visual storyteller, pool resources, provide support and critique, and facilitate community events and discussions. We engage in the best kind of “small talk,” that which binds us together both as a collective and within a larger community of women and minority artists, fostering stronger work and collaboration. Our first book, We’re Always Touching by Underground Wires, was published in April 2018.

Heartbreak City evokes the nostalgic feeling of warm summer nights, seedy motels, female desire, and being young and free.

6 pm – 9 pm at 811 East Burnside St. #116
THE SEX SHOW AT AFRU GALLERY
An unusual group show of adult themed artwork. Also featuring live music by DIG DEEP and a potluck.

6 pm – 12 am at 534 SE Oak Street
30th ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION AT BUTTERS

We present our group exhibition of gallery artists celebrating our 30th anniversary. This will be the first of a two month changing group exhibition showcasing our current roster
of artists we represent including several of whom we’ve worked with for the entire 30 years. Our August presentation will focus mostly on artists from the Pacific Northwest and
our September presentation will focus more on those artists we work with from outside the region.

6 pm – 8 pm 157 NE Grand Ave.3rd
ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY AT WOLFF GALLERY

Can you believe it? It’s been a year since we moved into our space in SE Portland. Come celebrate with us!

There will be live painting by our exhibiting artist, Lorena Guerra Matteucci, aka M3AT, and refreshments. Join us!

6 pm – 12 am at 2804 SE Ankeny St.

Summer, Sun, and Art in the Streets

 

Between the kickoff of the First Friday Street Exhibition, and some exciting openings, we’re looking forward to seeing some especially amazing art this Friday.  Here are a few highlights:

FIRST FRIDAY JULY STREET EXHIBITION

Featuring the work of 14 local artists, the July street exhibition is excited to showcase independent artists of the South East Industrial Arts District, as well as fire dancing, and live music by Twenty Three Suns and solo harpist Annette Pritchard.

6-9 pm at 211 SE Madison St.

BUTTERS GALLERY PRESENTS: “IN AVOIDANCE OF BEAUTY” BY BERND HAUSSMANN

“Beyond the aesthetics of commerce, culture and convention, beauty is what we find.
It is in us, a default setting in the evolution of our brains. Like greed, envy, hate, and love.”
–Bernd Haussmann

6-8 pm at 157 NE Grand Ave

MERYL PATAKY AT STEPHANIE CHEFAS PROJECTS

Stephanie Chefas Projects is delighted to welcome Oakland-based artist Meryl Pataky back to the gallery for a stunning collection of new work. Breaking new ground while fortifying her devotion to light, Pataky continues to explore her aesthetic to mind-blowing effect. Flexing her experimental muscles for this exhibit, she adds a quick cast of resin and black pigment to the neon tubes, simulating the leak of a transformer.

7-10 pm at 305 SE 3rd Avenue, Suite 202

POETRY AND BRAD WINTER AT ROLL-UP PHOTO STUDIO AND GALLERY

Brad Winter’s recent drawings are abstract and immediate, the result of process turned loose in an automatic/free manner—creating space/s made new with each successive adventure. He has worked in painting, drawing, collage and a variety of print disciplines. Involved in Portland’s music, art and poetry scenes since the late 1970’s, Winter has shown throughout the Pacific Northwest, including the Oregon Biennial at the Portland Art Museum.

5–9 PM at 1715 SE Spokane St.
Reception + Poetry Reading
7–8 PM
Readings by Portland poets: Casey Bush, Anatoly Molotkov, Dan Raphael, John Sibley Williams, Brad Winter and Laura Winter.

#CYBORGS AT SHOUT HOUSE

#cyborgs brings together artwork from across disciplinary divides for a multi-platformed art experience focused on Donna Haraway’s concept of the cyborg as a queer political body. #cyborgs connects photography, digital images, video, score based performance, digital avatars, social media residencies, and potent fusions of them all.

6:30 – 9:30 pm at 210 SE Madison St.

June Openings and Opportunities

We are looking forward to an especially exciting First Friday this month, with some fantastic shows and opportunities to get involved. Here are a few highlights:

APPLICATIONS FOR THE FIRST FRIDAY STREET EXHIBITION NOW OPEN

Open to all artists and creators based in Portland, the Street Exhibition is located at SE Madison and SE 2nd Avenue. We especially encourage galleries and artists based in the SE Arts District to join us. For more information visit FirstFridayPDX.org/apply or email Info@FirstFirdayPDX.org

EMERGENCE GROUP SHOW AT REDUX GALLERY

As if our thoughts and ideas could be worn like a headdress, this show explores what it would be like if our ideas were visible visual narratives.
Emoting both ones personal identity and cultural heritage, here we see a variety of magical portraits which convey the complex inner workings of ones mind as if they were literally Emerging from within.
Marlana Stoddard-Hayes “Aequanimatas” at Butters Gallery

We present our fourth solo exhibition of paintings by Portland-based Stoddard-Hayes. Notably, each of her paintings begin with the application of fungi (from her garden) directly onto the surface, leaving imagery that guides the composition.

The artist posits regarding this body of work:
Over time I have developed a following by staying true to what my body has told me to make, and not only my mind. This exhibition traces a path through the entire garden year, as I found great solace and calm by living on and tending to an acre of land near the Willamette, in a time of great personal challenge

PORTLAND ROOTED AT EAST CREATIVE COLLECTIVE

East Creative in cooperation with The Portland Rose Festival is proud to host Portland Rooted. Portland Rooted will showcase local artists whose work celebrates Portland as the “City of Roses.”
KARUNA CONTEMPORARY LIVING ANNIVERSARY SHOW

“Karuna is turning 3 years old! Please celebrate with us ~ Artist Lubosh Cech will be showing his artwork and we will collectively cultivate and contemplate an environment of warmth and inclusion at Portland’s own “Boutique For The Mindfully-Minded.”

May First Friday Happenings

It’s been a busy Spring, and we are excited to welcome the addition of 7 new galleries to the First Friday map since our last update. Be sure to check out our updated listing for the latest details! There are too many interesting shows this month to list everything here,  but a few highlights to check out this Friday include:

Fur and Feather
Brassworks Gallery presents a 14 artist habitat of Animalgamation. We are celebrating the animal kingdom this month, so if it walks, crawls, flies or burrows our artists will include them in our amalgamation of creatures.
East Creative and Photonica

In addition to a all new works by resident artists, including two new artists, East Creative Collective is excited to announce our May opening will feature live fire dancing by Isabel Platten of Photonica. Join us for a night of art, food, wine, and flame!

Alyson Provax “you I everything else”

In her solo exhibition, you I everything else, Alyson Provax highlights this phenomenon of inherited memories and behaviors, and particularly how it manifests in the language used by current and past contestants in the reality television series, The Bachelor. The artist’s letterpress prints, light boxes, animations, and mirrors isolate words and phrases participants on the show often repeat from season to season, revealing a shared vernacular that helps to reinforce a particular experience of love and what “authentic” connection looks like. However, as Provax points out, “loneliness exists not in solitude but in concealment. The idea that we should be a consistent and watchable self is a form of this loneliness. We are all inconsistent, the individual self is neither static nor true.”

Shop People Joins First Friday

“Shop People LLC was established in 2005 as the first members based makerspace in the Portland. Over the years, there have been almost five hundred members who have honed their crafts, skills and relationships within these old walls. Many were hobbyist, who became artists, who become business people and then grew to larger facilities. Some just liked to tinker DIY style and learn from experts. Regardless of their goal, all appreciated the low overhead, managed tools and space as well as community. ”

Be sure to check out their opening this month, featuring work by 11 artists and live music by Josie Lisette.

Community Art Gathering at Night Light Lounge with First Friday PDX

The First Friday PDX Team is excited to invite you to an evening of collective community creation at one of SE Portland’s up and coming art spaces and hang out spots—Night Light Lounge. We bring together a diverse group of art entrepreneurs and visionary ideas. Meet your artistic neighbors. Share your accomplishments and goals. Find ways to support each other. Casual networking and elevating conversation will ensue.

There is a reserved area for this event. Arrive early for happy hour pricing before 6!
The First Friday PDX Team hosts the Community Gathering quarterly to connect artists with art spaces, create/discuss SE area art events and to have a little fun!!
This opportunity to interface with the First Friday PDX team directly influences the direction of the organization and the greater SE art community. All are welcome.

Time: 6-8 p.m.,Thursday, Feb 22, 2018

Location: Night Light Lounge, 2100 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR 97202

Hope to see you there!

-The First Friday Team

Community Blog: Disorder and Ecstasy in the Creative Process

One of the most neglected topics in discussions of the artistic process is the internal state of the artist, and how it can either facilitate or obstruct the act of creation. The successful invocation and use of states of intense concentration and passionate release are tools that can be as critical to the artist as brushes or pallet knives. Even when such aspects are considered, the focus is most often relegated to highly refined states of productive focus. Far less frequently discussed, and perhaps less frequently invoked, are the states of disorder, dissociation, and frenzy.

Ultimately, the tempests of the unconscious mind are the source of the well-spring of creativity, and in the realm of the spirits there are muses aplenty eager to speak to the attentive listener, or else howl in discordant fury. While the hidden interplay between feeling, symbol, and desire is, by definition, difficult to consciously navigate, it contains the keys to unlocking fire in its depths.

One of the clearest representations of this source is found in the Greek god Dionysus. Often miscast as the ‘god of wine’, this portrayal mistakes the method for the source. A far more revealing descriptor of his essential character would be ‘god of intoxication.’ Considered dangerous and subversive to the social order, before its brutal repression by the Roman state cultic worship of Dionysus centered on the embrace of states of altered consciousness through intoxicants, forbidden sexual practices, and omphagic frenzy. Despite the diversity of these rituals, they shared a common purpose as a bridge to states of ritual madness.

While sparagmos is possible as well, for the artist such states of divine ecstasy may instead manifest themselves as a surrender to the pure expression of creative energy. While application of this passion often takes the form of wild extremes of expressiveness, it can also result in sparsely proficient application of familiar techniques in subtly radical ways. This should come as no surprise when one considers that the physical skills governing artistic practice are almost always most effectively subconsciously learned and applied. It must also be cautioned though that the creative potential inherent in these unstructured states is balanced by the danger of a work being overtaken by its chaos.

When this chaos emerges in a greater context however it can fulfill a direct aesthetic necessity. Even in works whose emphasis is harmony, the contrast provided by discord may elevate a work to new heights. The Nietzschean aesthetic framework for instance considers that for an artistic endeavor to reach its highest potential it must embrace both the frenzied passion of Dionysus, as well as the subtle harmony associated with the god of light and beauty: Apollo. Indeed, just as imperfection is a necessary component of the perfect phenomenon, it is ultimately the fusion of states that permits the greatest realizations of beauty.

For a culture that consistently emphasizes the rational and orderly at the cost of the intuitive, often to the point of suffocation, utilizing the disordered madness of Dionysus can seem foreign and uncomfortable. However, the use of ecstatic states has by no means been a limited experiment. Examples of similar practices are familiar enough that their absence appears as the aberration, rather than than the norm. Sufi mystical dancers and poets, accounts of viking-age berserkers, indigenous shamanic ceremonies, and Buddhist Tantric practice; all share similar of states of intoxicated passion. Indeed, even the earliest known human story is suffused with the motifs of ecstatic ritual; as Gilgamesh attempts a resurrection he does so with shamanic drumming and a ritual invocation to the spirits.

Regardless of whether the artist chooses to directly commune with the spirits of Dionysus, the dynamic life of the discordant can not be ignored. Even as a subset of the creative act, all outpourings of feeling originate in the movings of the psychic depths, and creative endeavours that lack feeling fail the most basic task of art. In the creative deserts of rationality, it is the leviathans of our own abysses that offer us water.

To see more of Noah’s work, visit NAStein.com