Monster Drawing Rally on Friday The 13th

This Friday, July 13th from 6-9pm you can see many artists drawing, painting and mixed media–ing to help benefit the Portland Art Museum. The Monster Drawing Rally will be held between the buildings of the Portland Art Museum. Several Portland Open Studios artist will be drawing at the event including Jesse Reno, Melissa Monroe and David Friedman. Past PDXOS artists will also be drawing. All finished works will sell for $35.

Proceeds support free school and youth programs at the Museum.

Bring the Family!
Stop by the L’il Drawing Rally an area where kids and families are encouraged to sit down and draw. This year’s L’il Drawing Rally features a fun experimental figure drawing activity led by artist Kristin Musser.

A word from the President – General Artists Meeting – June 19, 2017

On June 19, the participating artists gathered at the Multnomah Art Center for the second General Artists Meeting presented by the board. Approximately 60 artists of the 103 attended, along with the full board, and several of our guests representing sponsors and partners. The format of the evening was entirely restructured from the past three years based on feedback from artists and board members alike. Continue reading

Welcome to our 19th year!

Thank You to our visitors, artists, and supporters!

As our year ends we celebrate the 106 artists that invited the public to become immersed in the creative process and learn about the expression of art. I visited studios across the city last October joining hundreds of patrons watching live demonstration of the creative process, Continue reading

Bringing a new life to the hand work of women through the ages

Karen Lewis had the pleasure recently of visiting Beth Yazhari  in her studio.  Here is an idea of what you could experience in a little over a month when Portland Open Studios opens.
When you enter Beth Yazhari’s studio, you first notice a rich collection of textures and patterns. She delights you with colorful designs, many reminiscent of Persian carpets or Amish quilts.  Then you are drawn in to discover the layers and layers of textures that make up her beaded textile collage paintings.
Beth begins her work on canvas, using acrylic paint in washes textured with cling wrap.  This gives the piece a rich, luminous color field, much of which will be covered in subsequent layers.  Vintage textiles inspire the design, defining the initial pattern of the piece.  She will play with a bit of fabric or lace as if it’s a puzzle, cutting out pieces and laying them out in symmetry– hence the carpet-like designs of the paintings.  Once the starting piece is in place, Beth layers her painting with gold paint, more textiles, stenciling through laces, and thin layers of acrylic paint.  She creates transfers from her own photographs, adding those and painting over them for permanence and color harmony.  And she sews beads on to the canvas, making everything secure so that the painting will stand the test of time, as the pieces of lace and vintage beads and buttons have done.
Beth delights in searching for interesting pieces of vintage textiles.  Her collection of materials is global, embracing Victorian era lace, Indian sari fabrics, embroidery from Pakistan, beads from Africa, buttons from Germany.  Items with character and handwork catch her eye.   Beth’s collections fill a whole closet in her studio, and just browsing through the materials can be a treat.
In creating out of recycled and found handicrafts, Beth is “giving new life to the hand work of women” through the ages, honoring their creativity and giving it a place in our modern life.  Take a trip through time and space and visit Beth Yazhari’s studio!

Liv Rainey-Smith: Revealing Woodcuts

by Morgan Madison

Liv unveils a fresh print in her studio.

Liv Rainey-Smith is a Portland, OR based printmaker.  She was first introduced to the medium while earning her BFA from Oregon College of Arts and Crafts.  I meet Liv Rainey-Smith at Atelier Meridian, the print making studio and arts community in North Portland where she creates her wonderfully imaginative woodcut prints.  It is quickly striking how articulate and well considered she is in our conversation.  It shows a thoughtfulness that comes from a life spent immersed in books and stories.  Indeed, Liv’s interest in these forms of communication and what they can reveal about humanity comes from a very personal place.

As a child Liv faced serious challenges.  She was born with only one ear and a serious heart defect.  At the age of 4 she went through open heart surgery and was in and out of hospitals for her ear up until her early teens.  Liv says; “These experiences helped create a love of reading and creating as well as a fascination with anatomy and mythology.”  These influences are readily apparent in her prints, which are populated with distinctive patterns and fantastical creatures rendered in a crisp graphic style.

Capybara, Woodcut Print, Edition of 30, 8” x 10”, 2010

Capybara is a wonderful example.  Its half rodent/half fish subject sits in regal repose, like some mythological creature.  Liv explains; “The story behind the capybara is that it is the world’s largest rodent, and because it is semi-aquatic it is supposedly considered a fish for purposes of consumption on Fridays and during Lent.  So the print is my ‘early explorer’ illustration of the wondrous rodent-fish of the new world.”  The story and image together reveal enough to set the stage for the viewer’s imagination to take over.  The same can be said for a piece like Egress, whose spirit-like subject swirls in the ether while breathing a plume of fire.  It is a part of her ongoing series Iunges, which depicts otherworldly messengers, angels of communication.  They seem like visitors from some vivid dream.  In fact, Liv cites her own dreams as another source of inspiration for her work.

Egress, Woodcut Print, Edition of 7, 14” x 20”, 2010

This combination of personal experiences with the symbolism of myths and storytelling gives Liv’s work an enigmatic and compelling character.  It inspires a search for meaning that mirrors beautifully the process by which she creates it.  In woodcut printing, ink is applied to paper by a block of wood that has been carved to create a design in relief.  Liv begins most of her pieces with drawings.  However, as she chooses a block and begins to carve Liv pays careful attention to the unique character of each piece of wood.  Its personality and quirks help guide her decisions, and as she reveals the story within the wood block it helps shape the story she shares with us.

To see her process in person and to hear Liv speak about her work and inspiration be sure to make her studio (#62) a stop on your 2010 tour of Portland Open Studios.

Liv’s work will be featured with another Portland Open Studios artist in; Liminal: Paintings by Chris Haberman and Woodcut Prints by Liv Rainey-Smith at Pearl Gallery and Framing, October 7th – November 2nd, with an artists’ reception on opening night.

Her work can also be seen at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, October 1-3 and as part of the Portland Tarot Project show at Splendorporium, November 15 – January 2.

Visit www.livraineysmith.com to see her work online.

Ten Years Celebrated in Style with Smiles

photo by Claudia Howell

by Careen Stoll

photo by Claudia Howell

The Gala opening of the 10×10 Show was a wonderful success.  About four hundred people enjoyed a great celebration of Portland Open Studios’  Ten Year Anniversary.   Located in the lofty atrium at City Hall, each diminutive art piece looked  like it had drifted down from the sky.    With 80 of the artists represented from the 2009 tour, it remains a rare opportunity to see the wide variety of work created by members of Portland Open Studios all in one place.

photo by Claudia Howell

Eloise Damrosch, Dan Saltzman and Kelly Neidig. photo by Claudia Howell

The executive director of the Regional Arts and Culture Council Eloise Damrosch placed Portland Open Studios in the wider context of how important the arts is to cultural growth.  Dan Saltzman, City Commissioner, introduced Portland Open Studios and accepted our gift to the city.  Sadly, Mayor Sam Adams, who has championed the arts, was sick and unable to attend.

Kelly Neidig and Scott Conary next to Conary's painting "The Dock". photo by Claudia Howell

Commissioner  Saltzman read the Proclamation, officially designating the second and third weekends of October Portland Open Studios weekends.  Kelly Neidig, President of Portland Open Studios,  accepted the honor on behalf of Portland Open Studios, said a few words of celebration and thanks, explained the Purchase Prize, and introduced Scott Conary who had painted the work to be gifted to the City.   Entitled “The Dock”, Scott’s work was revealed to the gathering amidst another cheer.

Kelly Neidig and Bonnie Meltzer. photo by Claudia Howell

The founder of Portland Open Studios, Kitty Wallis, said a few words about watching the organization grow.  Also gifted was a special honor to Bonnie Meltzer for the ten years in which she tended to countless large projects and small details in service to the organization as director of communications and “right-hand person”.

In the words of Kelly Neidig, “The reception at city hall was a great example of how Portland Open Studios unites the community with artist.  It was a fun reception, I loved talking to all of our artists and meeting new artists.”   She speaks to the heart of why Portland Open Studios was honored by the city, as does Kindra Crick who helped organize the show: “It was wonderful to celebrate ten years of an organization that shows people the behind the scenes of how art is made.“  Portland Open Studios is a truly unique opportunity in experiential education.

photo by Claudia Howell

We would like to give a special thank-you to the excellent music provided by Jim Boydston, Daryl Davis, and Steve Remington of Manzanita. Many thanks also to our generous sponsors: Storyteller Wine Co, Full Sail Brewing Co, and Artemis Foods, Inc

Thanks to all the artists, past, present, and future, who attended the opening, and those who purchased art!  Twenty percent of the proceeds from the show go directly to the Kimberly Gales Scholarship for young artists.  Please consider supporting the 2010 Portland Open Studios tour by becoming a sponsor and receive ten Tour Guides to the two weekend event in October!

Artist Barbara Pannakker photo by Claudia Howell

This unusual show could not have been possible without Pollyanne Birge from the Mayor’s Office and the dedication of  Kindra Crick and Shawn Demarest, board members who went above and beyond to create a memorable show.  Careen Stoll provided some last-minute assistance with the press.  There were also numerous volunteers before, during, and after the show. Many thanks to all!  The show will remain up in City Hall until March 31st.

photo by Claudia Howell

Over a Dozen Portland Open Studios' Artists Show their Love

The Portland Love Show began in February 2006 at Launch Pad Gallery with the goal of creating a safe and engaging space to highlight the many different types and attitudes that abound about Love.  Now in it’s fifth year, it has outgrown that eastside Portland gallery space, and comfortably  shows over 300 artists in the Olympic Mills Commerce Center.

The February 12th opening night filled the large space with hundreds of people enjoying the art, live music and potluck spread of food.  Both the opening and closing events are free and open to the public and guests are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to donate the Oregon Food Bank.

The Friday March 12th Closing Party promises to be just as exciting and is  from 7:00 pm – 12:00 am, at the Olympic Mills Commerce Center:  107 SE Washington St., Portland, OR.

Kindra Crick's encaustic mixed-media
Upper left, 'Tied' by Kindra Crick in encaustic. Photo by Alex Crick.

Many present and former Portland Open Studios’ artists show work in this once a year salon style exhibition.  Theresa Andreas-O’Leary, Kindra Crick, Shawn Demarest, Adrienne Fritze, Jason Kappus, Ryan Kennelly, Bonnie Meltzer, Mark Randall and Kelly Williams are represented from the 2009 tour and Chris Haberman, Toji Kurtzman, Amelia Opie, Shanon Playford, Sam Roloff, Amy Stoner, Quin Sweetman and Anna Todaro from past tours.

Bonnie Meltzer
'Past & Future Loves' by Bonnie Meltzer. Photo by kerosene rose.

The theme of Love inspires works that ranges from love to lust, representational to abstract, and serious to humorous.  There are many clever plays on this theme along with some creative interactive works.  If you have not been to this event, you will not want to miss the closing party that goes from 7:00 pm – 12:00 am, this Friday March 12th.

Ryan Kennelly
'H1N1' by Ryan Kennelly. Photo by kerosene rose.

Mark Randall
Mark Randall's large mixed-media work, center. Photo by kerosene rose.

The event is put on by Launch Pad Gallery and Portland City Art who also share the love by collecting cans of food for the Oregon Food Bank throughout month and at the closing on Friday, March 12th and by donating 10% of all bar sales to American Red Cross Haiti Disaster Relief.

You may RSVP to The 5th Annual Portland Love Show on Facebook or find more artwork from the show and information at http://portlandloveshow.com.

See more images of the Love Show, before the event opened, from kerosene rose on flickr.

Portland Open Studios to be Honored at City Hall March 4th

Celebrate local art on First Thursday, March 4th when Mayor Sam Adams will honor Portland Open Studios with a Proclamation and unveil the organization’s 10th Anniversary Purchase Prize gift to the City of Portland. The 10 x 10 Show (all art 10 inches or less, in all media) features artworks by over 80 artists in the 2009 Portland Open Studios tour.

Click on the thumbnail to see the official document!

The event is free and open to the public. Artwork is for sale with 20% going to the Kimberly Gales Scholarship fund for young artists. Enjoy music, refreshments, and this rare opportunity to see an array of art by Portland Open Studios’ artists.

For a decade, local artists have created opportunities in experiential education by opening their doors to the curious public and sharing their working methods. Portland Open Studios is a unique and mutually beneficial exchange of excitement and learning about art.

Portland Open Studios is being recognized and honored by the City of Portland because of its commitment to provide art education to all members of our community, adults and children alike, and for its dedicated support of local working artists.

Visitors on the tour constantly encounter treasured and unique educational opportunities. For example in 2007, Justine Avera visited the studio of that year’s scholarship winner Jennifer Mercede with her family. Justine wrote later that Anne was so moved by the experience that when the family got home, she and her daughter painted together for hours, and that those paintings in turn became the basis of Justine’s new artwork.

Portland Open Studios has been a springboard for many of its artist’s careers.  It seeks to incorporate a wide variety of voices and media, thereby representing a cross-section of the visual arts in Portland.  It fosters growth of all participating artists through workshops and encourages emerging artists to participate by offering the Kimberly Gales Scholarship.  This scholarship is available to applicants between the ages of twenty and thirty, waives the tour’s membership fee, and pays a $100 stipend.  Recipients’ work is highlighted in the Tour Guide, providing exposure for the young artists.

In 2009, for the tenth year anniversary, an exciting mentorship program was introduced, connecting art students in the public high schools with participating artists. Over twenty artists on the tour mentored forty-five students, giving them an inside view of their studio and business practice.  These young apprentices may become the future creative capital of Portland.

Many thanks to our generous sponsors: Storyteller Wine Co, Full Sail Brewing Co, and Artemis Foods, Inc

Join us to celebrate a decade of accomplishments in the local Portland arts community on March 4th at a Portland City Hall ceremony and exhibition. Refreshments generously provided by Storyteller Wine, Full Sail Brewing Co, and Artemis Foods.  Music entertainment includes Jim Boydston, Daryl Davis, and Steve Remington of Manzanita.
All past, present and future Portland Open Studios‘ artists and supporters are encouraged to attend.

If you wish to RSVP or invite others, you can do so via Facebook

Zoomtopia Opens!

Zoomtopia—a new creative space developed by Carole Zoom, a Portland Open Studios artist 2008-2009.

Zoomtopia offers Portland artists and non-profits a home of their own.

Opening reception:

6 PM Thursday, January 28, 2010
810 SE Belmont
Portland, OR 97214

Building dedication by Mayor Sam Adams

Appetizers by Wendy Weaver
Frozen Yogurt by Active Culture
Drinks by Distillery Row and Green Dragon Brewpub
tEEth performance 7 PM

Tenant artists will be on hand to talk about and show their work

After-party with DJ Global Ruckus, hair styling by Miss Kristie and glamour shots by Aaron Rogosin

The Space:

  • Six work suites (250-1,090 sq ft)
  • Dance rehearsal studio (2,200 sq ft)
  • Lobby with shared commons and kitchenette
  • Fully accessible/ADA-compliant
  • Furnishings by local artists

LEASING information at Zoomtopia.com.

The dedication kicks off a series of events, discussions and programs that will take place throughout winter and spring:

  • Feb. 5 “Dear Marcus” book signing by Jerry McGill
  • Feb. 25-27 & March 4-6 Staged reading of “Eloquent Madness” by Bill Alton
  • April 22-24 Disability Arts and Culture Project

Zoomtopia: Affordable pricing and lease-to-own terms enable artists and nonprofits to find a stable home while building social and financial equity.

See the January 25, 2010, Oregonian Visual Arts story for more information about Carole and her projects.