PDX is slang for Portland, apparently. I kept seeing it everywhere in Portland this weekend and being from Florida, of course had no idea what it meant. Was it some sort of secret code? Some inside joke only super-hip Portlandians knew about? Nope, just Portland’s airport code, which has become short for Portland, just like JAX is short for my hometown of Jacksonville. I must admit, I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t some sort of subversive meaning to PDX, at least not one I could find on Google.
After a month in the Northwest, George & I finally made the 2 1/2 hour drive from Aberdeen, WA to Portland last Saturday. We’ve already hit a couple of smaller artsy destinations nearby ( Olympia, WA & Astoria, OR ), but finally worked our way up to the mac-daddy of them all, Portland. The home of hip. We were only in Portland for the day, so decided it would be best to limit ourselves to one section of the city. So we chose The Pearl District, for its galleries for me and its proximity to Powell’s Books, Stumptown Coffee & Rogue Brewery for George. I try to make sure that when I drag him gallery-hopping, there is always the promise of beer. This makes for a much happier husband.
Gallery 903 was filled with contemporary painting, sculpture and mixed-media work. I can usually tell the minute I walk into a gallery whether or not I’m going to enjoy my visit and find artists to blog about. As soon as I saw wonderfully textured abstracts and thoughtfully placed sculpture, I knew Gallery 903 was a good stop. The work of the artist above, David Slader, got George’s attention before than mine. Slader is a former high-powered attorney turned artist and after reading his tongue-in-cheek artist statement, I had a better appreciation for him. His work has deep texture , a powerful palette and expression. Here’s an even better shot of “You Want to Dance”, that gallerist Herschel was nice enough to email me..
This was just the first of the delights to be found at 903. While George continued to admire the Sladers, I rounded the corner and happily came across a little niche and what was to be found there? Some thrilling little Salvador Dali prints!
Complimenting the Dalis in the same little space were two epoxy-resing pieces by Alan Fulle. One of my favorite things about working in a gallery was designing & creating tableaus of artwork that coordinate together in unexpected ways. Virtual congrats to whomever hung the work in this gallery.
Here are some more treats from 903:
I absolutely loved this bronze geese sculpture! George wasn’t quite as enamored. What’s not to love about lovey-dovey, fat bronze geese? I mean, really, how could you not love them?! Oh well, moving on..
Augen Gallery had two interesting exhibitions showing, the first, work by Wendy Franklund Miller– I am a sucker for encaustics. There is just something about that waxy texture that I adore.
The kind-of cosmic feel to Franklund Miller’s work was a great complement to their other exhibition, Light Drawings by James Minden.
These “light drawings” are scratched/etched PETG ( plastic ) reflecting light. They are totally trippy in the best sense. We had so much fun looking at these from all different angles. Check out this slide show to see better photos than I could have taken: James Minden on Vimeo.
Continuing the equestrian kick I seem to be on lately, Froelick Gallery happened to be showing Equine, a juried group exhibition showcasing the horse. A diverse showing of work centered around our four-legged friends, it was fun to see the variety of interpretations, including a plate from the famous Muybridge Animal Locomotion series. George was drawn to the work of Miles Cleveland Goodwin, which while beautifully rendered, was a bit on the dark side for my tastes. I love how the differences in our tastes spark lively discussion!
I, on the other hand, fell in love with the giant below. White Shadow by Rick Barstow is pastel on paper, 74″ long and it is fabulous. I’m not sure what I love more, the lovely layering of the pastel, the unfinished, sketchy-quality or the scribbled “HORSES” at the bottom. It’s all workin’ for me. Or maybe it is that the straight-on gaze of the horse reminds me of an illustration of a story my grandmother used to read me as a little girl, The Goose Girl.
Our next stop, Bullseye Gallery has a kick-a$$ space. Two levels, full of exposed brick and metal work, rustic wood and these amazing little installation rooms. I got so caught up in admiring my surroundings that I failed to take many pictures. I know, bad little blogger. The gallery is part of Bullseye Glass Company, maker of colored glass for art & architecture. Oh, that explains why there was so much incredible art glass!
Our final destination was Butters Gallery. Are ya’ll tired yet? Because I sure was by this point in the day. ( We’d also hit the Saturday Market, Stumptown Coffee, Powell’s Books and Rogue, in addition to all the galleries. ) Butters reminded me of some of the Chelsea galleries in NYC, as it was kind of hidden away, on the 2nd floor of a walk-up building.
Butters had some really interesting work on display, I hope to bring you more on those artists very soon, especially the one whose work is pictured above, Susan Hall. I fell head over heads for her work– my crappy picture doesn’t even begin to do it justice. I’ll feature her more in depth in a separate post in the next few weeks.
So ends our little jaunt through Portland’s Pearl District galleries. I can’t wait to go back to PDX and explore the other art districts. This weekend we’re headed North!