Monday, August 31, 2009


Sean Ongley, fellow volunteer at KBOO, asked me if he could produce a small segment on the upcoming PICA/TBA festival. I said take the whole ball and run with it. So Sean will host Art Focus tomorrow, talking with Kristan Kennedy, Erin Boberg, Cathy Edwards and Mike Daisey - plus a special interview piece on the Works featuring Fawn Krieger and Jesse Hayward, to be capped off with an interview with the Oregon Painting Society. Whew! Looking forward to tomorrow.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Gavin Shettler on KBOO

Pictured above is a fresh-faced Gavin Shettler, a few years before the Portland Art Center and his current gig at Milepost Five. He’s now a wiser, maybe more pragmatic director of dreams. When I saw him at the Manor of Art, he said: “I don’t really care what the critics say. I’m here to facilitate what artists want to do.” We’ll talk about that and a whole lot more this coming Tuesday when he is my guest on Art Focus.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

the Manor of Art

The initial wander down the hallways of The Manor of Art, filled with stains and cracks and lurid reminders, took me straight away to an exhibition I experienced years ago – seen is not quite the right word – of Ed and Nancy Kienholz. These artists used an entire hallway and its rooms for an installation: one was never really sure what came readymade and what was built in. But it all sprung from the same dank and maybe morbid ghost.

In the case of the Manor of Art at Milepost Five, a sprawling group show in which artists took over an old nursing home, perhaps the best work and form followed institutional green function. Hands down my favorite room belonged to Troy Briggs (see above), who turned a cloistered sorrow upside down.

Just a couple of weeks ago I had Lisa Radon on the air and we talked about her future role as an art writer – to serve the community, yes, but maybe also to be a critic. They are parallel universes but not necessarily the same thing. When she edged out there far enough to say I don’t like all of it, someone gets upset. A big group show means different things to different people and where we are on the personal expectation of art.

Calvin Ross Carl felt the stage (the presentation) had its limits, but when it was handled right (as witnessed in Briggs and Brennan Conoway and a few others), the context was absolutely right. In fact I wouldn’t have minded getting a bit more scared. Nick Reibel said that once art was in an institution, it was dead – but I’d say that the undeniable factor throughout this exhibition was that you could not shake off the institution no matter how “punk rock” (a term I’m having some problems with!) the participants are. That term works for Klutch though – who handled the room and the toilet (below) with his typical, well known vigor.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Michelle Ramin and Jason Doizé on KBOO

This week on Art Focus my guest will be Michelle Ramin, who has a show up at Falsefront called Need it/Got it - along with the director of Falsefront, Jason DoizĂ©. Falsefront is a curious space – in a neighborhood full of homes, it looks like it must have been a storefront at one time. Inside it looks like a regular gallery (which I confess to liking). The exhibition has a closing party this week.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lisa Radon on KBOO

This week on Art Focus my guest is Lisa Radon. Lisa is the mastermind behind Ultrapdx, an online magazine which started with a focus on design and style but eventually moved more firmly into art. She recently launched a new art blog at Portland Monthly, Culturephile. Radon is also known for her sound art, poetics and performances; she performs occasionally with Tim DuRoche, who is pictured with her above.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Paul Middendorf on KBOO

Paul Middendorf is the director and curator of gallery Homeland, a nonprofit arts organization in SE Portland. Paul is helping Oregon artists get their work out of town and bringing artists from all over the world to Homeland. He'll be my guest this Tuesday on Art Focus.