Month after month, First Thursday can start to look the same. At the end of the night I always ask myself, "What do I remember? What stood out?"
Last night the thing that stood out for me was that Anna Solcaniova King and her husband Graylan King have taken over the former Rake location on the Everett Station Lofts block in Old Town. The new space is called Anka Gallery. This month Anna is showing her artwork and next month they'll be showing storyboard artist Chad Glass. I asked Graylan why they started the gallery and he said, "Portland is a great place for art and culture and we want to do everything we can to support that."
My first thought: The insular Portland art scene is gonna eat them alive!
But their sincerity is infectious and I got excited about what they're doing. Turns out Anna and Graylan are the people behind the new art website PDXARTscene.org, which is an ambitious attempt at lassoing Portland arts into one URL. Although I've only lived here three years, I'm jaded when it comes to new faces breaking out in a major way. People have tried before, people will try again, and it's a good thing they do.
Portland can use at least a few more art websites. PDXart.com started strong but fell asleep in May. PortlandArtFocus.com is okay for announcements, but feels like top-down propaganda and seems to be geared toward out-of-towners. Not enough people seem to know about the consistently interesting Artscatter.com while too many people know about the pretentious but informative Portlandart.net.
As far as I know there isn't a Portland based web portal that inclusively encompasses PDX art--the broad community--for the entire city. Is such a thing possible? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, I commend anyone who attempts a go at bringing us together.