Alright, so I've been saving up a few items that sit at the intersection of art and city planning— things people call "art in temporary spaces." It's time for me to blow my load.
While Richard Speer has already blown his load all over Store For A Month, it is the first item on the agenda. Store For A Month is John Brodie's brainchild, a riff on Claes Oldenburg's 1960s art happening, "Store"— in Brodies's store, 60+ artists brought their work to sell and display. As the title suggests, this art store at 1216 SE Division is temporary, billed to close at the end of June. Brodie's store also serves as a studio space for artists who want to come in and create on-site.
A whole bunch of the wall space is dedicated to Brodie's own work— often collage-based and spattered with various neons, magazine clippings, spray paint and found scraps. Made of different colored transparent plastics stapled to a ruler, Brodie's "Flag" is hung next to the bathroom. "I like to work quick" says Brodie, avoiding a sense of distilled craft and leaning towards creativity's raw grain.
A solid portion of the art at Store For A Month follows in a similar quick-collage fashion. When you put it all up together this style begins to feel a bit undirected (with a side of craft show). Cecilia Hallinan's "Gimme" popped right off the wall for its avoidance of the abstract— the sculpture is a crucifix with the Jesus skinned in one dollar bills. Hallinan's piece finds strength through its figurative content, suggesting a statement about Christianity pretty quickly— something to the effect of "Jesus ain't shit but a pile-o-cash." Agreed Cecilia, agreed.
Just down the road at SE 11th and Division, Gallery HOMELAND has donated a yet-to-be-leased storefront for a one-night-only art party, tonight from 7 to 10 pm (in the Ford Building). The party is being thrown to celebrate the completion of a six month project titled, No Vacancy!, conducted by PSU grad students and the Central Eastside Industrial Council. No Vacancy! was designed to pair business and property owners with artists who want to use empty buildings for temporary art exhibits. While the Central Eastside Industrial District— the areas around SE Division— has a relatively low percent of vacancy, 6% according to Briana Meirer of the No Vacancy! project, the CEIC is all over this one and have even discussed the possibility of starting a temporary spaces art walk in the CEID.
According to the press release, the No Vacancy! party "will feature video installations by filmmaker Ben Popp, live piano music Chris Hubbard and caricature drawings by local artist Dann Groth." Above all else, this is an opportunity for artists and business owners to connect and start their own temporary art exhibits.
And while we're on the subject of art in temporary spaces, I'll be the first of Portland's press to announce Milepost 5's The Manor of Art, running from August 14-23. Yup, you guessed it, it's another art show in a temporary space, this time held in an old, to-be-renovated retirement home which Milepost 5 has dubbed The Studios. Over 100 artists have been invited. There will be three floors of art, live music, theater and the ghostly 100 year old rattle of the bed pans of old.
Pretty soon the whole frickin city will be one big ass temporary art gallery. We've definitely got enough artists around the fill in the blanks.