Your T-shirts are rotating to the back of your closet and your friend with Seasonal Affective Disorder hasn't left her studio apartment for a week. Mervyn's back-to-school advertisements are outnumbered only by the frowning children who trudge down your street, strapped to scoliosis-inducing backpacks. In case you missed it, summer's over.
The purpose of art is to get us through these hard times, and autumn's arts calendar is packed with enough events to make you forget all about the backyard BBQ you never got around to planning. If a $25 ticket to the opening of The Affair at the Jupiter Hotel is too steep, make the trek out to North Portland. After a summer vacation of its own, Pacific Switchboard is returning with a revamped space and a huge group show. The walls of the gallery will be strewn with pages torn from sketchbooks, drawings on wood, Etch-A-Sketch portraits, disturbingly altered family photos, sports hero birthday cards and probably a few regular old paintings. More than 20 artists are participating, and opening night festivities include musical performances by Ralf Youtz, Daphna Kohn & Jeff Brown, as well as a DJ session with Mathematics.
The show is a rebirth for Pacific Switchboard, which closed it doors during the summer to add a café that will subsidize the costs of operation and create a work/office space in the back. "We are excited to see what the challenges will be in the space now," says gallery organizer Courtney Nyman. "We are hoping to add more of a production element with the [new] room." The café will be open during the day, when visitors can peruse the latest exhibit.
"This show marks Pacific Switchboard's continuing progression of art shows that move away from the commerce and administration of a traditional art gallery," wrote artist/filmmaker/gallery organizer Zak Margolis in an email. "By keeping art under $100, we are focusing more on bringing artists together and converting people into art patrons."
PS's budget-friendly, community oriented spirit of programming will continue throughout the year, with a new opening every month, and film and poetry events scattered throughout.