This is getting ridiculous. Aside from the Mercury's annual show, there's been a relative dearth of large-audience venues for Portland designers to show new work in the springtime, and meanwhile the fall calendar continues to swell. I mean it's great to have options....
Content10 comes up first, with a looming deadline of June 20 for designers to apply for an installation room at the Ace Hotel, and an event date of October 2. Last year's inaugural edition was a riot, with an entire floor of rooms given over to designers to decorate in whatever way they chose to showcase their work. It was popular with designers and attendees alike, though some of us missed the opportunity to channel our excitement into a purchase. This year that will be remedied with a retail lounge, where both casual fans and serious buyers can make single purchases or place wholesale orders.
The flipside is that the event is juried this year (I am among those asked to help out on the submissions board), and costs have gone up. In order to have access to rooms for longer setup and viewing times plus additional staffing, it requires a participation fee of $250—steep, but the event has a lot of potential for strategic marketing exposure. Interested parties should hit up email@example.com for details.
Another new option has also cropped up from the Portland Fashion Week (PFW) camp. The always-contentious runway series is slated for October 6-10, and for the first time ever the opening night is dedicated to a showcase that very similarly emphasizes designer-decorated static displays. About 10 designers, selected and juried (eh, it's looking like I might be part of the process for this one too), will have a 12-by-8-foot space to—again—trick out as they see fit. PFW has had a rocky time working out a mutually beneficial arrangement with the class of Portland designers that exist off the grid of the seasonal collection cycle, and this is an outreach move to include them. They are offering spaces at no fee, and participants will also automatically be included in a public retail market event occurring in conjunction with the shows—decisions, decisions. Want in? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In contrast, the craft community appears to have its unified strength increasingly dialed in. Portland plays host this week to the second annual Summit of Awesome, three days of seminars on small-business know-how, self-marketing, craft technique, and more. Hosted by nonprofit trade association Hello Craft, the weekend will also feature the Show of Awesome (got to love the hubris), a craft fair of makers from our own region as well as out-of-town attendees from throughout the country. (Summit of Awesome, Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd, Wed June 16-Fri June 18, $75-180; Show of Awesome, Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, Sat June 19, 10 am-3 pm, free)