As all things autumnal start to creep into our line of vision—auburn leaves, gourds, (all the) candy—they set a mood. We're moving our raincoats from storage to the coat rack and taking a look at significant art happenings throughout the remainder of the year.
Among the shows on this short list you'll find watercolors in magnetizing colors, jawbreaker-glazed stoneware contemplations of everyday surroundings, art history pulled from distinguished collections, and exhibitions that highlight the work of longstanding artisans.
This Japanese American Museum of Oregon career-spanning exhibition showcases George Tsutakawa’s watercolor, Sumi, metal sculpture, and design, inspired by his life in the Pacific Northwest and his Japanese heritage. Tsutakawa’s work reveals both a fascination with the natural forms and aesthetics and a deepening interest in Japanese art styles, forms, and techniques that were exemplified in his sixty-year practice.(Japanese American Museum of Oregon, 411 NW Flanders, though December 31, jamo.org/exhibits/tsutakawa)
For Metabolic, Emily Ginsburg has created a series of amorphous ceramic sculptures that contemplate everyday surroundings through pattern motifs. Buried within the forms you'll find iPhones, barcodes, a magic eight ball, checkerboard, et al. Household textiles lay beside QR codes. The candy-coated glazed clay formations are skewed and convoluted, yet shiny and bright, as Ginsburg ventures the ways media infiltrates our daily lives.(SE Cooper Contemporary, 6901 SE 110th, through Dec 2, secoopercontemporary.com)
We told you about The Lobby—a Southeast exhibition space that rotates artworks from Molly McCabe’s personal art collection in the most recent Fall Arts Guide, but there's a new exhibition there that just opened and is worth your notice. Shriek of Color is focused on the “profound influence of color in art” and invites viewers and passersby to experience color in works from several painters; Sam Gilliam, who was legendary in the color field, Joan Snyder's gestural abstraction, and the expressiveness of self-taught Matthew Wong. (The Lobby, 2871 SE Division, through April 30, ellenbrowningbuilding.com/the-lobby)
Elemental Things & Planet Waves
At PDX Contemporary, Heather Watkins and James Lavadour have two separate solo shows (Elemental Things and Planet Waves respectively) that both feature new works on paper—but with different applications. Watkins displays a series of ink drawings, on gold and kozo paper, that contain expressive gestures that form the basis for three-dimensional dynamic sculptures. Lavadour's new body of work employs his stylistic abstracted landscapes, however these are ruminations on time and memory and represent many layered years of work where he repeatedly revisited them in his studio. (PDX Contemporary Art, 1825 NW Vaughn, Suite B, through Nov 28, pdxcontemporaryart.com)
Jeffry Mitchel's solo exhibition concludes the year's programming at this Portland staple gallery. Furniture pieces made of ceramic and wood feature, alongside prints in wonderful hand-crafted frames. The lightheartedness of Mitchel’s work—which is often characterized by whimsical florals and animals—is adeptly timed as we enter the holiday season. (PDX Contemporary Art, 1825 NW Vaughn, Suite B, Dec 1-30, pdxcontemporaryart.com)
Blue Sky Gallery's photography-focused 2022 En Foco Fellowship exhibitions explore portraiture through personal narratives surrounding politics and gender, showing work from Carmen Lizardo in November and Danny Aros-Aguilar in December, Lizardo intertwines political and cultural legacies—examining themes of immigration, race, class—and considers the collective human desire to find one’s place within history. Aros-Aguilar's Sandunga Nunca Muere showcases images that were created from conversations they had about the misinterpretation of being Muxe: A third gender that is non-conforming to the binary. The series of works reflects cultural complexity and genderqueerness, and is meant to celebrate and highlight, brown queerness in history. (Blue Sky Gallery, 122 NW 8th, Nov 2-Dec 2, blueskygallery.org)
The inaugural exhibit in a brand new permanent space in the Northwest, We Are the Revolution draws connections between the socially engaged art of the 1970s up to present day. It features work by many well-known artists; Jenny Holzer, Dinh Q Lê, Mickalene Thomas, Kara Walker, and Kehinde Wiley, to name a few. Keep an eye out for future rotating exhibitions that draw from a collection of over 21,000 artworks. (The Schnitzer Collection, 3033 NW Yeon, through Dec 1, jordanschnitzer.org)
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Despite this show's modern-day object subjects—bottles of beer, cans of pop, a bag of Doritos alongside slices of pizza, hotdogs, tacos, burgers, and fries—you'll also find references to Flemish Still Life and Post-War Pop Art. These carefree impressionistic still lifes and contemplative memento mori are on view at Stumptown's flagship store downtown. Other Stumptown locations have their own exhibitions: At the Belmont location you can see Navigating Race and Ethnicity by Kaitlyn Carr. On Division there's My Lover Has a Baby Blue Jeep by Bobby Adams. (Stumptown Coffee Roasters - Downtown, 128 SW 3rd, through Jan 17)
Finding its second home in Portland, this uniquely curated art experience showcases fourteen immersive installations created by a diverse mix of local, national, and international artists. Art, light, and sound are at the forefront of the exhibitions. Enjoy a family-friendly scene throughout the day, or opt for an adult-only atmosphere in the evening (with a libation in hand). This new permanent art space hopes to convey and conjure a sense of joy and wonder, an escape from day-to-day reality in various forms of mediums. (Hopscotch, 1020 SE 10th, letshopscotch.com/locations/portland)
Birding had a moment during the pandemic, but it is so much more than a trending hobby and can be enjoyed and experienced by anyone—take note of this recent study, which found that seeing or hearing birds improves people's mental well-being. Towards to latter part of November, you can support Oregon’s wildlife and local artists simultaneously. Over fifty artists will showcase their work via painting, sculpture, ceramic, glass, woodwork, photography, and jewelry. Purchase of the art will support of continuing the important work of our local Audubon. (Portland State University, Viking Pavilion at the Peter W. Stott Center, 930 SW Hall, Nov 18 & 19, wildartsfestival.org)