Things to do in Portland: (12/31/11) “Two Beers Veirs and Angels in America”

Two Beers Veirs New Years: (featuring Laura Veirs, Black Prairie, members of Loch Lomond, Viva Voce, Blind Pilot and more!

Where:  LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan St.
Phone: 503-232-1504
Hours: Sat., Dec. 31, 6 p.m.

Angels in America: Millennium Approaches

“Portland Playhouse takes on the first half of Tony Kushner’s two-part Angels in America, a “gay fantasia on national themes” in which intersecting storylines address the problems of national and gay identity through the lens of the burgeoning AIDS crisis. Angels is an incredible script no matter how you frame it, and Portland Playhouse’s production is slick and enjoyable.” (by AH from here)

Where:  World Trade Center Theater , 121 SW Salmon, Bldg. #2
Phone:  503 464-8688
Hours: Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., Sundays, 2 p.m., Tue., Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m., Wed., Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m. and Fri., Dec. 30, 2 p.m. Continues through Dec. 31


Arno Rafael Minkkinen quote: “I think photography piles up the limitations … “

“I think photography piles up the limitations more than any other medium I know, which is why for me photography is such an exciting and vital tool of expression. But it comes with the caveat: Murphy’s Law is built into the bones of every camera I have ever owned. And the limitations aren’t just mechanical. Everything about photography is a challenge. In 30 seconds, the sun will be down. Quick before the dog comes in and all the dust lands you know where. Just when everything is perfect, the camera needs reloading. I know, shoot digital, dummy.

To outwit the calamities, I have learned to formulate a partnership with spontaneity. Allowing limitations to become idea generators instead of idea killers means opening oneself up to creative solutions we might ordinarily never have known, nor anticipated.” (41)


Joslin, Russell. “Arno Rafael Minkkinen” [an interview]. Shots, no. 113, Autumn 2011, pgs 37 – 45

37. “Dash Snow : the end of living : the beginning of survival” by Dash Snow

This week’s library pick is Dash Snow : the end of the living : the beginning of survival by Dash snow, a young highly acclaimed New York artist who first started to make a name for himself by creating graffiti art. This monograph was published on the occasion of Snow’s exhibition held at Contemporary Fine Arts,Berlin, April 28-June 23, 2007.

This incredibly beautiful book demonstrates the enormous range of the artist (including “dada-esque collages, “modified bondage images,” “new sculptural works composed of items like books, doll heads, chain mail and skeletal fragments,” and “a smattering of the photographs and Polaroids that originally made Snow famous outside of street art culture” (here). Included in the book is also an article by Anna T. Berger who helps provide context to the Snow’s work.

Sadly Dash Snow’s life was tragically cut short by an overdose on July 13, 2009 at the Lafayette House in the East Village at the age of 27.  While the art world may not be in agreement about his work (“Some people think of him as the Kurt Cobain of the art world. Other people think of him as the Paris Hilton” (here), his work is an exuberant appeal for opening new opportunities in art (especially with respect to the ambiguities of what constitutes high and low art) and, more generally, the spectacle of experience.

Things to do in Portland: (12/24/11) “the Santaland Diaries and Comedysportz”


“Since debuting on Morning Edition two decades ago, this all-too-true story of David Sedaris’ stint as an elf at Macy’s has become, at least among the public-radio set, an unlikely Christmas classic—and rightly so. Reporting from the beast’s belly, Sedaris casts his withering gaze upon latter-day Christmas’ commercialism and pageantry while still reminding his audience what the holiday’s really about. With source material this good, it’s hard to go wrong. Portland Center Stage’s fifth production of Joe Mantello’s one-man adaptation stars Jim Lichtscheidl, a Minneapolisactor making his Portlanddebut. Replacing Portlandfavorite Wade McCollum, Lichtscheidl has some big, jingle bell-adorned shoes to fill, but he proves more than up to the task. Lichtscheidl’s metamorphic impressions of the colorful personalities with whom Crumpet the Elf must contend might even surpass Sedaris’ own. Nobody, though—and I mean nobody—does Billie Holiday like Sedaris does.” (by Jonathan Frochtzwajg from here)

Where: Gerding Theater, 128 NW 11th Ave.
Phone: 445-3700
Hours: 7:30 pm Tuesdays-Fridays, 2 pm Saturdays-Sundays. Noon and 5 pm Dec. 24, no show Dec. 25.

Improv comedy at COMEDYSPORTZ

Where: ComedySportz, 1963 NW Kearney St.
Phone: 236-8888
Hours: 8 pm Fridays-Saturdays, Saturday December 24 | $12.

Lesley Millar quote: “Creating miniature textile art is not …”

“‘Creating miniature textile art is not easy: it’s so difficult to avoid the cute, or looking like a sample’ says Millar. ‘The work must be entirely complete in itself, a work of art that is appropriate in size, expressive of a particular concept, which through its size gives access to what Ayelet Lindenstrauss Larsen has described as a primary way of interacting with the world: the way in which we look at a beautiful seashell or a convoluted piece of driftwood” (16)

“Small is Beautiful.” Embroidery. Volume 62, November, December 2011, pgs 14 – 17

36. “Immediate Family” by Sally Mann

It being the holiday season and a time when many people take time out from their ordinary routines to spend time with their families and friends, the library has selected Immediate Family by Sally Mann for this week’s library pick, due not only to the subjects of many of her black and white photographs (her three children – all under the age of 10) but also because it brings up many issues surrounding making art and participating in family life. Is it possible to do both well or are they mutually exclusive? Mann makes it clear that they don’t have to be by making art a part of what it means to participate in a family. Still, either isn’t easy. We’re thinking about families this week in the library.

If you’re interested to find out how her children think about this body of work, participating in the work, and being the children of a famous artist, check out this video with Sally Mann and her children from the Art21 series:

Watch Place on PBS. See more from ART:21.

Happy Holidays!

Things to do in Portland: (12/17/11) “The Festival of Lights at The Grotto and Oregon Rocks!”


“Presenting the sights, sounds and sensations of the season, The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights is the largest Christmas choral festival in the world.  The 2011 festival features nearly 170 indoor holiday concerts performed by many of the region’s finest school, church and civic choirs. Offering a family-oriented blend of traditional celebration and serene reflection, the 2011 festival theme “Joy to the World” reflects the special season of hope that Christmas offers to many thousands of families from around the Pacific Northwest.

Five indoor concerts are scheduled each evening in The Grotto’s 600-seat chapel, known for its cathedral quality acoustics.  Continuous family entertainment in The Grotto’s plaza area includes outdoor caroling, puppet shows and a live animal petting zoo.

Holidayfoods and beverages are also available, as is seasonal shopping in The Grotto’s Christian Gift and Book Store.  A magnificent display of nativity sets from around the world is on display for viewing and individual sets are available for purchase in the Grotto’s Visitor Complex.” (here)

Address:8840 NE Skidmore Street,Portland,Oregon97220

Hours: Nightly 5:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. with festival grounds closing at 10:00 p.m.

Phone: 503.261.2400


OREGONROCKS! A History of Popular Music in Oregon

“Three years in the making, the Oregon Rocks musical history exhibit launches the most far-reaching exploration of Oregon musical history ever.” (here)

Address:1200 SW Park Ave.

Hours: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, November 20th.

Phone: 503.222.1741