Allan Wexler quote: “When we cross a threshold …”

“When we cross a threshold, we change a space and it changes us” (54)

Beckenstein, Joyce. “Allan Wexler : the Man who would be Architecture.” Sculpture. 31.1 January/February 2012. Pgs 52 -57.


Allan Wexler Lecture TOMORROW!












Wednesday, March 14 @ 6:30pm

MFA in Applied Craft and Design Studios @ The Bison Building

421 NE 10th Avenue and Glisan Street

“Allan Wexler has worked in the fields of architecture, design and fine art for twenty-five years. He is represented by the Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York Cityand currently teaches at Parsons the New School for Design. Allan’s works explore human activity and the built environment. He works as an investigator using series, permutations and chance rather than searching for definitive solutions. He makes buildings, furniture, vessels and utensils as backdrops and props for everyday, ordinary human activity. The works isolate, elevate and monumentalize our daily rituals: dining, sleep and bathing. And they, in turn, become mechanisms that activate ritual, ceremony and movement, turning these ordinary activities into theater.” (from here)

Image: Allan Wexler

The MFA in Applied Craft and Design is a joint degree program offered by Oregon College of Art and Craft and Pacific Northwest College of Art.


48. “Thinking about Exhibitions” edited by Reesa Greenberg, Bruce W. Ferguson, and Sandy Nairne.

Kristan Kennedy will be giving an interesting talk today at 12:45 in the Centrum studio. She is “an artist and curator who is currently the Visual Art Curator for the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. Kennedy’s curatorial initiatives focus on the creation of new work by working with emerging artists on large scale installations and helping foster their projects from concept to completion. Kennedy curates video, installation, music and new media projects presented at PICA’s annual Time-Based Art Festival” (from here).  OCAC is honored to have Kennedy come talk with our community on campus, and we encourage everyone to attend. It will definitely be an insightful talk and interesting discussion!

Check out Amy Bernstein’s interview with Kristan Kennedy “about her insights into the city of Portland, its art scene, and the evolution and orchestration of the most exciting art event of the year, TBA” here:

Thinking about curatorial work, especially with respect to contemporary exhibitions, we’ve selected for this week’s library pick: Thinking about Exhibitions edited by Reesa Greenberg, Bruce W. Ferguson, and Sandy Nairne.

As the publisher notes, this exciting work is an “anthology of writings on exhibition practice from artists, critics, curators and art historians plus artist-curators. It addresses the contradictions posed by museum and gallery sited exhibitions, as well as investigating the challenge of staging art presentations, displays or performances, in settings outside of traditional museum or gallery locales” (from here).

Essays of particular relevance on this topic include:

  • “Brokering Identities: art curators and the politics of cultural representation” by Mari Carmen Ramirez
  • “Large Exhibitions: a sketch of a typology” by Jean-Marc Poinsot
  • “The Exhibitionary Complex” by Tony Bennett
  • “Exhibition Rhetorics: material speech and utter sense” by Bruce W. Ferguson
  • “Creating Spaces” by Gerald McMaster
  • “The Great Curatorial Dim-Out” by Lawrence Alloway
  • “From Museum Curator to Exhibition Auteur: inventing a singular position” by Nathalie Heinich and Michael Pollak
  • “Constructing the Spectacle of Culture in Museums” by Ivan Karp and Fred Wilson
  • “The Show You Love to Hate: a psychology of the mega-exhibition” by John Miller
  • “Dissenting Spaces” by Judith Barry
  • “Postmodernism’s Museum without Walls” by Rosalind E. Krauss
  • “The Exhibited Redistributed: a case for reassessing space” by Reesa Greenberg
  • “A Visual Machine: art installation and its modern archetypes” by Germano Celant
  • “The Institutionalization of Dissent” by Sandy Nairne
  • “What’s Important About the History of Modern Art Exhibitions?” by Martha Ward.

This is a huge topic and a crucial one for emerging artists to think about, if they’re considering exhibiting their work! Check it out!

See you at the talk!

Things to do in Portland this weekend: (03/10/12 – 03/11/12) “New Multitudes: Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker, Yim Yames, and Sarah Jaffe & Portland Taiko (Japan Earthquake Benefit)”


“Woody Guthrie wrote far more songs than he recorded, and in many cases he didn’t write the music down. When he died in 1967, he left behind scads of lyrics; Billy Bragg and Wilco famously teamed up to record some for the two Mermaid Avenuealbums. Now four more songwriters have done the same thing, tackling a batch of unearthed Guthrie lyrics that largely date from his time in Los Angeles. The resultant New Multitudes album is, as to be expected, a grimly reverential but rewarding collection, highlighted by contributions from Centro-matic’s Will Johnson—one of the most vital American songwriters currently functioning—and Son Volt’s Jay Farrar. Elsewhere, My Morning Jacket’s Yim Yames (who still insists on being called Yim Yames for some reason) offers airy, meandering gibberish that reminds me of that godawful “What’s Become of the Baby” song from the Dead’sAoxomoxoa. And Anders Parker, from some band you’ve never heard of, is the guy whose voice you don’t recognize. Get there early for opener Sarah Jaffe, who’s fantastic.” By NED LANNAMANN from Portland Mercury (here)

Where:  Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside

When:  Friday, March 9, 8pm | $20

Phone:  225-0047




“[DRUMS FROM AND FOR JAPAN] A year ago tonight, a devastating earthquake steamrolled Japan. The Japanese drumline Portland Taiko spearheads a night devoted to the Oregon Tomodachi Recovery Fund, which supports the rebuilding movement in the Tohoku region. The highly trained and wonderfully choreographed ensemble forges hard-hitting, pseudo-tribal beats as old as many civilizations. This brand of drumming was once used to fend off invading armies. Today, it seems, this troupe reacquaints listeners with their beloved primal roots. Local maestros Thomas Lauderdale and Michael Allen Harrison join the cause. ” by Mark Stock from the Willamette Week (here).

Where: Aladdin Theater,3017 SE Milwaukie Ave

When: 7 pm, Sunday March 11 | $35-$100. Minors must be accompanied by a parent.

Phone: 234-9694



Latest Library Acquisitions

Hello all,

 It is time for the monthly library update regarding new materials available for You!  If you’re interested in viewing the latest go to: LibraryThing and click on February 2012 under the “Tags” column.
February purchases focused on Ceramics, but there are also other departments represented and several generous donations (thank you again… you know who you are!).
All best,

Jimmie Durham quote: “You think that I do, but I never think of chaos …”

“Manuel Cirauqui: So, tell me about your relationship to chaos. I suspect you must be dealing with this concept quite regularly, as it seems to occur often in your works. In many of them, you provoke things to get out of, say, the peaceful path of their becoming — in other words, you trigger an entropic process which entails a loss of form (I don’t want to call it destruction). It is as if you prompted or negotiated the passing of things toward a chaotic state: the showcase that breaks, the toy boat that sinks, and also the sudden, almost spontaneous association of tools, materials, props, clothes, etcetera, to make new objects. Do you deal with chaos as a working principle?

Jimmie Durham: You think that I do, but I never think of chaos, except that I read mathematical theory. I’m reading math all the time because I’ve got no concept of math. And I’m just trying to understand it a little bit, but it doesn’t work. I like interruptions, of any kind, especially from my own life, because we have such a tendency–something stronger than a tendency, actually–to do the same things all the time. (Pauses as chairs are moved noisily in the background). Kierkegaard wrote about repetition as the greatest human good, because it was close to holiness. Yet to me it is so strange that I do the same thing over and over, that I take the same route to the grocery store or when I walk home–it’s intolerable. I want interruptions, I want things to be different all the time” (79)

Cirauqui, Manuel. “Jimmie Durham [an interview]” Bomb. Number 118, Winter 2012. pg 76-83.

47. “DIY in PDX” compiled by Iris Porter and illustrated by Lily Gilbert.

Renowned entrepreneur and designer, Sandy Chilewich, will be giving a talk today at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in the Vollum Drawing and Painting studios from 12:45 – 1:45pm. She is known world-wide for modern reinterpretations of underutilized materials and manufacturing processes. Learn how she designed and brought to market award-winning products made in theUSAand sold globally. Chilewich Sultan LLC, a New York based company, has transformed how people dress their tables at home and in restaurants around the globe, while their floor and wall coverings provide a clean contemporary alternative in the design community. Some of her designs are also on display in the OCAC retail craft gallery, so be sure to stop by and check them out on your way to the lecture!

To learn more about Sandy Chilewich, we encourage you to visit her website:

Thinking about entrepreneurship, we were reminded of the work of a former OCAC student in Book Arts, Iris Porter.  She published a book on the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) culture inPortlandthat compiles the stories of 28 local artists, writers, musicians and other entrepreneurs. It is a fascinating culmination projects and essays, including Eleanor Whitney’s text on “The Creative Process and Radical Potential of DIY,” Chloe Eudaly’s “How to quit your job, get a life, and word harder than you ever imagined,” and “Promoting small press books with little or no money” by  Kevin Sampsell, among other interviews and small business spotlights.

Here’s how one reviewer described the book: “DIY in PDX is mostly an ongoing discussion and how-to manual. You’ll hear from Molly Sprenglemeyer, volunteer coordinator for North Portland’s SCRAP (School & Community Reuse Action Project) and Portland DIY veteran (she remembers a time when clothes at the Goodwill bins were 49 cents a pound!). You’ll get book recommendations from the effervescent Chloe Eudaly, founder of Reading Frenzy (she remembers P-town’s ’80s book cafes Howling Frog and Umbra Penumbra). You’ll read encouragement and advice from countless organizers of craft bazaars, zine symposia and CD compilations (one is even included in the pages of the book). And by book’s end, you’ll be inspired to bust out the four-track recorder and warble your way to self-sufficient stardom.”—from Elizabeth Dye’s review in the Willamette Week (here).

Perhaps in today’s economic climate, the DIY movement and the stories of successful entrepreneurs might be all the more significant.  Decide for yourself. Come to today’s talk with Sandy Chilewich and check out DIY in PDX!