Tuesday, July 29, 2008

adam 5100

i'm a sucker for technique... always. i love seeing materials being manipulated and applied in unique ways. while i can appreciate phenomena like new media and conceptual art, contemporary art that really speaks to me is more often than not, modern in its content and classic in its execution. i love pop-surrealist artists like stella im hultberg or mark ryden who address the ethos and anxiety of the modern world in an old-master style: eerie, unsettling art rendered exactingly, fantasies and nightmares that slip into tangible reality. 

adam 5100, paints his world in impressive, prolific detail with a highly unusual and formidable tool: stencils. adam's art captures his world in delicately composed, snap-shot aesthetic works whose gentle simplicity belies the complexity of his technique. again with a mention of the bechtel show i saw at the sfmoma: the first time that i saw adam's work was like coming to the sudden realization that bechtel's snapshots were in fact paintings rather than photographs. i thought that they were watercolors, maybe pastels. i had to do a serious double take when i read that they were created with stencils and paint. there's such a sensitivity to his rendering, such a soft, hazy sort of daydream quality to them. what is really mind blowing is seeing the stencils themselves! like sanhji, intricate traditional indian paper-cutting art, the stencils are works of art in it of themselves.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

call for artists

Menace to Propriety – June 2009

Fenario Gallery announces its first open call to artists for a 2009 group show entitled “Menace to Propriety.” This show is conceptualized as an opportunity to bring together an exhibit that will startle, delight, disgust and engage. We want to see art that is unconventional, difficult, and perhaps inappropriate, to fill the space with art that possesses its own voice… preferably one that curses like a sailor. In a world in which conformity is often rewarded, we want to showcase art that takes risks, and dances to its own drummer. Submissions ought to in someway embody a sense of rebelliousness towards established aesthetic and artistic parameters. We are not necessarily looking for overt political statements or gratuitous violence, so much as a show in which each individual piece is a surprising revelation, with its own unique quip, message, or shout. We hope to collect works by artists who are not confined by other peoples expectations, and who create, without concern for the opinion of critics and detractors, art that eloquently and boldly expresses their own individual imaginary world. With this exhibit, we hope to create an opportunity for the North West community to absorb recent developments in the underground and pop-surrealism art movements, and to see that the West Coast art scene has long since moved beyond brass bowls of pears and vases of sunflowers (though a naughty interpretation of such a theme would not be beyond my sense of humor). Please send us copies/ photos of pieces you would like to see considered for the exhibit, including medium, dimensions, exhibit history and all relevant contact information by May 8th, 2009.

Fenario Gallery has been a leading contemporary art space in Eugene, OR since 2005. In recent years the gallery has been evolving into a progressive gallery specializing in visionary art, pop-surrealism and urban underground art. Our goal as an art entity is to continue to showcase cutting edge art, which expresses the vision and continued direction of the developing West Coast art scene.

Exhibit Dates: June 5th - ?
Submission Deadline: May 8th
Notification of Acceptance Date: May 15th
Title: “Menace to Propriety”
Venue: Fenario Gallery, 881 Willamette St. Eugene, OR 97401
Jurors: Chloe Gallagher, Gallery Manager, and Brent Rosskopf, Gallery Owner
Entry Fees: Submission is free, but if you would like your entry back please send sufficient postage to have your portfolio returned to you.
Gallery Commission: 50%
Send Submissions to: chloe@fenariogallery.com

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

gallery days

Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Hartford Wash, performance piece, 1973

not every day in the life of a gallery manager is as glamorous as you may imagine 

(if, that is, people even suspect that my job is glamorous). 

i always loved institutional critique because of its subversive erosion of the myth of the white walled gallery space. the classic white walled gallery space we have at fenario gallery is a pristine, light-flooded space with eggshell walls, and blonde hard wood floors. it has the kind of aesthetic identity that implies success. there is something about the traditional presentation of an art gallery that causes people to quite their voice upon entry, hush their foot steps; a sense of reverence. there is something ordered, something meticulous and thus authoritative and sanctioned about the clean typed didactics, and neatly leveled canvases that gives the space a solemn, monumental presence. 

i still remember the first time that i visited the metropolitan museum of art. the hushed sense of awe. 

when i first started to feel responsible for the quality level of the gallery, this myth of perfection was a huge weight on my mind. i constantly leveled canvases, spot mopped the floor, etc. it stressed me out to think of our gallery being conceived of as unprofessional, or lacking in any way. then something miraculous happened. i took my dad to the jordan schnitzer art museum for fathers day, and after months in the gallery scene in a professional capacity i noticed all of their imperfections. there were crooked tags, smears on the paint, typos! for some reason this was really exciting for me. if an institution as important and influencial as the schnitzer can have tiny errors, surely i can get away with a few rough spaeckle spots and chipped floor boards. 

what was i rambling for again?....

ah yes, this morning i mopped for an hour and felt like cinderella and then instantly thought of mierle laderman ukeles, who washed the steps of an art museum during open hours to inspire people to be conscious of all of the menial tasks that required to keep an art institution pristine and perpetuating the myth of the white walled gallery space. 

Saturday, July 19, 2008

lady luck

thus far this summer has been epic:

sidewalk mojito parties


lysergic meteor showers

nudie rock naked tai chi demonstrations (unwanted, unwelcomed, and unclothed)

shooting mortars over unsuspecting crowds of ravers (i'll take the heat for that one "you know who you are")


as if i even deserved more i've got two more weekends of nearly unbelievable fun coming my way. next friday is the sharon jones and the dap kings show at the oregon zoo and it looks as though i'll have my beautiful best friend autumn in tow (the girl loves to boogie, we're a match made in heaven). my excitement mounts day by day. there are plenty of musicians that i love and that i would go out of my way to see live - but few who i feel so certain can deliver the kind of performance that will have me screaming like a tea kettle. i sure as hell hope i get my ass shook. that's right: i want that show to be so good the bass line does all my ass shaking for me. it ought to be like those old fashioned excercize machines with the band around your waist that was supposed to jiggle your muffin top off. 

i've been all  but addicted to live music this summer. i got to see bill kreutzmann play on saturday of the country fair in a little tented area (at least i think it was a tent, it felt more like a spaceship at the time). it was pretty splendiforous. i was surrounded by my closest friends and loved ones, the sound was crystal clear, and there was a meteor shower overhead - a natural laser light show without the uncomfortable seats, neck kink and noxious cologne of shwag weed.

 i danced myself to sleep that night. thanks bill, that was killer. 

bill kreutzmann, fort point, san francisco, 1965

the weekend after sharon jones and the dap kings is a private music festival my family puts on called black sheep family reunion. fenario's got a geodesic dome that we set up to showcase the best of our visionary art collection. i'm stoked to have the opportunity to meet people, talk about art, and network in a new setting. black sheep's also known for its impressive musical line-ups and the fact that traditionally the headlining band of the night plays until dawn. me and my friend karl wonder-twin activate into the form of a dancing machine. at the moment it looks like i'm going to take one for the team and miss the first night of the festival to stay in eugene and keep the galley open for first friday. we don't have a new show, but it would be good to be open and hopefully get more foot traffic in to see sarah ciampa's show, which is hanging through the end of august. that leaves me just enough time to wake up, clean myself and get on the road in time to see my friends the bridge play all the way through saturday night.

i've had the distinct pleasure of seeing them play a similar set last year, and i remember feeling like my legs were pulled taffy by the end of the set. the bridge is exactly the kind of band who knows how to feed my insatiable hunger for saucy, soulful, dance-able music that just doesn't quit. the kind of music that just puts a smile on your face despite yourself. my bossman, brent, has been friends with several of the band members since wee-hood so they're fenario family. they recently got signed to hyena records and are pretty much at the starting gate of what promises to be a wild ride. if anyone deserves success in spades its these guys.

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recent acquisitions

dalek, "the self-absorbed purify" paint on board

we've recently acquired two amazing pieces for the gallery. the first is an original dalek piece. i emailed dalek a flick of the piece to try to get more information on its genesis. dalek was nice enough to answer personally, and informed me that the piece was most likely made in late '99 or early 2000 while he was in school in richmond, VA. 

mike giant original, acrylics, spray paint, and paint pens on masonite

the other piece that we've got is a mike giant original. mike was nice enough to clarify the origins of this piece for me. he said the piece was created in 2003 just before he left the bay area. it debuted at the MOCA DC after it was finished, and is one of the few paintings he's ever made. 

having works by artists of such a high caliber in the galley keeps me motivated. it reminds me that the level of success and talent we want to see reflected in our gallery is well within our grasp and we're finally cresting the rise of the mountain we've been climbing and we're going to be sitting, relaxing enjoying the view soon... until we pick our next mountain. 

kris d

kris d, "a historical account of future novelty", acrylic and paper on canvas, 2008

at fenario we're also working on a future exhibit with artists kris d whose recent curatorial adventure, his "365" exhibit at the minna gallery in san francisco, has been making a splash over at juxtapoz online.

kris d is known not only for his distinctive, geometric paintings, but also for doing finely detailed, exacting live paintings with performance groups like sts9. maybe we can corral him into blessing us with just such an event. seems to be an expanding theme here at fenario, and really, i couldn't be happier about it. 

Steven Lopez Show

Jill Scott- Hate On Me from Steven Lopez on Vimeo.

things are coming along really well for the lopez show in september. steven designed his own fliers, and they're amazing. i wish i knew how to get one into a form that i could put on this page. next week i'll have one of my geek squad help me out. 

we've decided to leave out the live painting at the opening. we're expecting to be pretty crowded and so logistically it would be tight, and also the opening ought to be a time for people to be able to talk to steven about his work, which would be seriously distracting while trying to create a live painting. we're tentatively planning on having the live painting during eugene celebration the next week, particularly if we book this jazz group that we're trying to get here for the weekend (and if they're funky enough to stimulate steven's creative mojo). 

we've also scheduled the forum that we're orchestrating between steven and the folks at the lane arts council for september 9th. i'm glad that we're going to have a good structured opportunity to talk with the community about public art and similar topics. i'm hoping that we get a large turnout because i love discussing art and hearing people's opinions. 

i got the rest of the funding for steven's travel expenses, so my biggest logistic concern has been put to rest. now i get to focus on how to make the overall event/experience as fun, positive and seamless as i can make it. as i've said again and again, this exhibit feels like my first baby as the gallery's manager, and i couldn't be happier with the way its coming together. i'm a woman who thrives on a sense of accomplishment and i went through a period in my life in which i was involved with very little that fed me that feeling and/or that yielded any tangible results that i could look to for inspiration. i was two baby steps away from finding a fence to whitewash just to see a finished product! luckily patience and persistence have landed me in a position where i yet again have projects that grow and develop into visible, sharable results. i am so very honored that it is in the field of art.

check out this new video of steven doing a live painting of erykah badu:

Erykah Badu- Amerykahn Promise from Steven Lopez on Vimeo.

Friday, July 18, 2008


jeffry laneright
Originally uploaded by

really though?

currently groaning because i dont have ______ in my collection:

..... and strangely enough: 

i'm feeling both funky and ready for a bedtime story. excellent.

currently listening to...

why?... because its true. 
*track 1*

merci to the whitney, truly (2006)

i love the summer i really do...

a fun juxtaposition i once saw at the whitney museum in a retrospective on pablo picasso's influence on american art:

roy lichtenstein, "beach scene with starfish", 1995, tape and painted-and-printed paper on board, 39 3/16" 79 1/8"

pablo picasso, "bathers with beach ball", 1928, oil on canvas, 6 1/4" x 8 1/4"

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

the lovely yellena

Yellena James, "Vessel", print of drawing done with pens, ink and markers on paper, 6"x6" (print available on her etsy shop)

i've been gushing for quite some time about yellena james. she's a talented aritst and designer who lives on the oregon coast (currently... she misses the city, i can empathize). orignially from sarajevo, yellena has traveled the world honing her beautiful, dreamlike style of illustration and racked up a laundry list of fans. i've got pages and pages worth of praise for her art, but as I mentioned earlier, the heat has turned my brain into mush. for today i'll let the interview and the images speak for themselves. she's agreed to a show at fenario in october, so i'll have plenty more to say in the coming weeks. yellena sat down and answered some of my questions after a recent trip to hang a show at giant robot in san francisco. 

CG: tell me a little about yourself, and how you got started making art. 

YJ: i've done art as long as i can remember. i hear this from a lot of artists in interviews, but it's true. i always loved to draw and i have always been fascinated with pens and markers. my sister is also an artist and we used to make things together growing up. during the civil war in sarajevo, i enrolled in an art high school against my parents wishes. where i am from, as most places i'm sure, artists tend to starve. but we all at some point make the decision that doing what you love is most important. 

CG: where do you draw your inspiration from? what gets your imagination running?

YJ: oh, this is always the hardest question for me because it is very hard to pinpoint inspiration. i think artists just have that in them. if you love what you're doing you are always inspired to do it no matter what. you get inspired by all things. many of my recent works were inspired by small elements or ideas found in my previous works which begged to be explored furthur. it's a nice feeling to finish a piece and step away with the direction in mind for a new piece. 

CG: you have a very distinct, recognizable style of design and illustration. how has your aesthetic developed over time?

YJ: thanks for saying that. a lot of work and time have gone into creating and developing my style. i still feel like there is so much more room to grow. i've had a lot of traditional training, and many great teachers along the way. i had one teacher in sarajevo who made us do line drawings for months until we perfected them. i was so happy when we finally started doing some shading in our studies. i think i started doing my best work when i stopped trying to impress other artists, teachers, critics, etc. and started making art that i enjoy. 

yellena james, "bliss" pen and ink on paper, 6"x7.5"

CG: do you doodle when you talk on the phone?

YJ: no, i usually pace around the room when i talk on the phone. when i'm drawing, i'm completely focused on what i'm doing. i almost always have music playing. i'm completely addicted to pandora.com.

CG: do you have a favorite medium?

YJ: pens and markers are still my favorite, although i do love paint. i have literally hundreds of pens in my studio and i am very particular about paper too.

CG: it seems that a lot of your pieces are on a small scale. what draws you to working on small pieces? do you ever work on a larger scale?

YJ: i work in a small scale because my work is so detailed and it takes me forever to finish little pieces. i also like the intimacy of smaller pieces. they invite viewers for a closer inspection, a second look. 

CG: you recently moved to the oregon coast. as a native oregonian, i must say, you've picked a truly beautiful, scenic part of the world to call home. how has your change of scenery inspired you? do you have good tide-pooling near your home?

YJ: it's true, oregon is very beautiful. the tide-pooling is top-notch i'm sure. the coast is a great place to work in peace, though i'm definitely missing the city energy these days. we'll probably be living in portland by the end of the summer. there are a lot of creative people there and always something fresh going on. we live next to the ocean right now and i guess that has had some influence on my work. recently, my artwork has been described as resembling precambrian ocean life. i liked this, because during the precambrian era, the seas were just these big pools of potential, and life was just forming - seemingly at random but also by design. all these little elements were taking form and coming alive on their own. this is similar to how many of my art pieces come together. lots of little bits and lines, forming curves, then shapes... sort of randomly, but also by design. 

CG: what fellow artists and designers do you admire? who do you have your eye on?

YJ: oh, let's see. i'm a big fan of julie mehretu and matthew ritchie... i also really like apak, sam weber, jeff soto, takashi murakami. there are so many more... i think now is a really exciting time in art. one thing about being close to portland, and also selling on etsy and the giant robot, is that i've been introduced to so many amazing DIY-minded artists. there are just a lot of people right now who are doing things on their own. 

CG: what albums do you take with you when you go on a road trip? 

YJ: for road trips, i like to bring compilations: interpol, black keys, beck, okkervil river, b.r.m.c., my morning jacket, muse, ours, the shins... that kind of stuff.

CG: if i loaned you my private jet where would you go?

YJ: i have been wanting to visit sarajevo and the adriatic coast lately. it would be nice to see my family there, and show my husband where i was born. then i would probably ask you to loan me your jet again for a trip to japan. then italy, then france, australia, ireland, brazil.... your jet will probably need an oil change when i'm done. 

yellena james, "magic" print of drawing done in pen and ink, 8.5"x11" (prints available on her etsy shop)

oregon country fair

its been a long time since i've posted. i've been swimming in summer inertia. when it gets into the nineties my brain gets very very lazy. somehow the thought of sitting in front of my blazing hot lap top becomes less and less appealing. this weekend i'm heading out to the oregon country fair to shake loose some of the debris that i've been accumulating in my brain. nothing spells relaxation like a giant wonderland of costume-donning happy hippies all letting their freak flag fly. i tried the other day to describe the fair to my friends from florida, and i came up short. its not a traditional music festival, but its more than an arts and crafts fair. my friend kelly commented that the photos looked like a renaissance fair, which isn't exactly untrue. i wouldn't say that the people out at fair art galavanting around pretending to exist in the renaissance era, but they don't always seem to be existing in an shared field of time or space either. i'll post pictures when i get home, maybe they'll shed some light.