Friday, October 24, 2008

November Fenario Art Show

shanna trumbly, the rabbit and the shooting stars, acrylic on canvas

This Novermber at Fenario Gallery we'll be having a joint show with local artist Shanna Trumbly and a Portland-based photographer named Rainen Janes. Shanna and Rainen have been friends for years, but this is their first time showing together, and I'm excited to find that I think their work, despite their very different mediums work together very well and have an interesting give and take. Shanna has been active in the art community in Eugene for years. She has a popular booth at the Saturday Market, and her shop at the Country Fair this year had lines pouring out into the paths. While her art had been mainly focused on craft and mercantile, Shanna picked up a paint brush about a year ago and found she had a virtuosic natural ability with the medium. Producing several whimsical, dreamy scenes often depicting animals and local flora over the past year, her more recent works hinge on a new technique in which Shanna takes a photograph which she has printed on canvas and then paints bright, juxtaposing images over the photo. Her benign animal scenes have taken on a distinctly darker flavor, and though there is still a fairy tale like narrative element, they are more like the Grimm Brothers' original stories than Disney classics. 

Rainen Janes' captivating nature photography (similarly printed on canvas) will make for an interesting artistic olio when hung with Shanna's acrylics. A gifted photographer with a strong sense of form and color, Rainen's series for the exhibit will focus mainly of photographs of horses. With interesting angles and the inclusion of unexpected depictions of the theme in far flung locations hand picked from his travels, the exhibit will be an interesting twist on a nature photography show.

Upcoming show with The Bridge

its that time of year again, kids. one of our favorite bands is slowly making their way out to the left coast to get willamette valley booties shaking. they're playing two nights at the gallery here's the press release i wrote, generously edited by kevin over at hyena records who's taken a bit of his own time to help hone my press release writing skills:

The Bridge is a Baltimore based band delivering a classic Americana sound fused with elements of New Orleans funk and jazz, delta blues and bluegrass. With their accomplished musicianship, unique instrumentation and intelligent yet accessible songwriting the band has been amassing a devoted following across the U.S. through their dedication to high quality performance. On November 14th and 15th, Fenario Gallery will be hosting a two-night engagement, one stop on the West Coast leg of the band's album release tour. Their new record, entitled "Blind Man's Hill," is an evolution on the band's well-developed, multi-layered sound. The album seamlessly flows between musical styles and tempos with a natural cohesiveness and grace, and has the lightheartedly nostalgic feeling of an homage to the kind of classic American music that remains relevant for its skill and thoughtfulness rather than its glitz or synthesized presentation. "Blind Man's Hill" paints a picture of an America that is composed of rough hands, honeysuckle, whiskey, beautiful women and hard work. The delectable recipe of Kenny Liner's mandolin and beat-boxing, Dave Markowitz' bass guitar, Patrick Rainey's sax, and Mike Gambone's kinetic drums make for a perfect backdrop for Chris Jacob's powerful, singular vocals and gritty guitar riffs. While their studio recordings are undeniably well crafted, the bands real magic comes out in their energetic live performances. Both engagements at Fenario Gallery will start at 9:00 PM, and tickets will be $10.

i have a tendency to be overly verbose, which isn't a very good quality for publicity. concise is the name of the game in the press world. i appreciate trying to build this skill set because i've always had a deeply held admiration for writers who can be impressively descriptive in a short hand manner; the least amount of words representing the largest of human ideas. 

anydoodle, the shows are sure to be great fun. we always have a blast when the bridge comes to the gallery, and with their killer brand spankin' new album they're sure to have the verve and excitement to put on an amazing show. 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

take a ten minute journey with me

fuco ueda, sprouting 2, acrylic on cloth no wood

last night i was meditating on how beautiful Yellena's show is. she arrived yesterday with the whole show, new works on paper as well as gorgeous acrylic on board pieces. as we were unpacking the boxes, i again had a feeling of being artistically overwhelmed. how does so much beauty come from one small, lovely woman? as we laid out the pieces on the floor i was overjoyed to see the kind of show i had been dreaming about mounting since art school. Yellena has cleverly framed her pieces in white shadowboxes. on the white walls of the gallery it has a crisp, clean aesthetic that just sings. the shadowboxes give the show the feeling of an aquarium, each little scene has its own habitat, its own environ, and the small scale invites the viewer into the details, as if approaching carefully curated microhabitats. 

i think having the "stasis" show, with its quiet subliminal beauty, directly following the veritable cirque du soliel of lopez's show will show fenario's versatility. i think both shows are in the direction that we want to go: contemporary, versatile, inherently aesthetically interesting, and youthful. they represent the kind of talent that i want to highlight with the space. people with a signature style, but with an ability to adapt and evolve to challenges and changing times.  i think that people who were present at the last first friday are going to be blown away by the transformation of the space. 

for those who were wondering, the lopez installation will remain for at least this month. let's just say we're attached. (read: i had an anxiety attack contemplating the process of whitewashing the beautiful piece of art myself and several others had done so much to make happen.) 

last night while thinking about art, i was participating in an exsercise that i often undertake: mentally curating a dream show (possibly a self-indulgent act for someone who's already been so lucky in real life, but what can i say, i'm a hedonist). sometimes i think of shows that i would put together just for beauty's sake: no particular concept or theme, just things that i find beautiful. below i've put a list of pieces that i would hang in my show "a few of my favorite things". i'm not normally in the habit of posting images from artists who i haven't spoken with directly to get permission, but i'm hoping that the fact that they're in my dream show will give me some karmic respite. if any one (artists or readers) has any objections feel free to let me know. 

fuco ueda, bad summer, acrylic and modeling paste on cloth on wood

laurie hogin land of desire - prozac planet 2007 oil on canvas 36"x48"

doremus scudder, rock formation, oregon coast silver gelatin print
(we have a stunning set of scudder prints at the gallery that i would love to find a home for)

audrey kawasaki, minami no uta

josh keyes, dawn

walton ford, falling bough watercolor, gouache, ink and pencil on paper

tara donovan, colony, pencils

nicola verlato, enduring freedom, oil on canvas

anne hardy, drift, daisec mounted c-type print

jen lobo, jealousy

audrey kawasaki, if only you were here, acrylic on wood