June 20, 2011

"Equine" at Froelick Gallery

Equine, open through July 16th at Froelick Gallery in the inner Pearl, is a juried group show that explores the symbolic meanings of the horse across cultures and through history through the eyes of (mostly) contemporary artists.

Maximilio Pruneda, Blood Storm, Froelick Gallery

Catherine Haley Epstein, Pony Ride 2, 2011, Froelick Gallery

Over 30 artists are represented in Equine, and the form of the horse (or part thereof) is portrayed in paintings, drawings, photography, prints, textiles and sculptural works of various media. Although several pieces contemplate the horse in a natural setting, most of the works spark thoughts and emotions about how horses have played and play in history, myth, society and personal experience.

Christopher Rauschenberg, Marche aux peuces, 2010, Froelick Gallery

Dorian Reisman, Holy Horse, 2010, Froelick Gallery

With so many pieces, the show is able to encompass a broad range of work by well-established artists, such as Rick Bartow and Susan Seubert, and lesser known local and 'hip' artists like Dorian Reisman (21st century pop) or Emily Katz (DIY handicrafts go fine art) next to historical works such as those of Tom Hardy (1950s) and a famous photographic collotype of the horse in motion by Eadweard Muybridge (19th century). Yet, while bringing together quite disparate artists and media, the show remains tight and true to the subject of the show, with the horse remaining the poignant and central subject in almost every piece, and an overall curatorial flavor stays intact.

Susan Seubert, Bridle, Blinders, 2011, Froelick Gallery

Rick Bartow, White Shadow (Homage to Little Beaver Fry), 2004, Froelick Gallery

Froelick Gallery, on NW Davis between Broadway and the Park Blocks, is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:30am to 5:30pm and by appointment.

June 10, 2011

Object Stories at Portland Art Museum

As technology enhances the access that people have to art, history, culture and entertainment, museums attempt to keep up with virtual collections and exhibitions, new technologies to accompany in-house exhibitions and innovative education programs. Over the past several years, the Portland Art Museum has expanded their education program to bring a new generation of art viewers through their doors.

In 2010, PAM partnered with Portland State University for "Shine a Light," a night-time party inside and outside the museum that featured food carts, beer and music, in addition to new ways of viewing art. Art-related activities included "marrying a work of art," touching art

object replicas (called "You Can Touch This") and watching nude performances of wrestling in imitation of Greco-Roman statuary. “We want people to be open-minded about what can happen in a Museum, ” Education Director Tina Olsen commented about the event. She added, “We are suggesting that visitors view art as something that is happening right now—that isn't in the past—but that is directly related to their life today.”

More recently, PAM has installed a new permanent exhibition called Object Stories. Fashion Buddha, Ziba Design and Eyelevel collaborated to create a sound-proof recording studio inside the museum where visitors share their personal story about an object that is particularly meaningful to them. This could be anything from a favorite stuffed animal, to heirloom jewelry, to a favorite piece of art. The story sessions, which must be reserved ahead of time, last about 20 minutes and can be recorded in English or Spanish. Professionals then edit the story down to about 2 minute.

Image from Museum 2.0

Each visitor is photographed with their object and must share a "six word story" (a la Twitter) that explains it all in a nutshell. You can view the photos and short stories, such as "Roaring kissing dragon, don't be scared" or "A house has an aging soul" or "Middle school thesaurus thief" on the

Image from Portland Art Museum's ObjectStories.org.

Object Stories website. The exhibition aims to involve the public, rethink the meaning of objects, and engage audiences on new levels. Learn more about the installation.
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