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First Thursday Preview

What's opening in downtown galleries tonight.


WW art critic Richard Speer previews tonight's First Thursday openings.

Stephen Scott Smith
In Burlap 2B, conceptual artist Stephen Scott Smith reflects on his young adulthood in the 1980s. His suite of drawings captures the era’s strange melange of military-industrial machismo (witness his depiction of Ronald Reagan), look-the-other-way attitude toward HIV/AIDS (see again Ronald ...   More
Thursday, September 1, 2011 by RICHARD SPEER

Reading. Writing. Gallery Homeland

The plight of words in a digital age.

Visual Arts
To look at an alphabet other than our Roman script—Cyrillic, Arabic, Chinese, Devanagari—is to be transfixed by characters divorced from their content. For millennia, we humans have been commin   More
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 RICHARD SPEER

Michael Endo at False Front Studio

Turning pain into paint.

Visual Arts
Michael Endo’s haunting show at False Front this month, Pain Scale, is compelling for how uncomfortably it stretched the meticulous painter’s working methods. Endo, 32, normally lavishes time on   More
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 RICHARD SPEER

Brad Carlile/Rio Wrenn

Confronting the myth of the great American road.

Visual Arts
This month, two local artists wrestle with divergent but equally mythic conceptions of the great American road. In Tempus Incognitus, photographer Brad Carlile’s striking exhibition at Eva Lake’s   More
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 RICHARD SPEER

ANKA Gallery Closes


ANKA Gallery, a staple of the Everett Station Lofts, will be dark this First Thursday, closed indefinitely due to financial hardships.According to gallery co-owners Anna Solcaniova-King and Graylan King, the gallery is in a restructuring phase with no more shows to be mounted in the Lofts.  The ga...   More
Thursday, July 7, 2011 by RICHARD SPEER

Seattle sculptor John Grade wins Contemporary Northwest Art Awards


Seattle-based sculptor and conceptual artist John Grade took home the $10,000 Arlene Schnitzer Prize at the culmination of the opening ceremonies for Portland Art Museum’s second    More
Monday, June 20, 2011 by RICHARD SPEER

Contemporary Northwest Art Awards

Portland Art Museum scores a hit with this showcase of thought-provoking Northwest art.

Visual Arts
The Contemporary Northwest Art Awards live in the shadow of the Oregon Biennial, which, in a sense, it replaced. Like the Biennial, the Art Awards select a small pool of artists from hundreds of no   More
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 RICHARD SPEER

Storm Tharp

Storm Tharp’s prints highlight a sexy group show at PDX Contemporary.

Visual Arts
There has always been an air of the arch epicene in Storm Tharp’s work: the perspective of a refined but warped dandy looking out at a beautiful world through dark-tinted spectacles   More
Wednesday, June 8, 2011 RICHARD SPEER

The Big Timers

Tony Bennett and Usher take vastly different approaches to wooing you.

Music Stories
Crooners—legitimate heavyweights who can elicit shrieks, tears and piles of ladies’ undergarments from their audiences—are few and far between these days.  But this week, two of the big   More
Wednesday, May 25, 2011 RICHARD SPEER, CASEY JARMAN

Tom Cramer Oregon Landmarks

Tom Cramer casts a quirky gaze on his native state.

Visual Arts
We spoke with Tom Cramer, an Oregon native and veritable Portland institution, about the sources of inspiration for his show Oregon Landmarks. WW: What drew you to the Northwest landscape this time?    More
Wednesday, May 18, 2011 RICHARD SPEER
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