Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gestures of Resistance at MOCC

I've been volunteering at The Museum of Contemporary Craft off-and-on for about a year now. I chose them because even though they are small, all of their exhibits that I have seen actively challenge the boundary between art and craft, and even between exhibition and collaborative art practice. The current show, Gestures of Resistance, especially does just that.

This is a show where if you enter the museum expecting to passively observe finished works, you will be sorely dissapointed. However, if you take the time to understand the show's context and enter the museum as an active collaborator you will be greatly rewarded.

This show is constantly changing and building upon itself. A series of artists have been invited to create work that will either contribute to, or build upon work of the other artists. Their disciplines vary but the one theme that can be strung between them is their use of their practice as gestures of resistance.

The museum is transformed from a place of absorption to a place of creation and collaboration. Visitors can directly interact with the artists. If you visited last month you can come back and have an entirely new experience this month. It's a truly engaging experience.

I will let you read more about the artists and such from the Museum itself. Don't miss this one!

Admission is $3 and FREE on First Thursday's. To get the most from your admission I'd recommend checking the schedule and visiting on a day when a resident artist will be there. If you become a member you can check back as frequently as you like and support one of Portland's best art institutions.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

PNCA Fine Art Library: A Hidden Gem Resource for Artists

So, it has been a very long time since I have updated. I apologize for that. I've been busy applying and planning for graduate school. In the Fall I will be starting the Arts Management program at The University of Oregon. I am really excited about this.

Today I got invited by my friend who is getting her Master's of Library Science degree, to take a tour of the PNCA Fine Art Library guided by library director, Dan McClure. As soon as we walked in, one of the first words out of his mouth was, "No whispering allowed." At that moment we knew that this wasn't your usual library. He explained later that the Fine Art Library is a place where students meet and where artisitic discourse is encouraged. Many of the public areas are set up more like a living room with a television screen playing movies on mute in the background.

The library has every art magazine you can dream of. They also have an extensive collection of visual reference materials that most libraries would discard, including old LIFE magazines from the 50s and vintage Victorian woman's magazines.

The best and lesser known fact about the library is that it is public. Anyone can hang out and peruse their extensive collection of art books and magazines. The only catch is unless you are a student, or pay $75 membership fees, you can't check anything out, but with reading areas replete with couches and comfortable chairs you don't even need to!

Next time I am downtown and in the mood to catch up on art news I will skip Powell's and head over to PNCA.