News & Notes: Fighting the demon of Anticipation

The weekend looms, Tharp is in Seattle, the NYC Opera closed, Frishberg and Kilgore and a good deal on Kronos

Like the cowboy in Henk Pander's "Rodeo," we are on the edge today./Portland Art Museum/© 1966 Henk Pander

Like the cowboy in Henk Pander’s “Rodeo,” we are on the edge today./Portland Art Museum/© 1966 Henk Pander

This morning, the city feels on the verge somehow. On the verge of Wordstock and First Thursday. On the verge of “Samurai” at the Portland Art Museum and First Friday. On the verge of “Detroit” at Portland Playhouse and an ambitious set of Bach concertos by Portland Baroque Orchestra.

But no, we’re not just going to hang on the edge all day! Decidedly not.

Andrew Auble, "Kenton Club Choir," 2011, Collage/Portland Visual Chronicle

Andrew Auble, “Kenton Club Choir,” 2011, Collage/Portland Visual Chronicle

From Amsterdam, Henk Pander brought the idea of building a publicly funded collection of art works explicitly designed to document the city and its people. And since 1985, the Portland Visual Chronicle has diligently kept the collection going–inexpensive works on paper and photographs that together illustrate Portland and its development (both civically and artistically) as no other local archive collection does.

This year the Visual Chronicle added 17 new pieces to the collection by 14 artists: Andrew Auble, Shelley Chamberlin, David Chelsea, Molly Cliff Hilts, Sarah Ferguson, Joel Wellington Fisher, Bruce Forster, Brian Foulkes, George Kelly, Matthew Miller, Roger Peet, Veasna Sa, David Shratter and Samantha Wall. The intention of the jurying this year was to make sure that more of Portland’s neighborhoods and ethnic communities were represented.

The archive now has 320 pieces by 193 different artists, and the collection rotates through various city and county buildings.


The Oregon Cultural Trust had become an important source of support for arts groups all across the state, thanks to individual Oregon taxpayers and arts contributors, and its “Oregon Days of Culture” both celebrates the arts here and encourages us to help them more. It runs through Oct. 8.


After 70 years as “the people’s opera,” the New York City Opera announced that it will dissolve and file for bankruptcy, after an emergency fundraising effort fell short. Martha Ullman West reminisced about her opera encounters there for ArtsWatch:

“Mayor LaGuardia wanted the people of New York, all the people of New York, to have access to the arts that used to drive that city’s culture, and in many respects still do.  There were free concerts in Washington Square Park; all the public museums were free; only MoMA charged  admission.  He wanted the arts to be part of people’s lives—the way they are, come to think of it, in Italy, where a child can pass by a magnificent piece of sculpture on her way to school, and at the opera, “everybody” sings along.”


And in Seattle, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Twyla Tharp program had New York Times dance critic Alastair Macaulay wondering why he had to travel all the way to Washington to see this much great Tharp.


Gustavo Dudamel opened the LA Philharmonic’s gala 10th anniversary celebration of Disney Hall with… John Cage’s “4’33”,” the silent piece by the composer who was born about a mile away from the hall. Yo-Yo Ma sat in the soloist’s seat, instrument poised. ArtsWatch is…amazed.


Those globetrotting, genre-bending, musical experimentalists, The Kronos Quartet, make a return visit to Reed College’s Kaul Auditorium on Wednesday. The program they have in store makes my head spin. Guess what? Friends of Chamber Music is going to slice $10 off the ticket price of ArtsWatch readers who enter the top-secret code phrase “OAW” to ticket orders made at this link.  In this case, “TOP SECRET” means “tell anyone you want.”



The best cure for a bad case of the anticipations? On Wednesdays, that’s easy, because Ivories Jazz Lounge and Restaurant usually features the great pianist/songwriter Dave Frishberg and vocalist Rebecca Kilgore, and they can reliable center you in the here and now.

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