Death of the party is just the beginning

Antistatic is a moving collection of quietly beautiful and openly moribund works quite literally suspended in the place between utter joy and desperate grief. Multimedia and interdisciplinary, the very different forms each piece takes on meld perfectly with its relationship to the whole.

Rock block

Near the Point of Beginning, the installation currently on display at the Autzen Gallery, is not only unique for its mixed media content but also for the slick, cleanly designed posters that are piled in the MK Gallery, Art Building and in Neuberger Hall, advertising the show. This commitment to getting the word out is a new occurrence for the gallery and it can be happily attributed to one Patrick Rock.

Artist inspired art

Ben Rosenberg’s Thank You For Having Me is a love letter to the wandering collections of guest lecturers who helped him form what is now a formidable artistic identity. Hung close together, the paintings line each wall of the gallery in a single ribbon, accompanied by the sandwich board where each piece once hung outside and a slide show of photographs commemorating the series of lectures that occurred at PSU over the past year and inspired the pieces.

Not too young to look back

A retrospective in three parts, A Brief History is a chronicle of successful youth, imbued with the hope that creative fervor will keep up with the artists’ chosen genres. Portland painters Becca Bernstein and Gwenn Seemel teamed up with the mixed-media artist Elise Mravunac for the group retrospective; the Littman’s first new show since fall term started. The artists worked together to install their pieces, helping out by critiquing each other’s work and offering advice on how to arrange them.

Quick trips for summer excursions

It’s been a dark and dismal spring, but that’s all the more reason to plan for long summer days and nights in the great outdoors. Here are some local trips that won’t break a skimpy summer budget–and all you need for transportation is a bicycle or your own two legs.

Mixing the Personal and Political

In one of the last rounds of MFA thesis exhibitions at Portland State, Joel Garcia has transformed the MK Gallery into a patchwork of dreams, hopes and memories. The exhibition is a biography of sorts, representing Garcia’s present and past heroes, musings and research into his own identity, as well as photos of friends and family and bits of nostalgia rendered by hand.

Reaching for the sky in a vacant lot

Though the students of Portland State’s new Social Practice MFA program have been relatively quiet this year, as spring fades into summer, their work will see light. A Lot of ___, an event series the students are collaborating on, will take place every Sunday until June 29 on an empty lot in Northeast Portland. Designed to be outdoors and open to the public, the events will encapsulate some of the ideas the art students have been developing on their own and through group discussions all year. Last Saturday, the series began with a party and countdown for Cyrus Smith, a first-year MFA student who built a Pepsi-themed rocket ship to take him to the moon.

Working their own way

Last year, the guys of Vontundra could be seen looking dusty outside the garage or on the balcony of their apartment in a residential complex on North Albina Street. The debris from making wood furniture can do that.

Notions of accuracy, let go

“Is the cell stuff cool?” asked one student, looking like a kid in a candy store at the clean, tiny figures and hand-carved animals, plants and picture frames in Shelby Davis’ series of small, fantastic displays. “I don’t have a cell phone,” she said. While Portland State’s MK Gallery has seen plenty of people coming and going on their way to and from classes before Davis’ MFA show opening this week, fewer have been stopping to take the guided tour accessible by cell phone.

Community. Collaboration. Cooperation.

“Scrabble played a significant role in our courtship,” said Dale, a retired psychotherapist and former Lutheran pastor. Over a worktable littered with cups of sparkling cider and homemade brownies, Dale and others were working hard to make a pleasing anagram out of their names–part of an art project put on by the South Waterfront development team.