Entitled art show to ask: What’s in a name?

Twenty-six Portland artists will be exhibiting and selling 52 visual art pieces for Entitled, a group art show hosted at the Glyph Cafe & Arts Space from Oct. 2 to Oct. 5. On the surface, this might sound par for the course. Portland is full of visual, musical and performance artists. However, this art show has an unusual component.

Entitled is the result of a combined effort of artists to create art based on randomly selected titles. Usually titles are decided after the work of art is completed, or at the very least alongside it. In this case, however, that long-held process will be reversed.

Not only will the titles for the pieces be selected before the art itself is complete, but the power of titling will be removed from the artist completely. Instead it will be handed over to someone else and, in a way, fate.

Entitled will examine how inspiration manifests through creativity. The art show then goes a step further and, on Oct. 9, seven writers will present original works that are inspired by the visual art based on the randomly selected titles.

Each of the twenty-six artists chose a random title, or titles, from a hat.

Blake Stellyes, who sees everything as a context of narrative and abstraction, picked the titles “Altered Reality” and “Listen, my children, said Mr. Silverstein.” The latter almost insists on a narrative-driven artwork.

Instead of allowing himself to be immobilized by the narrative, his paintings are coming into a fusion of abstract representation. Stellyes said he sees his artistic work as relaying the harmony between the two for the viewer.

Ameila Opie also put much representation in her painting. One of her titles was “Following the Stars” and her painting included characteristically little realism. A cat in an Elizabethan ruffle collar wears a rat on its head. The rat wears a star pendant.

“Follow the stars is ambiguous,” Opie said. “Could the cat eat the rat?”

Opie’s painting is almost narrative-driven, then. Giving the cat motivation by opening the common phrase to interpretation in a way rarely seen.

Anna Magruder picked “Roadtrip” and “Just,” both of which are vague and open to interpretation. To avoid art-blocking herself, Magruder said she decided to give herself the freedom to not follow the title exactly and just paint what she wants to paint.

“I connect to people [through painting],” she said. “They might not even be able to know why, but I connect to people.”

Joanne Licardo said she saw one of her titles, “tiny world,” and instantly saw it in a theme that already permeated her art.

“I was so happy because I really wanted to paint a bee,” Licardo said. “I was already painting bees on a violin, I was feeling bad about the bees.”

Licardo said she had also been painting clouds, but her other title, “cool breeze” was drawn purely by good luck.

The art show’s lynchpin, Roxanne Patruznick, said that what really interested her about Entitled was the focus on limitation, but also fun.

“You don’t know what you’re going to get, so there’s this interesting dynamic.”

Patruznick said she also found that Entitled supported community between the artists, a value also found in Glyph Café and its showroom space.

Johnny Acurso, picked “Mr. Audubon Finds the Lesser Bustard.” A Greater Bustard is a kind of bird, but there’s no such bird as a Lesser Bustard. Acurso stuffed and displayed his version of the imagined bird in a glass case for Mr. Audubon.

Acurso’s second painting, titled “Need and Want,” is an anatomical heart surrounded by cutesy cartoon hearts with adorable faces.

“Everyone wants love,” Acurso said, but also, “everyone wants their heart to live.”