When we imagine artists at home over the holidays, it’s a pretty rosy picture: Imagine musical clans like the Nevilles and the Wilsons singing around the table. (Why can’t our families be that awesome???) But let’s be real — life can be tough. This week, stories about how creative families do for each other, just in time for that seasonal visit with your kin.
Lisa and Lori Lubbesmeyer, twin sisters working in Central Oregon, have been working together for nearly two decades, creating sought-after fiber art. Their compositions suggest Northwest landscapes with a tremendous sense of balance and color sensibility. Over the past five years, they’ve expanded their practice to include painting. But this wasn’t entirely an aesthetic decision; it happened in a moment of crisis. The twins talked to us about it in 2014.
UPDATE: We asked the twins for an update on their practice. Lori writes: “We are mostly feeling optimistic — a much better feeling than we’ve had for the last 2 years. We’ve continued to move forward in a number of ways. In addition to working in fiber (75% of our work) we are working on large format paintings, taking turns by stepping up to the canvas, and in one case, painting at the very same time on a diptych that allows enough elbow room for both of us to have brush in hand, and cross over each other while painting. We move seamlessly around each other, and still without conversation. It is very fun. We are going to be celebrating our 20th year of working together in 2019!”
Esperanza Spalding’s Homecoming Week
It’s been too long since we got to see Portland-raised composer, bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding in concert. The best thing about a Spalding show is a different thing every time — how does she manage to re-invent at every appearance? Most recently, she’s been performing a song cycle called “12 Little Spells,” in which she de-emphasizes the bass playing that’s been the cornerstone of her sound, exploring lyric and multimedia elements. Spalding will play a one-woman show Nov. 17 to benefit the affordable housing nonprofit Bienestar.
What we didn’t know until this week: She has a very personal connection to the housing issues at the heart of Bienestar’s mission.
Family Album: Nike’s Kim Kovel and Skylab’s Jeff Kovel
Last month at Bend Design 2018 we had the great pleasure of sitting down with two amazing designers, a brother and sister whose work — it’s no exaggeration — has touched millions of people.
Kim Kovel is a senior material and color innovator at Nike’s Innovation Kitchen. But her range as a maker is broad. Her portfolio is grounded in clear thinking about markets and brand identity, never losing touch with narrative.
Jeff Kovel founded Skylab Architecture in 1999. He’s worked with iconic Northwest brands, brought style to public projects in Portland and Eugene, and shaped how the world sees Oregon, in the presence of destinations like the Doug Fir Lounge. More recently, the firm put its mark on the Portland skyline with the 21-story mixed-use tower YARD.
We talked to Kim and Jeff about their family history, and each other’s work.