Every person who makes something — anything, it doesn’t even have to be particularly artsy — there comes this moment of like, all right, you got this idea, but you have to get it done. You must execute. You have to stop talking about it, and you have to just do it.
How do you get it all done? You’re one person, maybe you have all this desire to do so but none of the knowledge or the connections. This week, we speak with a few artists who got things done their way.
Prentice Onayemi Wants To Help Artists Get The Job Done - 1:00
Prentice Onayemi is new to Oregon, but he’s working on a new venture all about providing artists a way to get their work done. He’s a founding partner with the group Grains of Salt and he helps arts and creative people get their acts together.
“Part of what inspired me … is this idea of being able to help charismatic leaders go pro, if that’s what they want to do,” he said. “And just get so much more done by leveraging their pluck and tenacity and that scrappy attitude … but then also figuring out what kind of infrastructure can best support the greatest potential of those existing skills.”
Grain of Salt joined forces with the Alberta Abbey, a historic building in Northeast Portland that has had many lives, but most recently started providing below market rental spaces to artists and arts organizations.
They’re having a big party on Oct. 13 to reintroduce themselves to the neighborhood and show what they have been up to since Grain of Salt took on executive directorial duties.
S1, From Small Art Space To Electronic Music Influencer - 4:20
S1, a seemingly small, underfunded, performance art space in Portland, created one of the only publicly accessible synth libraries in the world.
It was the brainchild of friends and artists Felisha Ledesma and Alex Smith, along with musician Erik Carlson. Together, they formed the now 4-year-old art space S1, a place where artists are free to create and learn.
“Being able to provide a space for artists and for viewers to experience that together and to have a place where they feel comfortable expressing themselves is something special,” Smith said.
With very little funding, their idea evolved form an exhibition space to women-only DJ learning workshops and a publicly accessible synth library, including a sister library in Prague.
Smith and Ledesma will be stepping down from S1 to focus more on creating art, but they insist they will still be involved.
“We say that we’re an artist-run space but if none of us have time to make art, then we can’t call ourselves an artist-run space anymore,” Smith said. “So we want to make art, we want to continue to doing the things that make us happy.”
“I’m still an artist even though I don’t make art!” Ledesma said.
Filmmakers Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini’s movies are known for evoking a sense of neo-realism and grittiness, all on a shoestring budget.
“We can’t see any other way to go other than to kinda only spend what the film is worth,” Granik said. “It really drilled into us that the smaller the budget, the less people you have to please.”
Their most well known work is the critically acclaimed indie movie “Winter’s Bone” about a young woman living in the Ozarks looking for her father.
Not only did it put Jennifer Lawrence on the map, but it got four Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture.
In 2017, the duo was in Oregon filming another project, “Leave No Trace,” the true story about a man and his daughter living off the grid in Forest Park. They got resettled, and the guy got a job on a farm. But in a matter of weeks they’d slipped away again. Reviews for the movie have been outstanding, with particular praise to actors Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie.
Granik and Rosellini will receive a Women of the Year award at BendFilm next weekend, Oct 10-13.
Chanti Darling, the electro-soul band lighting up clubs and after-parties around Portland for four years, has produced a debut album, “RnB Vol. 1.”
The band is the main musical project of Chanticleer Trü.
For several years, his band Magic Mouth would play at venues like Mississippi Studios. But the very next night you might find them onstage at PICA’s late-night drag balls.
Chanti’s live shows are all warmth and joy and backup dancers.
“Having my music focus on light and joy is very important to me,” he said. “Because we still have that even in this very dark time and it’s something that we can work towards.”
Chanti Darling will be performing at Holocene Oct. 11.