What better way to celebrate the lengthening days than with funky soul music, amazing visual art, and culinary delights?
We take a trip around the region, from Pendleton to Ashland to Vancouver, and we even throw in a little Portland dessert for good measure.
Chuck Close Portraits Heat Up The Pendleton Art Scene
We get up close with the Chuck Close exhibition at the Pendleton Center for the Arts, on view through April 29.
It’s not every day that a small town arts center gets to pick works from a blue chip artist like it’s checking out library books, but that’s basically how this show came to be.
The art centers director got to dig through the collection of arts patron Jordan Schnitzer (all 11,000 prints!) to curate a show that includes the portrait master’s iconic takes on Philip Glass, Brad Pitt, and, of course, himself.
While we’re in Pendleton, we check in with Schnitzer on the bank building he bought downtown that he’s made available for art pop-ups during the Pendleton Round-Up and is currently soliciting tenants for (calling all nonprofits: rent free!), and we get the news on the Historic Rivoli Theater, which just got plans approved for its transformation into a state-of-the-art performing arts center. The organizers are optimistic they’ll begin construction in June.
Sam Hamilton Brings His Films And More To PAM’s APEX Gallery
The fresh face at Portland Art Museum is Grace Kook-Anderson, the new curator of Northwest art. It’s her job to make sure the museum reflects regional work, but she also has a strong feel for contemporary art. And that is reflected in her first choice for the Museum’s APEX Gallery: fellow recent Northwest transplant Sam Hamilton, whose playful interdisciplinary work interweaves films, music and installation. Who else would mix Carl Sagan, David Attenborough and Kenny G in one show?
Oregon-Born Play Wins Pulitzer
Playwright Lynn Nottage premiered her play “Sweat” in 2015 as part of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s “American Revolutions” series exploring key moments in U.S. history. With the announcement Monday that the play received the Pulitzer Prize for drama, Nottage made history as the first female playwright to win the prestigious award twice.
“Sweat” is one of only two shows by women to open on Broadway this season. The other, “Indecent” by Paula Vogel, was also commissioned by OSF’s “American Revolutions” project. The Bard might say: the Oregon Shakespeare Festival doest slayeth it.
Get Ready To Shake Your Booty At The Soul’d Out Festival
This week, Portland is gearing up to make some moves — dance moves, that is. It’s the annual Soul’d Out Festival (April 19–23). Legendary soulful acts from around the country are on the bill with new breakers of soul, from the popular hip-hop artist Lupe Fiasco to the prophetic R&B queen Solange. KMHD’s Derek Smith tells us about five shows to see.
The Guttery Writing Group: Tough Book Love That Will Get You Out Of Your Pajamas
The collective proclaiming itself “Portland’s second most-famous writers’ group” challenges the idea that great work is produced in cloistered solitude. The authors in the writing group “The Guttery” are like a literary engine: at least five published this past year. On April 20, four of them — Mo Daviau, Jamie Duclos-Yourdon, Tracy Manaster and Susan DeFreitas — will read from their new books at Another Read Through in North Portland.
opbmusic Session With Wild Ones
Does the smattering of recent sunny days have you dreaming of summer? There’s no better album to feed those dreams than Wild Ones’ “Heatwave.” Its songs of long summer nights and big-city adventures smolder and delight. They play at the Crystal Ballroom April 21 with Grouplove, which got us listening back to their 2015 opbmusic session (click for videos).
Vancouver’s North Bank Art Gallery Shuts Its Doors Next Month
North Bank Artists is a co-op gallery on the city’s Main Street. Its presence and work downtown since its founding in 2003 — including the creation of a city art walk — has helped spur other galleries and cultural institutions to open, earning the area the moniker “The Vancouver Arts District.” But after rent hikes and an uncertain future, the art gallery that served as a linchpin for Vancouver’s downtown revitalization will close at the end of May.
Diana Abu Jaber Weaves The Story of Her Life With Layers Of Pastry Dough
Diana Abu Jaber is a novelist, a professor and a cook. She is the daughter of a Jordanian father and an American mother, and her most recent book, “Life without a Recipe,” tells the story of growing up in both countries.
“Oregon Art Beat” is profiling her this week as part of its “Art of Food” special, so we wanted to listen back to an interview she did with “Art Beat” producer Katrina Sarson at Wordstock in 2016. They discussed her culinary memoir and one of its central themes: baklava.