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About the Portland Phoenix cover art contest

We asked Portland artists to submit images for the cover of this issue to hit the streets pre-Art Walk. And they complied — more than 25 artists submitted work, which gave us quite the challenge in terms of choosing our five pages' worth. Thanks to all the artists who submitted, but who won't see their pieces here — we luv u all. Take a look at some of Portland's best, y'all.

Nothing is what it seems: Karen Kraven’s inquiries into deception

If anybody needed a reminder how much our uber-determined and agenda-driven world revolves around inauthenticity, falseness and spin, visiting Karen Kraven’s “Razzle Dazzle Sis Boom Bah” at MECA’s ICA would be a good start. The installation is spare in objects but is packed with intellectual power, wit and mind-teasing possibilities.

Hofmann cartoons

About this week's cartoon spreadWe commissioned a three-page cartoon this week from Portland-based comedian and visual artist, Tim Hofmann, someone we discovered in our March cover art contest.
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It all adds up: Michel Droge’s ‘Tiny Catastrophes’ matter

In German we have a saying, “Kleinvieh macht auch Mist,” or, “Small animals also produce manure." What it basically means is that lots of little things do add up to something bigger. Admittedly, it’s not a very propitious comparison, but one could say the same about Michel Droge’s “Tiny Catastrophes” at the June Fitzpatrick Gallery.

From invention to the ordinary: Five decades of photography by Rose Marasco

Being given a retrospective, one year after retirement from a long teaching career, could be perceived as slightly morbid or as auspicious. Does it mark an end or a new beginning? I am convinced that “Rose Marasco: index” at the Portland Museum of Art does the latter.The exhibition’s title indicates one aspect of photography Marasco has grappled with for decades. The indexical nature of photography started to be questioned just when Marasco’s artistic values were…

Ink, press, repeat: Intriguing monoprints at PhoPa Gallery

At PhoPa Gallery, its “Pa” side is currently being explored with monoprints by Karen Adrienne, Kris Sader and Barbra Whitten. Their works on paper share layering and repetition of process, as well as a degree of liquidity, which explains the show’s title, Ripple Effect.There’s a calm, almost soothing palette to the entire gallery, and all artists evidence a great sense of color. In its exclusive focus on monoprints (unique works on paper that are made…

Exploring new terrain: Cynthia Davis and Ronnie Wilson don’t rest

Some artists stick with their medium, style and subject, for a long time. Others repeatedly make about-turns into new directions. Still others keep pursuing specific lines of inquiry, going deeper and farther, continually exploring. Cynthia Davis belongs to the latter group of artists, Ronnie Wilson seemingly to the about-turns, but not quite. Both artists show recent work in “Of Breath and Bone” at Portland’s 3-Fish Gallery.
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