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Past futures: Sci-fi meets the politics of otherness at new Bowdoin art show

A new exhibit at Bowdoin College Museum of Art offers a multifaceted look into the intersection of science fiction and post-Cold War cultural consciousness amongst Latin American artists.Curated by Sarah J. Montross, Andrew W. Mellon post-doctoral curatorial fellow, Past Futures: Science Fiction, Space Travel, and Postwar of the Americas, opens March 5. Perhaps the most appealing theme to sci-fi fans or to armchair art historians will be the invocation of “icons of the Space Race”:…

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.

A fleeting look at climate change

We tend to view science and art as distinct, exclusive pursuits of the left and right-brained, respectively. But they are both largely born out of the same innate sense of curiosity. The drive to spend hours stippling dots onto a canvas or making observations through a microscope aren’t really that different at their root — they are both ways or trying to get to some larger understanding of the world around us.

Visiting the studio of Toni Jo Coppa

It is easy to imagine the horror visitors might feel if they were to stumble into this space at night. In one corner a life-sized human form spined head to toe with two-inch nails faces the wall like something from Hellraiser. Beside that looms a centaur frozen mid-trot fixed atop a bureau, covered in plaster, wax, and fluff. It bares one quail wing from its bust and a human face tied on with silver tape.…

Art of Africa: Role of women examined in exhibit, immersion dinner

It’s a woman’s world at the Museum of African Culture, which opens a new exhibit for the March First Friday Art Walk.“The Role of Women in African Society” opens Friday, March 6, with a “participatory edible culinary immersion dinner” on Sunday, March 15, at 3 p.m.The museum, located on Brown Street in Portland, plans to celebrate the contributions of African women through art, meals, artifacts and lectures, says Oscar Mokeme, founder and executive director.

Past and present perspectives: Contemporary photographers click with historical processes

What does it say about contemporary culture that a significant number of photographers look backward, using historical processes to create their work? These processes risk failure, require manual labor, and, not least, time and patience. Nostalgia alone cannot account for this resurgence; the urge to experiment is behind too many practitioners’ interest.

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.
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