In Praise of Curators

A contact sheet of images from Milepost 5 in Portland (from their site)

A contact sheet of images from Milepost 5 in Portland (from their site)

While Dan is visiting I decided it would be fun to expose him to what is going on here in Portland. We decided to explore:  “The Manor of Art at Milepost Five”  (website: For a week there is an extensive art exhibition show at an old convalescent hospital in which the directors gave free reign to artists who signed up to take over rooms and create works of art.

Here were some of my observations:

•    Individuals will spend a lot of time making all kinds of stuff.
•    Artists who do skate, punk, graffiti art like volumes of disturbing characters and to paint on walls.
•    Vandalism happens.
•    Some folks will draw just about anything.
•    Thrift stores are as much as a place for PDX artists to go for art supplies as Art Media.
•    Individuals are working through some sexual issues here…
•    Bad art happens.
•    Art is a safe place to work out your stuff.
•    Art smells.
•    Folks like putting things in toilets.
•    Artists need to keep in mind the word “safety” when creating installations.
•    A little good art does not make a lot of bad art good (this is Dan’s quote).
•    Curators are a very good thing.

There were some gems in the lot if you can negotiate the bathrooms, peeling walls, stairs, drapery, and twenty-something angst.  One that Dan and I really enjoyed was Gabriel Liston.  The childhood delft-like imagery he did particularly on small books that he manipulated seemingly with encaustic media were exquisite.  His and handful of others made the trip worth it.

He has an impressive website.  Check out his work at

A blue book tile by Gabriel Liston

A blue book tile by Gabriel Liston

About abiggerworldyet

Visual Artist Brother Sojourner College Professor Christ follower
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