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July 14, 2016 12:00 AM

Sniffng out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

How is the American identity defined today? When a certain Fanta-faced presidential nominee is targeting American minorities with threats of deportation or supporting heightened “security” of browner neighborhoods, the question takes on a new urgency. Two artists, Victoria Suescum and Lee Michael Peterson, tackle the question by exploring their identities as Latin@s (the gender neutral term for people of Latin American roots) within American culture in the new ¿Identity? exhibit up through Sept.

July 7, 2016 12:00 AM

In our lab, Mole was vigorously pulling corks and polishing rimless glasses: Time for our annual “Rosé Report.”

In the last few years, rosés have really come out of the closet. Well, they never actually went into the deep closet; they just got buried (in U.S. markets anyway) under the flood of white zinfandels, sweet pink (“blush”) wines mass-produced and marketed by Cali vintners.

In our lab, Mole was vigorously pulling corks and polishing rimless glasses: Time for our annual “Rosé Report.”

In the last few years, rosés have really come out of the closet. Well, they never actually went into the deep closet; they just got buried (in U.S. markets anyway) under the flood of white zinfandels, sweet pink (“blush”) wines mass-produced and marketed by Cali vintners.

July 7, 2016 12:00 AM

Who's who and what’s what in dance this month

First, an appeal: If you love dance like I do and long to see performances with national and international reach, please use this lull in local performance to consider a trip to Portland this year to see Whitebird Dance. 

I’ve recently made the easy commute to see the pioneering Twyla Tharp (review at the EW blog: goo.gl/NqYsd7), Kidd Pivot, Cirque Alfonse (which blew my mind) and La Compagnie Hervé Koubi, whose seminal work, What the Day Owes the Night, left me speechless (read more on Koubi here: goo.gl/v2Wzpf)

June 30, 2016 12:00 AM

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

Pop surrealism descends on Eugene: Gallery newcomer the Alexi Era Gallery, tucked neatly between downtown and the Whiteaker (at 245 W. 8th Ave.), joins the festivities for First Friday ArtWalk 5:30 to 8 pm Friday, July 1. Owner and curator Aunia Kahn recently relocated the gallery from St. Louis, where it was part of the pop surrealism — a descendent of low-brow art — and new contemporary art movement. This gallery could be a huge boon for the edgier corners of the local art community, as remaining galleries in Eugene tend to show more traditional, safer works.

June 30, 2016 12:00 AM

I have two sisters, much younger than me, the offspring of my father’s second marriage. I love them both dearly, but when they were little girls and I was in my 20s, they drove me batshit crazy — especially with their fanatical devotion to all things Disney. Both of them possess gorgeous singing voices, always have, and traipsing around the house they would suddenly stop, raise their arms with operatic urgency and begin belting out some saccharine ballad from The Lion King or The Little Mermaid.

I have two sisters, much younger than me, the offspring of my father’s second marriage. I love them both dearly, but when they were little girls and I was in my 20s, they drove me batshit crazy — especially with their fanatical devotion to all things Disney. Both of them possess gorgeous singing voices, always have, and traipsing around the house they would suddenly stop, raise their arms with operatic urgency and begin belting out some saccharine ballad from The Lion King or The Little Mermaid.

If I hear about Ariel one more time, so help me ...

June 30, 2016 12:00 AM

The Oregon Country Fair poster is as much of an institution as the Fair itself. Around May each year, the OCF poster committee reveals the winning design and, like a harbinger of summer, it becomes increasingly ubiquitous, pinned to bulletin boards and taped to storefronts around the region.

The Oregon Country Fair poster is as much of an institution as the Fair itself. Around May each year, the OCF poster committee reveals the winning design and, like a harbinger of summer, it becomes increasingly ubiquitous, pinned to bulletin boards and taped to storefronts around the region.

Artist Ila Rose had submitted work to the committee in the past, to no avail. This year, she nabbed the commission — in a year that, according to the poster committee, had a record-breaking number of submissions.

June 23, 2016 12:00 AM

Sniffing out what you shouldn't miss in the arts this week

June 23, 2016 12:00 AM

Josh Krute likes wood — I mean, he really, really likes it. We sat in a coffee shop (at a wooden table, of course) and he ran his hands over the tabletop’s grain, sputtering off details about it with a pretty serious expression on his face. 

Josh Krute likes wood — I mean, he really, really likes it. We sat in a coffee shop (at a wooden table, of course) and he ran his hands over the tabletop’s grain, sputtering off details about it with a pretty serious expression on his face. 

“In the last six or seven years, I’ve been printing sections of wood,” he explains. “I’ve been transferring their grain patterns onto paper — a process called relief.” 

June 16, 2016 12:00 AM

Bravo, Scapino! Based on Molière’s 1671 comedy Les Fourberies de Scapin, Cottage Theatre’s presentation of Scapino! — directed by George Comstock — is a quirky tale of love and mischief. The play is set in Naples, and the frantic plot is fairly easy to follow, assuming you’ve had enough coffee that day. 

Bravo, Scapino! Based on Molière’s 1671 comedy Les Fourberies de Scapin, Cottage Theatre’s presentation of Scapino! — directed by George Comstock — is a quirky tale of love and mischief. The play is set in Naples, and the frantic plot is fairly easy to follow, assuming you’ve had enough coffee that day. 

June 16, 2016 12:00 AM

Not every garden in the Willamette Valley has super river-bottom silty loam. If your soil sets up like concrete when it’s dry it probably holds lots of moisture in the winter. Some wonderful summer blooming perennials have a problem with that. I’m thinking in particular of the many ravishing cultivars of agastache (ag-ah-STAK-ee) and salvia that have hit the market in recent decades. Lots of them need really good drainage to over-winter reliably in our region. 

Not every garden in the Willamette Valley has super river-bottom silty loam. If your soil sets up like concrete when it’s dry it probably holds lots of moisture in the winter. Some wonderful summer blooming perennials have a problem with that. I’m thinking in particular of the many ravishing cultivars of agastache (ag-ah-STAK-ee) and salvia that have hit the market in recent decades. Lots of them need really good drainage to over-winter reliably in our region. 

June 16, 2016 12:00 AM

For professional dancer and choreographer Brad Garner, inspiration comes directly from community.

“I’m inspired by community and the relationships among members of a community,” says Garner, whose dance company GARNERDANCES premieres Strings! An Evening of Dance at Oregon Contemporary Theatre June 17-18. 

For professional dancer and choreographer Brad Garner, inspiration comes directly from community.

“I’m inspired by community and the relationships among members of a community,” says Garner, whose dance company GARNERDANCES premieres Strings! An Evening of Dance at Oregon Contemporary Theatre June 17-18. 

“I’ve always been intrigued by human behavior — that interaction between people, and how people change in different contexts and group dynamics,” Garner says. 

June 16, 2016 12:00 AM

Eugene’s own hula school, Na Pua O Hawai’i Nei (The Flowers of Hawai’i), presents its annual ho’ike exhibition June 25 at Cascade Middle School auditorium, 1525 Echo Hollow Road. All classes will perform, from preschoolers through kupuna (elders). 

Eugene’s own hula school, Na Pua O Hawai’i Nei (The Flowers of Hawai’i), presents its annual ho’ike exhibition June 25 at Cascade Middle School auditorium, 1525 Echo Hollow Road. All classes will perform, from preschoolers through kupuna (elders). 

It’s all too easy to dismiss this art form. How many tipsy mainland tourists have watched an overpriced hotel hula show and thought, “What’s the big deal? I could do that.” 

June 9, 2016 12:00 AM

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

Purple pages: Storm Entertainment, a Portland-based comic and graphic novel company, has just released the comic book biography Tribute: Prince in honor of the late artist and his June 7 birthday. Michael Frizell wrote the 24-page comic and Ernesto Lovera and Vincenzo Sansone created the art. “His sound and lyrics defined the era for me in ways that Michael Jackson didn’t and, quite frankly, couldn’t,” Frizell says via press release.

June 9, 2016 12:00 AM

Oil paintings of Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Frida Kahlo and Abraham Lincoln, among others, lined the walls of downtown Eugene’s Townshend’s Teahouse amidst the chatter of conversation and the clinking of ceramic mugs against tabletops. 

Oil paintings of Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Frida Kahlo and Abraham Lincoln, among others, lined the walls of downtown Eugene’s Townshend’s Teahouse amidst the chatter of conversation and the clinking of ceramic mugs against tabletops. 

These portraits are the work of Simon Graves, a Eugene artist whose current oeuvre is focused on the importance of the constructs of good and evil — and specifically the characters we tend to conceive as being good on an iconic, archetypal level.

June 9, 2016 12:00 AM

I squinted through the grimy glass of our office window on the 14th floor of Eugene’s oldest high-rise (and eyesore). I stared down at the city’s streets lined with flushed sweetgums and pin oaks.

I squinted through the grimy glass of our office window on the 14th floor of Eugene’s oldest high-rise (and eyesore). I stared down at the city’s streets lined with flushed sweetgums and pin oaks.

We’re warming fast — maybe too fast — zooming into summer, maybe another hot, dry vintage, promising big bold pinot noirs, not the cool-country delicacy we’ve come to know and love. The global news on climate change (warming) has been grim: retreating glaciers, sweltering droughts, disappearing species.

June 9, 2016 12:00 AM

Don’t get me wrong — I’m absolutely thrilled that Autzen Stadium will host a July 24 soccer match between two very high-level European clubs with some of the world’s most talented players at the 2016 International Champions Cup. I definitely will be going to the match. 

Don’t get me wrong — I’m absolutely thrilled that Autzen Stadium will host a July 24 soccer match between two very high-level European clubs with some of the world’s most talented players at the 2016 International Champions Cup. I definitely will be going to the match. 

June 2, 2016 12:00 AM

Sniffing out what you shouldn’t miss in the arts this week

With the sun shining more often than not these days, it’s primo mural-painting time. The Whiteaker Community Art Team has a mural going up at 4th and Blair. Half a block north, CALC (Community Alliance of Lane County) is celebrating its 50th anniversary by creating a new mural with the theme of “50 years of struggle for social justice.” Prolific local muralist Bayne Gardner will work with youth to paint that mural in CALC’s front yard, to be debuted during the Whiteaker Art Walk Aug. 26.

June 2, 2016 12:00 AM

Who’s who and what’s what in dance this month.

When it comes to making art, people in the performing arts get a raw deal. 

A poet just needs a pen, right? A studio artist just needs a little space and some supplies. (Unless you work in a medium like cars or buses or something. Please don’t flood my inbox with letters of complaint; I’m just trying to make a point.) 

Anyway, for dancers, rehearsal time is pretty dear: Rents can be prohibitively high for sprung-wood floors, safe for bare feet and careening bodies. And securing a performance venue? Oy. 

May 27, 2016 01:00 PM

In sports, a championship is the ultimate indicator of accomplishment. The greats are judged by how many rings, jackets, belts, cups or giant crystal balls they have won in their careers before the statistics, first-team selections and all of that other filler is brought into consideration.

Especially in team sports are titles touted at such heights. It is the American way — the laissez-faire meritocracy of a sports field boils down to one result at the end of a match and, in the case of championships, the end of a season. 

 

“Jesse Shofner: Good as Hell” Edited by Jay Clark, highlights cut by Ella Hansen

 

May 26, 2016 02:00 AM

A few weeks ago, I ran into Steve Solomon and Marina McShane at the Lane County Farmers Market. This meeting was remarkable for two reasons. One, Solomon, a guru of Northwest vegetable gardening and founder of Territorial Seed Company, has lived in Tasmania since 1998. Two, McShane had recently given me a copy of a book she and Solomon wrote together. 

A few weeks ago, I ran into Steve Solomon and Marina McShane at the Lane County Farmers Market. This meeting was remarkable for two reasons. One, Solomon, a guru of Northwest vegetable gardening and founder of Territorial Seed Company, has lived in Tasmania since 1998. Two, McShane had recently given me a copy of a book she and Solomon wrote together. 

May 26, 2016 02:00 AM

Now celebrating its 14th season, The Shedd’s Magical Moombah serves up vaudevillian romps for kids as well as kids-at-heart. 

I chased down two of Moombah’s illustrious founders, Judith “Sparky” Roberts and Scotty Perey, to see what makes Moombah tick. 

Now celebrating its 14th season, The Shedd’s Magical Moombah serves up vaudevillian romps for kids as well as kids-at-heart. 

I chased down two of Moombah’s illustrious founders, Judith “Sparky” Roberts and Scotty Perey, to see what makes Moombah tick. 

“The main idea is to share songs — American standards — from the popular awareness,” Roberts says. 

In a Moombah show, those songs are packaged in a way that’s kid-centered and fun. 

May 26, 2016 02:00 AM

The irreverent postmodern humor of Monty Python — a stew of bawdy iconoclasm, parodic schmaltz and geek-boy cheekery — achieved perhaps its finest expression in the 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. This cult classic contains so many insider touchstones (the Knights Who Say Ni, Frenchmen who fart in your general direction, a homicidal rabbit) that, by now, it requires its own cultural thesaurus.

The irreverent postmodern humor of Monty Python — a stew of bawdy iconoclasm, parodic schmaltz and geek-boy cheekery — achieved perhaps its finest expression in the 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. This cult classic contains so many insider touchstones (the Knights Who Say Ni, Frenchmen who fart in your general direction, a homicidal rabbit) that, by now, it requires its own cultural thesaurus.

May 26, 2016 02:00 AM

Chekov updated for a post-Prozac world in OCT’s uneven production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

As with writers David Mamet or Aaron Sorkin, to properly experience playwright Christopher Durang you first have to commit to the musical rhythms of his language. Durang’s humor, dark and cynical as it is, lies within that rhythm.

Chekov updated for a post-Prozac world in OCT’s uneven production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

As with writers David Mamet or Aaron Sorkin, to properly experience playwright Christopher Durang you first have to commit to the musical rhythms of his language. Durang’s humor, dark and cynical as it is, lies within that rhythm.

May 26, 2016 02:00 AM

Indie video game developers from as far away as Seattle will showcase their work as part of Indie Game Play Test Night Friday, May 27, at Shoryuken League in downtown Eugene. Event coordinator Britt Brady says it’s crucial that game developers get their projects in front of a game playing audience as early as possible. 

Indie video game developers from as far away as Seattle will showcase their work as part of Indie Game Play Test Night Friday, May 27, at Shoryuken League in downtown Eugene. Event coordinator Britt Brady says it’s crucial that game developers get their projects in front of a game playing audience as early as possible. 

“Game developers are very close to their games,” Brady says. “Before their game is out, this is a way for indie developers to get the public playing it — see what’s fun, see what people like, find bugs and also promote it.”