Eugene Weekly : Art Notes : 6.3.10


More Storefront Art Plz

Image by Erin Dougherty Williams

The Eugene Storefront Art Project, which began as a whim and a prayer to the deities of art, keeps on cranking out the good news for downtown. But ESAP founders have a message for Eugene artists: Give us your art!

Founders Marc “Time” Gunther, Paula Goodbar and Peter Herley held a May 25 meeting to keep their momentum going. Though no one from Eugene Weekly could attend the meeting, we’ve since spoken with Time and Goodbar and looked at both notes from the meeting and some of the art in the downtown windows. 

Time and Goodbar say that they’re interested in more art, and soon, from Eugene artists. During the April meeting, they told several people that group exhibitions were welcome as well. Interested artists can find the application process at (it’s been simplified), or email Goodbar at for more information.

Art by Maureen Campbell, Nicola Noetic, Derek Olson, Ellen Gabehart and Gene Carey recently went up in Doc’s Pad (740 Willamette), and about a month ago, the old Taco Time building began hosting art by Hosanna Joy Haines. In addition, Erin Dougherty Williams’ art is up at 440 Coburg Rd.

The group has begun the process of applying for official nonprofit status, and it’s now offering membership cards to those who pay $5 in dues. At publication time, more than 30 people had officially joined the group.

All of the downtown artwork is on display every day, of course, but ESAP members, artists and founders will be offering more information and hosting discussions at some of the sites during the First Friday Artwalk on June 4. ESAP is also holding a benefit at 6 pm Friday, June 25, during the Last Friday Artwalk, at the Art of Glass, 740 Blair. We’ll  have more info on that as the time approaches.


Leaving Town, Returning to Great Theater

The Mouse King (Charlie Van Duyn) in Annelie. Photo by Ariel Ogden

Our taxpayer dollars go to fund quite a few things, ranging from weapons in Afghanistan to federal highways, but a teeny bit gets skimmed out for the arts, and some of that for arts journalists. Lucky arts journalists! 

I just returned from an 11-day intensive theater and musical theater fellowship for 25 arts journalists from across the country, hosted by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. We took in something like nine plays; watched rehearsals for CHiPs: The Musical (yes! Really! Now wouldn’t you love to see THAT in the Hult?) and Playboy of the Western World; talked with directors, set designers, costume designers and more; wrote reviews critiqued by nationally recognized editors and critics; and generally packed in as much information as possible in the May 17-27 span.

We also made movies, learned a lot about the online and print landscapes and talked about how to keep serious, smart arts criticism and journalism funded and in the public eye. Six of us, including me, gave presentations about new projects we’d worked on. I spoke about (and showed a video of) the three-month “Road to Annie” immersion project, and I got some solid ideas about podcasts, youth arts and other topics from my peers. So thanks to you all and to the Eugene Weekly for supporting my time away from the paper, which is extremely hard on a small staff.

When I returned home, I was pleased to attend both the University Theatre’s Annelie in the Depths of Night and the Very Little Theatre’s All My Sons (review in this week’s paper). Annelie in particular struck me as a deeply imagined, smartly produced piece of new theater, and as I told cast and crew after the show, it was as good as or better than most of the plays we watched in L.A. Go see it! And thanks again for supporting arts, artists and arts writers in this “great city for the arts and outdoors.”


Casual Arts Meet-ups? Come on Down!

Want to chat about issues about Eugene theater, books, music, visual arts, dance, arts funding, performance space, storefront art and more? We’ve got your chat space! Well, we’ve had a couple of chat spaces, actually. What began as a Eugene Weekly arts editorial idea caught some interest, and local artist Sean Äaberg came up with an amusing, ironic Facebook group name for it: Eugene Arts Illuminati. We’ve met twice: in April at Cozmic Pizza, and in May at MECCA, and we’ve had musicians, artists, arts administrators and others at the meetings. Feel free to join the group on Facebook,  but we’ll also make more of an attempt to tell you ahead of time, in print, when the meetings will be. (Tentatively: 4:30 pm Wednesday, June 23, probably at Cowfish.) 

The model for this is the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, now, and its Big Blog meetups. Those folks meet every week, but we thought that was a bit demanding for Eugene, and also we wanted to keep it focused on arts. So far, we’ve talked mostly about visual arts and how those arts can be funded, where Eugene stands as an arts town and a few other mostly visual art topics, including discussions around the Storefront Art Project. 

In June, we’d very much like to expand the discussion to include the performing and literary arts in Eugene, particularly the Lord Leebrick’s new space, tours at the Very Little Theatre and various topics around bookstores and the literary arts in Eugene. 

You can find the Facebook group at Email Suzi Steffen or Molly Templeton (suzi at eugeneweekly dot com and molly at eugeneweekly dot com) with topic ideas for future meetups or for more details about the free-floating conversations.


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