Eugene Weekly : Arts Shorts : 1.31.08

Affordable Pretties

“Buy art,” my artist friends tell me. Good idea, but I have a student loan larger than my salary, and the paintings I like require $20,000 to buy and a large modern house to show them to best effect.

Then again, there’s the “Illustrated Word: An Exhibit of Letterpress Broadsides” show at Maude Kerns Art Center. This one, juried by poet Kim Stafford, rare books librarian John Carmin and local letterpress publisher Sandy Tilcock, features letterpress prints made by artists from across the country. Prints will always be more affordable than huge oil paintings thanks to labor and materials, but they can still be lovely or compelling.

Balancing art, text, ink color and paper color makes for a multitude of choices for the printers, and the best prints work in an intricate equilibrium on stark backgrounds. Broadsides give Portland’s Clare Carpenter a chance to create sly postmodern Pop Art prints like Johnny Drove or Bulldog Betty ($50 unframed, $95 framed). In the skillful Dada prints by Brooklyn’s Kingsley Parker ($250 unframed, $280 framed), complicated letter-art-color interplay lends weight to subject matter.

Tilcock’s own prints often stand out thanks to her stunning color sense, focus on environmental writing and preference for artists like Susan Lowdermilk. But the rest of the exhibit, including the smart, moving Shift by Chicago’s Shawn Sheehy ($100 unframed; $300 framed), has a lot to say — and show — as well. It’s gorgeous, and it’s affordable; some of this art can definitely come home with me. “Illustrated Word” stays up through Friday, Feb. 8.


Memory House Extended By One Show

The Lord Leebrick’s Memory House (reviewed in the 1/17 EW, available online) will have one extra performance, a matinee, at 2 pm on Sunday, Feb. 3. “Matinees have been selling out quickly,” says Leebrick Artistic Director Craig Willis. The play, which revolves around a mother and the daughter she adopted from Russia, also features a blueberry pie baked during the course of the show. Get tix at www.lordleebrick.comor 465-1506.


CORRECTION: In last week’s review of the Very Little Theatre’s Awake and Sing!, we wrote that tix are available on the website. They are available at 344-7751. Also, the two talkback sessions occur on Thursday, Jan. 31, and Sunday, Feb. 3.