Eugene Weekly : Arts Shorts : 11.4.10


Change That Roman Numeral, And … 

Mounting the Ziba show

That’s right, Eugene! Though Opus VI bit the dust last year, the former Opus VI space has now become … think about it for a second … yes! Opus VII

Owner Kaz Oveissi says the First Friday Art Walk grand opening of the art/design/architecture space will be a huge party, and everyone in Eugene is invited. The party, or so we hear, even features a chocolate fountain — but the main focus remains art and design.

The space, says Cindy Ingram, Opus VII’s director of membership and events, “is a departure, or rather an expansion, of Opus VI’s focus on fine arts.” The gallery has space to represent about 50 artists, and their work is on display now. The east half of the long, large room under the Parcade will change; for the last month, it hosted various displays, including a tribute to KWAX host Caitriona Bolster and an architectural display focusing on different column capitals. For this month’s exhibit, the large area shows off several case studies from the Portland-based Ziba Design group. Ziba’s approaches and designs for Sirius Satellite Radio, Umpqua Bank and Chinese apparel company Li-Ning line the walls and fill the floor space, with a special replica “war room” of design strategy taking viewers through the process.

But Oveissi and Ingram expect Opus VII to serve as more than a gallery for artists and a display area for design students (and others) fascinated by process. The Oregon Bach Festival, for instance, recently held its announcement of the 2011 season there, and a kitchen now fills the space where Opus VI mounted solo art exhibits. “It’s specifically about design and architecture as well,” Ingram says, “all within the context of a social venue. It’s creating space for people to get together and foster appreciation of the arts.”

Each month, Ingram says, Oveissi and others will pick one arts-related Eugene-area person like Bolster for recognition in the gallery, and once a year, Opus VII will award the Opus Prize, which Ingram says comes with a decent amount of award money as well. 

Find out more Friday, Nov. 5, when Opus VII’s grand opening party serves as the final stop on the First Friday Art Walk, which begins at 5:30 pm at Passionflower Design with the art of sisters Carol Reece and Kay Pederson. The walk moves on to Vistra Framing and Gallery, where LaVonne Tarbox-Crone’s work is on display, heads down to Imagine Gallery for an ornaments show and then dips into White Lotus, with the work of local printmaker Connie Mueller, before heading to Opus VII. Wine and snacks along the way shouldn’t impede Eugeneans’ enjoyment of the chocolate fountain — and having a gallery return, upgraded, altered and supporting art and the artistic community of Eugene.



A Decade of Chics Helping Others

For those who want to spend their art money in ways that not only benefit local artists but also do good around the community, the Art Chics — a local women’s art group that’s been challenging and supporting Eugene artists since the summer of 2000 — has just the idea. “Do the Write Thing: A Showcase of Handmade Cards and Other Art Treasures,” an art sale benefitting both the Materials Exhange Center for the Community Arts (M.E.C.C.A.) and New Road’s Art Education Project for homeless youth.

The club, a group of eight artists who meet once a month and challenge each other to try new materials and new artistic genres, has started at least a couple of other women’s art clubs in town, says member Dena Amend. They like to give back to the community and have created a wall mosaic at the new BRING Recycling, a mural at the Pearl Buck Center and what Amend calls a “connections clay quilt” at the Center for Community Counseling. Their yearly sale usually gets thousands of dollars in the hands of their chosen beneficiaries, and they hope this year will be no different. 

The sale runs 4-8 pm Friday, Nov. 5, and 10 am-4 pm Saturday, Nov. 6, at 5273 Center Way in Eugene (follow East Amazon to its end; turn right on Center Way).