Eugene Weekly : Best of Eugene : 2008


Best of Eugene 2008-2009: Creative Endeavors


Best blog

1. EW! A blog

2. Jeffrey Morgenthaler

3. Mr. Random

Though the temptation is there, we’ll spare you any “You really like us!” nonsense. Except for that sentence. Whoops. Sorry. People still write in snarky comments about the uselessness of blogs for this category, but there are good blogs out there! And we don’t necessarily mean our own, but since you voted for us (hey, thanks!), we’ve got to talk about ourselves a little bit. EW! A blog covers everything from purposefully cheesy record reviews to musings on empty theaters to breaking news to internet trends (yes, we do love our LOLcats). Moving down the list, Jeffrey Morgenthaler blogs about all (cool) things drink- and bartending-related, and Mr. Random types up his thoughts on life and local music.

Best writer

1. Bob Welch, The Register-Guard

2. Sally Sheklow, Eugene Weekly

3. Elliot Martinez, BoozeWeek

Best performing arts group (dance, theater, etc.)

1. Lord Leebrick Theatre

2. Actors Cabaret of Eugene

3. Eugene Symphony

Best visual artist

1. Adam Grosowsky

2. Sara Larson

3. Tom Bodhi Reeves

Best art gallery

1. Fenario Gallery 881 Willamette St. 393-3333.

2. DIVA 110 W. Broadway. 344-3482.

3. Opus6ix 22 W. 7th Ave. 393.0743.

Wow. Fenario in an upset! By the way, y’all, it’s prounounced Fen-AIR-ee-oh. Or so the proprietors told us back before the gallery at the corner of Broadway and Willamette became the place for hip multiculti art, spoken word and the occasional DJ. Sometimes appreciating the art at Fenario calls for special brownies rather than wine … not that we’ve got a problem with that. Pop in to get something framed or land at the gallery for one of the benefits it sponsors — and stay for the art. Runner-up DIVA usually features local artists but hits it outta the park with the Teenie Harris show this fall, and besides, there’s usually a movie or experiemental noise band to liven up any unlively art.

Best non-gallery art space

1. Wandering Goat Coffee Company 268 Madison St. 344-5161.

2. M.E.C.C.A. 43 W. Broadway. 302-1810.

3. Museum of Unfine Art and Record Store 537 Willamette St. 683-7357.

Yes. Yes. Yes! Oh, sorry, we were thinking about the espresso drinks at Wandering Goat, which taste perfect and are one of the reasons this unassuming-on-the-outside, sleek-and-gorgeous-on-the-inside coffeeshop makes a great place for certain sizes of art. Photography works well at Wandering Goat, and so do the prints and drawings the Goat often features. Having a bad day? Head to the Whiteaker and order one of those hazelnut milk mochas before looking around. You’ll add art appreciation to the resulting sugar-and-caffeine delirium, and your bad day will evaporate in a puff of happy.

Best crafter

Best crafter: Mitra Chester

1. Mitra Chester

2. Jamie Burress

3. Ruby the Resourceress

Mitra Chester has the perfect showcase for her fantastic creations: Deluxe, the Best Boutique-winning shop she owns with her husband. Lately, the first-ever Best Crafter winner says, she’s been making steampunk-themed stuff, including aviator hats made from recycled sweaters and leather jackets, rings made out of watch parts and aviator goggles made from old plumbing pieces. “I use a lot of recycled materials,” Chester says. “My jewelry is kind of found object jewelry.” But the multitalented designer makes more than just accessories and jewelry (as cool as those sound!); she also produces the occasional wildly successful local fashion show, like last May’s Cirque De Luxe, and redesigns clothing. And Deluxe has a sister store, Kitsch, set to open in November. With so much cool stuff happening around Chester, we don’t think it would be a stretch to suggest that she didn’t win this award solely because of the supercool things she makes out of other things, but also because she’s helping to craft a bustling Eugene fashion scene. 




Civic Pride

Retail Therapy

Sex, Drugs and Rock’n’Roll

Creative Endeavors

The Kitchen Sink

Eat Your Heart Out

Staff Picks

Best of the Ballots