Eugene Weekly : Best of Eugene : 2011-2012

Best of Eugene 2011-2012: Arts

Best Blog

1. Culinaria Eugenius

2. Eugene Bicyclist

3. That’s So Northwest

Blogger Jennifer Burns Levin writes about seasonal food grown and served in Eugene and her foodie adventures around the country — most recently to Seattle for Taiwanese dim sum and the Food Network’s food and wine tasting festival in New York City. (She was there to view an art exhibition to research her book on mid-century sexuality, but a girl’s gotta eat no matter where she is.) It’s this multidisciplinary approach to food and culture that makes Culinaria Eugenius such an interesting read. She shares her own recipes and she takes appetizing food pics to boot. 

Best Gallery

photo courtesy mo bowen

1. The Voyeur (closed)

2. OPUS VII 22 W. 7th Ave. 393-0743.

3. White Lotus 767 Willamette St. 345-3276.

Mo Bowen’s homegrown DIY masterpiece that was The Voyeur gallery was an authentic landmark in the Eugene art scene. Known for having the freshest work from new artists, The Voyeur was the artist’s art gallery of Eugene, located in the cultural hub of the Whiteaker neighborhood. The Voyeur was a gallery founded on the principles of persistence and determination, geared towards the elevation of local arts. Perhaps most importantly, The Voyeur also hosted art critiques and art talks — events that promoted the necessary ongoing dialogue of artistic contribution and strengthened the visual arts community of Eugene. 

Best Visual Artist

photo by todd cooper

1. Jud Turner

2. (tie): Claire Flint; and Jamie Burress

While Jud Turner’s sculpture is varied in form, he consistently uses found objects (plastic bones, BRING scraps, model parts) and welded steel to create sculptures with organic beauty that may take the form of fossils, skeletons that are the bicycle they are riding, or a ring of skulls that gaze eternally into each other’s soporific consciousness. Beyond the gorgeous craftsmanship are deeper meanings that reveal themselves specifically in the material he uses: Mountain bike treads become the repetitive shapes of spinal columns, a head is formed from empty psychotherapy drug capsules, lenses reflect and distort your own personal point of view. Turner is also the artist behind BRING Recycling Center’s Chapel of Second Chances, which creates a backdrop of religious solidarity for weddings or vow renewals in the middle of a recycling center. Turner creates beauty from tools with the potential to maim — grinders, saws and torches that eat metal and spit fire. That sense of irony and metaphorical essence may be the best representation of Eugene’s split personalities that we’ve yet come across.

Best Performing Arts Group

1. Red Raven Follies

2. No Shame Eugene

3. Lord Leebrick

Since their formation in 2009, the Red Raven Follies have grown from performing at the one-off variety show and occasional neighborhood event (such as Whiteaker Block Party) to their recent WOW Hall debut in early October. “Not a lot would happen in between our performances, but now we’re working a lot more than we ever have,” says coordinator Rachel Pietila, aka Golden Delicious. For their new show, every act corresponds to a tarot card. For instance, the Ace of Wands is portrayed in comedic fashion — “a giant hand of God comes out from the stage and shoots out things at each one of the girls,” Pietila says — but with the meaning that gifts that are bestowed upon you and you have the tools to fulfill your destiny. Clearly, it’s a message well-received by Eugene audiences.  

Best Live Music Venue

photo by todd cooper

1. WOW Hall 291 W. 8th Ave. 687-2746.

2. Cuthbert Amphitheatre Alton Baker Park.

3. Sam Bond’s Garage 407 Blair Blvd. 343-2635.

It’s no surprise that WOW Hall wins best live music venue, again. No place else in Eugene has as diverse and notable talent coming through on such a regular basis. Plus, it’s an all-ages venue that has a bar for the older crowd. This year has already brought the likes of Yelawolf, The Shins and Pharoahe Monch. Future (likely to be sold-out) performances include Immortal Technique, Evidence and Macklemore (pictured at his March show at WOW Hall). We salute and will continue to salute WOW Hall for bringing premier musicians of this era through town, like, all the time. 

Best Local Band

1. Medium Troy

2. Satin Love Orchestra

3. Mood Area 52

Best Lead Singer 

1. JoJo Ferreira, Medium Troy

2. Tyler Fortier

3. Marv Ellis

Best Local Album

photo by rob sydor •

1. Space Tree, Medium Troy

2. Fear of the Unknown, Tyler Fortier

3. (tie) Tidal Wave, Rootdown www.rootdownsound.comAfter Dark, Halie Loren

Well, these categories got swept hard. We’re not too surprised to see that Medium Troy is on top of things once again this year, and with the album Bohemian Dub blasting in our CD players and iPods, we’re more than happy to support. Since winning best local artist in last year’s Best of Eugene, Medium Troy continues to cause a hearty hubbub with the dub — yep, you guessed it, “dubbub” — and we’re seriously doubting the band is gonna stop anytime soon. Let’s just sit back and watch while the beats and the hooks keep whipping up a storm and Jojo Ferreira continues to entertain crowds when he rocks the mic. Medium Troy, we’re psyched that you call Eugene your home.

Best Radio Show or DJ

1. The Donkey Show on 101.5 FM KFLY

2. The Rev. Marc Time’s Sunday Morning Hangover on 88.1 FM KWVA

3. Elliot Martinez on 88.1 FM KWVA









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