Monday, March 12, 2018
Matt Cottrell is a Portland artist working in various artistic modalities. He is ready to playfully engage his viewership with his art. His interests include drawing, painting and photography. Primarily abstract images reveal themselves and inspire him to bring them out to help others to enjoy the visual language created in the process. From intricate pattern to mystical figures his art communicates a sense of deeper connection to one's soul level.
Sunday, March 11, 2018
Spencer Fortner, who goes by the moniker Spencer JF Grey, was born in Maryland and raised in the suburbs right outside Portland since the age of 5. Spencer had grown appreciation for art at an early age; drawing pictures and comic strips for friends and staff at his elementary school. He spent just as much if not more time drawing in class as he did listening to the teacher or taking part in the day's lessons. However, when it came to being taught and reading about mythology, he was captured. Stories of the gods, goddesses, titans and their powers and effects on the ancient societies were and still are inspiring to Spencer. Outside of schooling, Spencer had developed a love for birds, and nature with a lot of that live stemming on hikes with his father, John, throughout the Pacific Northwest. His love for nature and animals also developed from his time spent on his grandparents farm in Boring, Oregon where their were an abundance of dogs, cats chickens, a horse, a goat and they loved him back.
Now as an adult, having been exposed to many new experiences, taking trips within his own mind and also outside of the Pacific Northwest, hopping trains, hitchhiking, sailing, sometimes taking flights to as far Germany and the surrounding areas, his inspiration to create has only grown and morphed. He now finds painting to be his most enjoyable outlet for creativity and still draws inspiration from mythology and nature but also from music, the occult, and what is magical and mystical in our daily lives that he opens his heart and mind to.
Currently he has artwork on display for sale at the Eisenhower Bagelhouse where he had been approached by the staff and owner to have a show. Now there are six pieces displayed that theme is a mix of mythology, nature, magic and psychedelia. The show opened at the end of January and shall be up till the end of March.
Friday, March 9, 2018
After taking a tour of the Portland METRO Waste Transfer Station, I was left with an appreciation for what is being done there. Amidst a stark industrial backdrop, sorted piles tower: foliage, lumber, compost. While there is a significant recycling element, it is also clear that we, the public, are disposing of immense quantities of reusable material.
There are certain programs in place to help raise awareness of the potential reusability of what we often throw out as "junk." Recology, the company who runs the facility for Portland Metro Waste Transfer, works with Portland artists who are selected every year to put together a body of work created from items gleaned at Metro. When a personal friend of mine who works at Recology was tasked with selecting 8 centerpieces for their annual employee owners recognition lunch, he asked me if I was interested.
Leaving art school in the year 2000 after only one year, I had always intended to continue my art. It can be challenging to give ourselves the permission to create, without having some sort of title or certification. This unique opportunity motivated me to overcome whatever had been holding me back from creating artwork for nearly 18 years.
The constant flow of public and commercial traffic coming through the facility, sounds from industrial machinery, and just the newness of it all gave an exhilarating sense of doing a sculptural version of battlefield surgery. I felt steeped in metaphor: life, waste, renewal, reinvention, transformation, potential. In 4 days the pieces went from pre-conception to execution.
I am left inspired to continue pursuing this path, and deeply grateful for the opportunity.
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
The human conundrum seems to be at the forefront of these artistic expressions, we have bodies which carry our emotions based on our thoughts or so it seems but maybe the body is just a vessel and if it is emptied contains only bliss which we seem to run after in various ways.
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