This Friday, Jan. 6, is the first ArtWalk of 2017. So let’s start 2017 right: Let’s make it a wildly creative, challenging, innovative year for local arts. Less schmaltz, less macaroni art, less half-rendered fairy paintings and more grit.
Here’s a resolution for the artists and art venues of Eugene: How about more art that challenges the status quo here, that spotlights the injustices in our own town, that holds those in power locally accountable? Art is resistance, and 2017 will be a telling year for its endurance. Turn on, tune in and stand up: The only place to start is where you are.
The First Friday ArtWalk kicks off at 5:30 pm, with Lane Arts Council Executive Director Liora Sponko hosting, beginning at The Jazz Station and ending at Oregon Art Supply. There are, however, some goodies to check out off the official walk: Local painter (and former EW box artist) Marlis Badalich recently opened Maven, an “underground evening art boutique” downtown at 271 W. 8th Ave; White Lotus Gallery on Willamette features some killer Japanese woodblock prints; and Watershed Arts at Fertilab at 44 W. 7th Avenue is showcasing some pretty interesting work by University of Oregon MFA candidates Andrew Douglas Campbell, Mandy Hampton, Sumer Kham, Ron Linn, Daniel Miller, Stephen Milner and Alex Wurts.
Looking for art that makes you scratch your head and go, “Huh?” Ditch Projects, the conceptual artist-run studio in Springfield, opens two solo shows Jan. 14 that run through Feb. 10: Midnight High Noon by installation artist Jessie Rose Vala and What Makes the City Touch Itself Everywhere at Once? by multimedia artist and UO MFA candidate Chelsea Couch.
Granted: The Lane County Cultural Coalition doled out “cultural opportunity” grants to 19 Lane County arts outfits’ upcoming projects including Free Shakespeare in the Park’s Henry V production ($2,500), Lorane and Crow joint Rural Art Center’s artist-in-residence focusing on Zimbabwe art ($2,500) and the Arts and Business Alliance of Eugene’s Businesses Benefiting from the Arts awareness campaign ($2,500).
The Oregon Supported Living Project (OSLP) Arts & Culture Program needs your love, literally. The nonprofit has put out a call for artists to submit work for the February Modern Love exhibit; deadline is 5 pm Monday, Jan. 30. “We’re looking for work that conveys the tribulation and celebration of love in the modern age,” the press release states. Here’s to hoping there’s a cheeky meditation on Tinder or the like. For details, visit artsandcultureeugene.org.