Portland petroleum terminal expands to allow more oil trains

PORTLAND, Ore. — A Portland petroleum terminal is significantly expanding its capacity to unload rail cars, a move that sets the stage to more than double the number of oil trains along the Columbia and Willamette rivers into Oregon’s biggest city, OPB has learned.

Zenith Energy, sandwiched between the river and Forest Park in the city’s northwest industrial district, began receiving train shipments of crude from Canada’s oil sands last year, records show, which it stored in tanks and later pumped onto ocean-going vessels.

Zenith’s outpost in Portland now has visible construction underway on a project to build three new rail platforms that will nearly quadruple the site’s previous capacity for offloading oil from tank cars, according to building plans filed with the City of Portland in 2014, which the city’s Bureau of Development Services confirmed Wednesday.

When operational, a terminal with such a capacity could handle multiple oil trains per week — a sizeable increase over Zenith’s 2018 operations. According to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality estimates, the site handled fewer than 30 full oil trains throughout last year.

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Public Resistance To Oil Projects

The site’s expansion of crude-by-rail infrastructure comes despite much public resistance in the Northwest for new oil projects. That includes a vote by Portland’s City Council in 2016 to oppose any new fossil fuel infrastructure. That same year the Northwest experienced firsthand one of the oil-train mishaps that have occurred across North America as more and more oil has been moved by what critics have dubbed “rolling pipelines” and “bombs trains.”

Public records and interviews with state officials indicate those trains would carry a kind of heavy oil that presents a new risk for Northwest communities and rivers, and one the state’s emergency spill responders say they are ill-equipped to contain if it spills.

“It greatly complicates the spill. It’s going to take a lot more money and time and cause a lot more harm to the environment probably,” said Scott Smith, who regulates the Zenith terminal’s oil spill preparedness as part of the Oregon DEQ emergency response program.

He said the increased oil-by-rail traffic creates a risk in Portland of an environmental disaster like the one in Michigan in 2010, when heavy Canadian oil spilled from a pipeline into the Kalamazoo River. It took more than five years and $1 billion to clean up.

“It’s really among the most challenging spills we have out there, and if it was a large spill, it would cause quite a bit of damage,” Smith said.

Zenith declined to comment on how the project would affect its ability to unload more crude oil, saying only that the project would allow it to fit additional railcars on site and minimize the need to shuffle cars around.

“The multi-million-dollar project will provide an even safer and more efficient operation,” Megan Mastal, a public-relations representative for Zenith Energy, said in an emailed statement.

The company also declined to say what products it would handle. Mastal disputed that Zenith would be handling what’s known as bitumen, which is a type of petroleum extracted from Canada’s oil sands. It is thick like peanut butter and often diluted with other petroleum products before it is transported.

“We are not handling bitumen crude through our terminal,” Mastal said.

Records show the facility did handle diluted bitumen in 2018, and Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality said it anticipates the facility will be handling heavy crude from Canada’s oil sands.

Recent site inspections from Oregon’s Department of Transportation found railcars with the placard UN 1267 (Petroleum Crude Oil) on the tracks outside the Zenith facility, and that the cars were from Canada. Photographs of cars at the terminal from earlier this month also show cars with the 1267 placard, along with a placard warning of toxic inhalation.

From Asphalt To Canadian Crude

Five years ago, the site was an asphalt plant in limited operation when a company called Arc Logistics Partners LP, later acquired by Zenith Energy, purchased it and shifted operations to crude. That transition coincided with the North American oil boom and subsequent spike in oil moving by rail. While those shipments have declined since their peak nationally, data from the Energy Information Administration show oil by rail has reached its highest level in three years, driven largely by Canadian oil.

The Zenith site spans 39 acres with a storage capacity of nearly 1.5 million barrels and access to a nearby dock. Trains can reach it crossing the Willamette over the BNSF Railway bridge south of St. Johns or on Union Pacific tracks across the Steel Bridge.

Its main constraint has been rail capacity. When construction began, the terminal had space to unload 12 cars at a time, records show.

Plans for the facility upgrade of Arc Terminals filed in 2014 with the City of Portland depict a system capable of unloading 44 cars.

The company’s storage tanks are not getting any larger, but unloading more train cars simultaneously can expedite the process of transferring oil to ships, bound for export or other domestic markets.

Mastal said the work includes new emissions-control technology, which is required by regulations, as well as a state-of-the-art fire suppression system and barrier along the street. The Portland Bureau of Development Services confirmed the work includes numerous safety upgrades, many of which are now required by code.

Mastal said the terminal employs 18 people full time, all of whom are “trained and certified to maintain the highest environmental and operational standards.”

“Since Zenith purchased the terminal, we have added full-time staff positions. These jobs pay a family wage with benefits,” Mastal said. “In addition, the multi-million-dollar construction project uses local vendors and suppliers – currently averaging 125 individuals on site per day – providing significant economic stimulus for the area.”

The city issued permits for the work in 2014, two years before its leaders voted to oppose new fossil fuel infrastructure.

‘These Trains Present A Significant Risk’

Eileen Park, spokeswoman for Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, said the mayor “supports further action to prohibit the construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure like the site in question.”

“These trains present a significant risk to Portlanders, most especially those residents close to railroads and routes through the city,” Park said. “On a larger scale, the threat of climate change depends on the bold and decisive actions of governments and leaders. The Mayor’s administration will not be supportive of any action that threatens the health and well-being of our city’s residents or our natural resources and environment.”

Mastal said Zenith’s Portland terminal meets all local, state and federal standards, including Portland’s 2016 ordinance.

“We are committed to delivering safe, reliable, efficient and flexible service to our customers while maintaining the highest environmental and operational safety standards,” she said.

Environmentalists say they fear a “rolling pipeline” of trains through Portland.

“To us, it seems like it’s another quiet effort to increase the capacity of that terminal to handle tar sands crude,” said Travis Williams of the Willamette Riverkeeper. “The vast majority of people in the City of Portland don’t want the risk — they don’t want the potential safety risk, the risk to the Willamette River, the risk to air quality in that area.”

Williams said he fears a repeat of the 2016 oil train derailment in Mosier, Oregon, only with a type of oil that is more difficult to contain and in an area like the Willamette, with a dense population and already a problem with existing pollution.


OPB’s Amelia Templeton contributed reporting.

Watching Grant Noble Surf Is Like Going to an Art Show

Grant Noble may not be a name you’ve heard too often. He is, however, a person you want to know about. Noble is an artist—a photographer whose photos have been on display in galleries around the world, a skateboarder with a style like no one else, and a really, really good surfer. It’s not just on a longboard, either. Noble’s talents extend into big surf and on all shapes. Whether it’s a gun, a longboard, or some kind of strange finless alternative surfboard, Grant Noble is a pleasure to watch. Here he is on a quick trip to Mexico.

Grant Noble | Agua y Sol. from RVCA on Vimeo.

The portraits of Debo Mouloudji: An artist paints artists who paint

You know? You plant a seed, give it what it needs, and it grows. It flowers, and you receive the gift of fruit. That’s what happened in Rutland this past year.

During August, six emerging artists came to the art residency at 77 Art. They lived in Rutland for the month, working closely every day in studios reserved for them. They painted, sewed, sculpted and stitched. They had meals with community people who brought in banquets. They got to know Rutland, they showed Rutland their work, and it was a grand experiment.

One of their number was portrait painter Debo Mouloudji. She paints only from life, so she required some subjects to sit for her while she was in residence. Several local artists agreed to sit and share art time with her, and this is what came of that effort.

Curator Bill Ramage writes, “Nearing the end of her stay in Rutland, Debo and I began considering the possibility of curating an exhibition of her portraits alongside artworks from each of the artists she painted. These portraits lie within a tradition of artists painting artists. They are somewhere between the intensity of Chuck Close’s portrait of Lucas Samaras and the intimacy of Alice Neel’s portrait of Andy Warhol. Debo’s fluid mastery of her medium allows her to delve into the characters of the people she paints, resulting in these stunning portraits.”

Ramage, Mouloudji and the participating artists agreed to offer the exhibit at 77 Gallery, featuring her portraits alongside art works made by her subjects. Just now, visitors at 77 can see Mouloudji’s portraits accompanied by the work of the cooperating, neighborly artists: Bill Ramage, Dick Weis, Whitney Ramage, Oliver Schemm, Christine Holzschuh, Marilyn Lucey, Jamaal Clarke and Ben Leber.

Mouloudji paints with intent and intensity. “I paint from life exclusively. Painting from life is a practice in presence, for both artist and model. It forces the model to be within themselves in their truth and for me to be present with them, opening myself in such a way that I become a channel,” she explains. “The energy of our interaction becomes a part of the painting; do they like being looked at, are they open or closed? In this state I am emotionally perceptive without having conscious understanding of what I am perceiving, but the paint picks up the emotion, the expression, the life within the span of time of the pose/painting.”

Her portraits are not photographically realistic renderings of her subjects. She says her work is “meant to feel alive,” and considers her time with a subject to be a spiritual exchange. Thus, the paintings reveal the energy and potential of humans interacting. This is particularly striking because paint doesn’t move; it’s a language that holds still. Yet for all that, these paintings catch humans in a time and place. They have a “right now” quality, announcing, “This is how it was between us.”

The genius of this exhibit is that it shows Mouloudji’s take on an artist, and then it reveals other qualities of each artist subject: how they work, what they use, whether they have a sense of wonder, what’s on their minds.

For example, Richard Weis gives us abstractions to consider. He exhibits the glamour of ink and watercolor and bold marks, strong and elegant. Turn the corner and here is Ben Leben’s big owl — maybe it’s an owl. The painting has the ancient look of a pictographic South American alphabet. Where did that come from in Leben’s head? Like Mouloudji’s portrait of Leben, it’s mysterious.

Mouloudji made a large portrait of the Ramages, daughter Whitney and father Bill. She depicts the two artists with strength and composure. In turn, Whitney exhibits a film of an aluminum cube at the ocean’s edge: sometimes buffeted, sometimes floating. It’s brainy: The empty cube has exactly the volume of her own body; but the film transcends the braininess and merges into something like eternity. Bill’s installation is brainy, too. A large image created from small photographic pieces, like a puzzle — broken down and put back together. This piece continues Ramage’s quest to understand perception in space and time.

Consider coming to the gallery to see this show. See what you make of Oliver Schemm’s collection of quirky and enigmatic sculptures; of Christine Holtzschuh’s small thoughtful paintings — little jewels; of the diverse sculpture and drawings of Marilyn Lucey; and Mouloudji’s striking portrait of Jamaal Clarke, a companion to his own small portrait paintings. These and all the others make for a considerable exhibit. Mouloudji’s portraits will be on view through March 22.

Michigan City Art League announces spring classes

MICHIGAN CITY — The Michigan City Art League has announced its Spring session of classes.

Every year since 1932, the Art League has been a source of art learning in the community. Annual membership dues are $25, and each semester class fee (for 12 weeks) is $35. Classes are held on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 tto 9 p.m.

Its studio is in the Faith City school building just to the north of the Faith City Assembly of God Church, 1314 W. Woodland, Michigan City. Membership and class fees may be paid to the Art League, P.O. Box 9720, Michigan City, IN 46360 or paid the first day of class.

Please arrive by 6:15 p.m. — spots fill up fast.

For more information or if you are planning on joining for the first time contact Betty Thomas at (219) 877-5343.

Our schedule of classes is as follows:

March 5 and 12 — Kirsten Renehan — “Improvisational Watercolor Using Salt as a resist and Yupo as a Surface.” Class will explore creative watercolor strategies and materials to develop two smaller compositions with these two elements.

March 19 and 26 — Bunny Dimke — “Introduction to Oil Painting.” Bunny will cover the safe use of materials and disposal, choice of surfaces and how to prep them. She will also do a step by step demonstration.

April 2 and 9 — Bill Cavalier — “Watercolor Basics and Beyond.” This class will focus on traditional watercolor painting enhanced with mixed media like colored pencils (watercolor and regular), pen and ink, graphite pencils and charcoal.

April 16 and 23 — Ginny Scott — “Freedom and Spontaneity in Acrylics.” This two week class will focus on experimenting with different techniques and media incorporated in an acrylic paining.

April 30 — Kristina Knowski — “Picture Framing designed for Artists!” This lecture and hands-on demo will be an informal discussion on the basics of framing works on paper, canvas and other substrates.

May 7 — Betty Thomas — “Foreground, Middleground and Background of Plein air Painting”. Betty will address different techniques, as well as what subjects are available in our area as subjects for paintings — trees, lakes, sand, etc.

May 14 and 21 — Laura Krentz — “Exploring the Landscape with Acrylics.” Learn some new techniques and approaches for painting landscapes using your own 8×10 photograph. Basic perspective, color theory and brushwork will be covered as you create your small masterpiece.

May 28 — Susan Hughes — “Working with Complementary Colors.” A simple technique to use watercolors to paint an interesting picture of a simple subject such as a pet or flower.

In a Bob Ross-style class in Enfield, the joy of painting persists

In the plain bright hall of the Mascoma Community Building, validations were passed out last Sunday like Valentine’s candy.

“That’s good, very good,’’ said Mary Bakker, leader of an art class aimed mostly at dabblers and beginners. When she wasn’t demonstrating in front, she glided among the 10 or so painters at their easels, admiring, encouraging.

Before them was Bakker’s work-in-progress: a landscape with pretty trees, glowing northern lights, an inviting pathway. The painters followed along, making their own versions. Bakker approved of them all with affirmations like these:

“She’s rocking it.”

“Good — happy little brush strokes.”

“Here’s a little magic thing. Isn’t it cool?”

And even when results were less than ideal — blobby trees, nervous Northern Lights — Bakker was reassuring:

“It’s OK. It’s a process.”

“You just have to let go.”

“Don’t freak out if something’s not working.”

Bakker told the painters they were creating their own little worlds. But they had also stepped into the world of the late Bob Ross, whose Joy of Painting series on PBS years ago was for adults what Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was for children: a safe space where the volume’s always down and things turn out just fine.

Ross, soft-voiced and friendly, demonstrated his approach to wet-on-wet oil painting, which emphasized quickness over regrets. He used artist’s brushes — and a house painter’s brush, too. His hand and fingers dabbed and danced, up and down, back and forth, creating what he called “happy little trees’’ and “happy little clouds.”

Ross, whose generous Afro seemed left over from hippie days (he actually was a retired Air Force sergeant who, when he left the service, reportedly renounced yelling or even raising his voice) finished paintings in less than half an hour. It’s estimated he completed more than 30,000.

No one knows how many viewers followed along with him painting at home, or just sat, mesmerized, much as they might if they were watching a happy little fire in a happy little fireplace.

Bob Ross died in 1995, but his techniques live on. Bakker, of Enfield, a retired nurse, trained at the Bob Ross Art Workshop in New Smyrna, Fla., about a year ago. (Actor David Arquette was in her group, she confided.)

She has offered a string of Bob Ross painting classes through Mascoma Valley Parks & Recreation. Friday night sessions are BYOB; Sunday afternoon ones are open to all ages.

“It’s fun. It’s a different way to spend a Sunday afternoon,’’ said Karen Ricard, of Enfield, at Sunday’s class. “It gets you out of the house and you have something to take home.”

Bill O’Sullivan, of Bedford, N.H., was there with his 8-year-old daughter, Avery. They had seen a Bob Ross video on YouTube, and went online to find a class. Avery acted shy among the adults as she painted, but let out a loud “oooh’’ when Bakker offered her the chance to sprinkle glitter on her finished landscape. Who says you can’t gild the lily?

But as easy as Ross made painting seem, it’s not that way for all. Jill Markowski, of Enfield, said she watched him on PBS years ago and was fascinated by how he finished a piece in as little as 20 minutes. “It’s challenging to me because I’m not particularly artistic,’’ she said.

“It’s not relaxing for me; I’m very critical of my work,’’ said Bonnie Iskandar, of Lebanon. “I have a hard time being satisfied.”

One painter whispered as she fussed with her work, “This isn’t as zen as I thought it was going to be.”

When Bakker overheard such remarks, she cooed encouragement. “Anyone can paint,’’ she said later. “Bob brought art to the masses.”

But beginners shouldn’t expect masterpieces. “Some people are afraid to make a mistake. You’re not going to do a painting and it’s going to be perfect,’’ she said.

Jessica Whitaker, of Canaan, said acceptance of imperfections was a good lesson for her. She concentrated on the sciences in school, seeking definitive knowledge. But here, in this class, was a world where “there is no perfect.”

Critics — there will always be critics — question whether the Ross techniques really teach people to create, or merely to imitate what he did.

Indeed, he never asked viewers to suffer for their art. In his realm of vision and imagination, the real aim might have been happiness itself.

At the end of the Enfield class on Sunday, participants gathered for a group photo with all of them holding their creations. Most beamed for the camera, looking entirely happy — or at least happy enough.

Information about future Bob Ross-style art classes can be found on the Mascoma Parks & Recreation website at mvpr.recdesk.com/Community/Home. The three-hour workshops are $45, and all supplies are included.

Dan Mackie lives in West Lebanon. He can be reached at dan.mackie@yahoo.com.

The Future of Art Fairs Is in a Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard

The Hotel Roosevelt. Image courtesy of Felix.

Amid the tourist-thronged block of Hollywood Boulevard across from the TCL Chinese Theatre, where tourists skip along sidewalks speckled with stars as they pass a Hooters, a Madame Tussauds, and a TMZ Celebrity Tour kiosk, an unlikely new neighbor opened Thursday afternoon: a contemporary art fair.

As the art industry scrambles to find new fair models that let mid-tier galleries participate without driving them to bankruptcy with booth fees and travel costs, three prominent figures in the Los Angeles art scene—collector Dean Valentine and dealers Alberto and Mills Morán—proposed a radical idea. They would return to the hotel fair model, a throwback to the Gramercy International Art Fair held at the Chateau Marmont in L.A. in the 1990s, where booth prices could be kept low due minimal infrastructure-building costs. For dealers who are really hard-up for cash, they could always sleep in their booth—there’s an option to keep the bed in the room.

Felix LA has gone from a germ of an idea to a full-fledged art fair in less than a year, and opened on Thursday at the Hollywood Roosevelt, a storied Tinseltown hotel—it hosted the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929—recently restored to its

“There’s a lot of conversations going around about how to make a more viable economic model for the younger galleries which have huge overhead and very erratic revenue,” said Valentine, sitting in a basement room of the Hollywood Roosevelt. “This is an attempt to answer part of that. At a hotel, part of the overhead is already built in.”

Ellie Rines pictured with artwork by Al Freeman at 56 Henry’s booth at Felix 2019. Image courtesy of Felix.

“And we aren’t building any walls,” added Mills Morán, who, with his brother, runs the Hollywood-based gallery Morán Morán. The two were preparing for the fair’s first edition as a crew of organizers hauled boxes of Felix-branded T-shirts, buttons, and beer koozies, while art handlers carted wooden crates to some of the hotel’s bungalows, which also serve as fair booths. We were speaking two days before the fair was set to open alongside the first edition of Frieze Los Angeles, which held its preview on Thursday at Paramount Pictures Studios—a quick Uber ride away, even in the city’s notoriously bad traffic. Already, Hollywood Boulevard was getting ready for its art-world close-up. For the first time since the art market became a global, pop-cultural phenomenon—with the creation of Art Basel in Miami Beach and the advent of Instagram turning art fair-hopping into a lifestyle—there is a critical mass of the world’s biggest dealers and collectors in the world’s entertainment capital.

“Everybody’s converging in L.A.,” Mills Morán said. “This has never happened in Los Angeles. I can already feel that buzz—and this is where I’m from. Usually I have to travel to go find this, and now I can just go home at the end of the night.”

The talk that Frieze would expand to Los Angeles had been at a volume just under deafening since April 2016, when Endeavor, the talent agency co-founded by Ari Emanuel, bought a stake in the fair juggernaut that started as a small magazine in 1991, expanding into the art fair business in 2003. (The exact size of Endeavor’s stake in Frieze—said to be between 50 percent and 70 percent—and the price paid both remain undisclosed.) But Felix was conceived less than a year before its first edition. Valentine, a longtime TV executive who has been collecting art since the early 1990s—he was an early proponent of superstar artists such as
, and
—was at the 2018 Armory Show in New York when he realized he wasn’t having a good time.

“It was slushy, and it was wet, and it was cold, and people were pissed at each other about their booth placement, and collectors were pissed off,” he said. “There was a lot of negative energy around it.”

Over dinner with trailblazing dealers such as Berlin’s Tanya Leighton and New York’s Anton Kern, Valentine floated an idea: Why not go back to the good old days of the Gramercy International Art Fair, which eventually became the Armory Show, but initially took place at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York and the Chateau Marmont in L.A. These were fairs for an art market in uncertain times that, Valentine said, gave rise to a new generation of artists. “You walk into a room and it would be Marian Goodman’s room, and there’d be
sculptures,” Valentine recalled, “or you’d walk into Patrick Painter’s room, and there would be some of the first
paintings. And Anton said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could find something like that again?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, it would be great.’ And Anton said, ‘So why don’t you do it?’ And I said, ‘I’m not a fair guy, I have a life!’”

The next month, Valentine stopped by Morán Morán and happened to mention the dinner and the dream. Alberto Morán countered with an idea for a venue: the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. It checks off all the boxes in the Tinseltown glamour department. Marilyn Monroe supposedly haunts the suite she once stayed in; Errol Flynn distilled bootleg gin in the barbershop; and Leonardo DiCaprio sauntered through its red-velvet hallways in the 2002 film Catch Me If You Can. It also has enough suites, bungalows, and available rooms to host a major art fair.

“There was no other place,” Mills Morán said.

The founding team fell into place seamlessly. Valentine knows galleries in L.A. and globally from decades of buying art. The brothers Morán know the art fair business, having scored booths in fairs such as Art Basel in Basel and Frieze New York. But timing was of the essence. The fair would have to open in tandem with the recently announced Frieze L.A. in order to have enough collectors in town to get galleries to agree to sign on. And the fact that Frieze would be a fraction of its usual size—70 galleries instead of the roughly 160 that showed in London last year—meant that many of the galleries accustomed to doing Frieze in London and New York but shut out of the L.A. edition would be looking for another way to get in on the action.

And the cost for the hotel fair would be much lower. Booths at Frieze start at $8,277.50 for the smallest booth, a paltry 215 square feet. For a large booth, mega-galleries have to pay more than $75,000. Meanwhile, a gallery at Felix LA can get a booth for just $4,000, and the most expensive booth, at $10,000, is a small uptick from the low barrier at Frieze—but that fee gets you all 1,200 square feet of the hotel’s over-the-top Roosevelt Suite, more than five times the size of a small booth at Frieze.

The fact that Felix LA is free and open to the public will allow participating galleries to introduce would-be collectors—many of whom may not be willing to fork over as much as $250 for a ticket to Frieze L.A.—to work by emerging artists who wouldn’t have a place at a major fair stuffed with work already validated by the market.

“It’s a response to the market now, where the market starts concentrating on blue-chip art because it’s a nervous-making world,” Valentine said. “What that means is that the new art, the emerging art, the younger art that hasn’t had time to marinate in the world—the only way that art can get absorbed into the system is for people to talk about it. We’re not anti-capitalistic, we’re not anti-market, we just want to create a safe haven for certain kinds of art and artists.”

To assemble an inaugural exhibitor list, Valentine looked to dealers he’s worked with closely over the years, such as Kern and Leighton. The final roster includes long-established heavy-hitters such as Canada in New York, Jessica Silverman Gallery in San Francisco, and Kavi Gupta in Chicago, as well as international galleries from Europe, Asia, and South Africa. But Valentine and the Moráns also stayed true to the youthful spirit of the fairs at the Chateau Marmont—which were co-organized by Matthew Marks when he was in his early thirties, and had Jay Jopling and Maureen Paley showing in some of their first fairs—and invited outfits such as New York’s Bridget Donahue and 56 Henry, a tiny Chinatown space run by the dealer Ellie Rines.

“You want that gallery that’s going to be a bigger gallery 20 years from now,” Mills Morán said. “I’d love for Ellie Rines to have a much stronger program—and that she showed at our fair way back when. That, to me, is important. And that brings the energy to what happened in the 1990s, and trying to recreate that.”

Installation at the Hollywood Roosevelt began late Wednesday afternoon. The hotel’s 11th floor had been turned over completely to galleries, with art handlers ducking into suites carrying large canvases, while hotel staff removed beds and couches from the rooms.

The “booth” of Clearing, a gallery with spaces in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Brussels, was in room 1101, with windows that revealed the full splendor of the Hollywood sign and mansions in the Hollywood Hills dotting the landscape. “It’s quite a view, isn’t it?” said gallery founder Olivier Babin, as his staff unwrapped works by
. Paintings by
would be installed horizontally, as tables, and visitors to the fair are welcome to use them as backgammon boards. Down the hall, Kate Werble, who has had a gallery in New York since 2008, was unwrapping works by
, who was on hand to install herself. Werble cut open a box to reveal a black basketball sculpture by
, an appropriate contribution to a fair in the NBA-obsessed new home of LeBron James.

“This is my first hotel fair,” Werble said, standing in front of a window revealing the palm tree–lined streets. “I feel like I missed that whole thing—I went to the Gramercy International when I was an intern.”

One Felix LA participant who did show at a previous Gramercy International is
, a dealer, writer, and practicing artist. A show of new video, sculpture, and paintings that draw from his columns about the art market opened this week at Kantor Gallery in Beverly Hills. His booth mixed work made by his sons with works from some of the most prominent artists of the last few decades, including a rare
work involving a photo of Patty Hearst and her one-time fiancé, Steven Weed, in a metal frame made by the artist. Leaning against the bed was a
piece and a small but potent black-and-white work by
. Propped against a table was a brilliant
work from the 1970s, part of a series consisting of his cancelled checks—some to his phone company, some to the company heating his studio—arranged in a grid.

Aaron Garber-Maikovska, Untitled, 2018. Courtesy of the artist and Clearing, New York/Brussels.

“The most valuable ones are the ones with a cancelled check to his pot dealer,” Schachter said.

Anton Kern was installing down the hall in a suite that was big enough to put many traditional fair booths to shame. A quick elevator ride led me to the galleries taking over poolside bungalows on the ground floor. Bridget Donahue was in the room that would house her “booth,” overseeing the installation of a video by
and lounging on one of
’s touching-is-encouraged works that blur the line between sculpture and furniture, when Reaves walked into the bungalow.

“I have so many of my artists here in Los Angeles,” Donahue said, noting that it was her first time doing a fair in the city—there just wasn’t one for her to do before Felix LA.

There was no way to be sure that sales would be solid for the galleries in this first edition, and a rainy opening day was certainly a curveball for collectors who’d flocked to the perpetually sunny city. But the funky vibe at the Hollywood Roosevelt seemed to put dealers in a better-than-usual mood during installation.

Valentine mentioned that they had anticipated 150 RSVPs, but received 750. The apparent surge of interest begged the question: If Felix LA is a runaway success, could it be replicated in other cities?

“It’s been discussed, and we always come back to: ‘Let’s get through this week,’” Mills Morán said. “But it’s fun to think about.”

LACMA acquires Kerry James Marshall’s haunting, potent portrait of a ‘Shadow of His Former Self’

Marshall rendered “A Portrait of the Artist” almost completely in shades of black, and from a distance all that’s visible are the few blips of white. But close in and details begin to emerge. The white — teeth of a haunting and mischievous smile, the eyes, an undershirt. Move closer and the figure takes shape: his black hat, black jacket, black skin, the pink of his gums. Lean in even closer (a little too close for a museum), and the richness of the black begins to emerge.

Amanda Wachob Blurs the Lines Between Tattoos and Fine Art

Tattoos are everywhere and come in varying degrees of sophistication, but where does the act of inserting inks and pigments into the skin cross over from decoration to bonafide artwork, worthy of placement in a museum exhibition? Amanda Wachob, a true pioneer at the intersection between craft and art who started cold as a tattoo apprentice, shows how it is done in Tattoo This, a showcase of work at MCA Denver that both respects and jumps the boundaries of using human skin as a canvas. Wachob’s hard-earned skill with the needle now plays out on paper, cloth, leather and fruit, in addition to skin, making freestyle watercolor-like strokes, designs and marbled effects more likely to adorn a painting or a photograph. We had a few questions for the artist as she embarks on a weeklong residency of live tattooing at MCA. Here’s her take on a brand new medium.

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Westword: What inspired you to become a tattoo artist in the first place?

Amanda Wachob: I never really knew about tattoos. I didn’t even have one, but I got apprenticeship. A friend of mine said the owners of a tattoo shop were hiring an apprentice, and I was a new grad right out of art school with no idea about what to do with my fine-art photography degree.

He was convinced that I would love it, so I asked the owners and showed them some of my drawings, photos and paintings, and they gave me the job. I immediately became consumed with tattooing

So you had formal fine-art training first, before you ever tried tattoo art?

Definitely. I tried all kinds of different kinds of things in school: prints, painting, photographs and so on. After I got the job, I started looking at tattooing as another medium to learn. I saw something that I could not learn in art school.

Amanda Wachob, "Lazuli," 2019. Tattoo ink and temporary tattoo paper on canvas.EXPAND

Amanda Wachob, “Lazuli,” 2019. Tattoo ink and temporary tattoo paper on canvas.

Amanda Wachob, courtesy of MCA Denver

Why do you think tattoos have become such an essential part of our culture?

It’s actually one of the oldest art forms. People have gone back and researched tattoos back 5,000 years, but I feel like it’s even older. The idea of adornment to express something about the self and creativity—this has been a part of culture for so long, to adorn and accessorize ourselves. Tattoos are an extension of that.

Now, in terms of modern times, it’s everywhere. We see celebrities with tattoos, go to tattoo shows, and also just hear about it from the press.

Did you develop your watercolor-style techniques over time?

The easiest way to make a tattoo with color is to tattoo and outline with a black line, then shade it in, but that didn’t make sense to me: They’re formulaic, tedious and boring to render, like a coloring book. If someone brought a photo of a flower from their garden and wanted me to turn it into a tattoo, I would basically fill it in, but for photorealism, that’s not how to do it. I chose the option of leaving the black line out to make it look more like a photo instead of an illustration, and more people started asking for them.

Now I’ve started to get wild with it. Tattooing is extremely hard. It initially takes a long time before you see work coming back that’s even healed well. So many things can go wrong. It’s also hard to learn working with color—it’s a more difficult technique than just using black ink.

Amanda Wachob, "Ringo" sleeve, four years later.EXPAND

Amanda Wachob, “Ringo” sleeve, four years later.

Amanda Wachob, courtesy of MCA Denver

How is it different from other tattooing techniques?

Color is a thicker medium. It’s like a powder you mix with liquids into a thicker formula. Black is thinner, more like liquid carbon. Color can be a bit harder to get in solid—and it’s more time-consuming. You have to pay more attention to how you are layering color, so a lot of people don’t like to work with it.

What’s the level of difficulty?

Tattooing now feels to me like I’m driving a car. You no longer have to look for the yellow line, because you just know it’s there. It’s second nature.

I’m doing something more technically difficult. For marbled tattoos, there are so many lines you have to draw within the stencils. I feel more excited by working that way: I feel more challenged, so it’s more comfortable for me.

Do you find that some people have trouble with the idea of using tattooing as a medium to make fine art?

It’s one of the hardest art forms, and we’re not getting enough credit for that. It can also just be a craft. You can make tattoos with black outlines. If you want to do tattoos that are more like paintings, you can do that, too. Tattooing should have validity as an art form, but many see it as more of a craft or trade instead.

Amanda Wachob, "Dimensional Transmutation," 2019. Tattoo ink and temporary tattoo paper on canvas.EXPAND

Amanda Wachob, “Dimensional Transmutation,” 2019. Tattoo ink and temporary tattoo paper on canvas.

Amanda Wachob, courtesy of MCA Denver

Tell me about your residency at MCA and what you’ll be doing while you’re there.

I’ll be here for a week and a half. I’ll be doing eleven tattoos in the main part of gallery among the canvases. All eleven will correlate with the canvases, so I’ll be linking them back to the artwork and the art back to the people.

Adam Lerner and I will also be giving a talk on February 20, extending the dialogue between contemporary art and tattooing. There might be a few tickets left!

Amanda Wachob will be in residence tattooing human subjects in her galleries twice daily from February 15 through 21 at MCA Denver, 1485 Delgany Street. Tattooing slots are filled, but spectators are welcome. Find the Wachob’s demo schedule on MCA’s home page.

Hear Amanda Wachob and Adam Lerner in conversation at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20, at the Holiday Event Center, 2644 West 32nd Avenue. Admission is $10 to $15 in advance at mcadenver.org and include one free admittance to MCA within one month after the talk.

Amanda Wachob: Tattoo This runs through May 26 at MCA Denver, along with Aftereffect: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Painting and Andrew Jensdotter: Flak.

Eagle Oil Holdings Company Inc. (USOTC: EGOH) Merges with StateThe-Art Solar Energy Finance Company, Green Stream Finance Inc.

February 14, 2019 15:44 ET | Source: Eagle Oil Holding Company, Inc.

RENO, Nev., Feb. 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via OTC PR WIRE — Eagle Oil Holding Inc. (USOTC: EGOH) is pleased to announce that it has merged with Green Stream Finance Inc.

Green Stream’s mission is to provide its clients with financing that allow them to further distribute their energy-efficient products and services. Due to its rapid growth, it has become an industry leader in financing companies that operate in an environmentally friendly manner.

It provides capital to those businesses that operate in a conscientious manner with respect to environmentally-friendly initiatives. This is, all too frequently, ignored. Their services include, but are not limited to, financing of commercial industrial buildings, agriculture projects, public and private schools, and religious Institutions.

Green Stream Finance Inc. has operations in California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. It has plans to implement its mission by using its trademark designs and groundbreaking technology which are made entirely through the use of customized red, greenhouse glass,  and seamless, solar panels. The red greenhouse glass removes the green light and increases the ratio from red to blue light which increases the plant’s growth by 94%.

Pursuant to the Acquisition and Merger Agreement, a new class of preferred shares will be issued by Eagle Oil Holding Company Inc. (USOTC: EGOH) as consideration for the acquisition of 96% of Green Stream Finance Inc.’s issued and outstanding shares. In addition, Ken Williams will immediately resign as CEO of Eagle, but will remain as on officer and director of Green Stream for a three-month period to assist in the transition.

Ken Williams, former   CEO of Eagle Oil Holding Company Inc., states “this merger is as exciting a project as I have seen in quite a while, especially for the shareholders of both companies. Green Stream’s technology is second to none, which means that they are well placed to become a dominant force in the clean energy movement.”

Madeline Cammarata, CEO of both Eagle Oil Holding Company Inc. and Green Stream Finance, excitedly states, “The numerous acquisitions of Eagle over the past few years have been extensive. I intend to bring the company current in its filings so that by the beginning of the next reporting period, our shareholders will see, and feel, the full benefit of our rapid growth with the acquisition of Green Stream.”

Updates will be forthcoming

For more information, email the Company:

Legal Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
This press release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and is subject to the safe harbor created by those sections. This material contains statements about expected future events and/or financial results that are forward-looking in nature and subject to risks and uncertainties. That includes the possibility that the business outlined in this press release cannot be concluded for some reason. That could be as a result of technical, installation, permitting or other problems that were not anticipated. Such forward-looking statements by definition involve risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Eagle Oil Holding Company Inc. to be materially different from the statements made herein. Except for any obligation under the U.S. federal secur ities laws, Eagle Oil Holding Company, Inc. undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

S.C. students at “arts-rich” schools show higher level of engagement than national mean, Gallup poll says

Today the South Carolina Arts Commission released the results of a 2018 Gallup Student Poll, results that hold some positive news about SC schools. The main takeaway is that “levels of engagement and hope among students in arts-rich South Carolina schools are higher than the national mean.”

Last year in South Carolina Gallup surveyed 8,286 students at 30 arts-rich schools. The results showed a direct correlation between a school’s length of time as arts-rich and an increase in student engagement and hope. S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) education director Ashley Brown says that schools are considered arts-rich when they are “committed to the arts at a cellular level.”

Brown references both Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project and Distinguished Arts Program (DAP) schools, which are required to have an arts strategic plan; the Gallup poll was conducted in arts-rich schools in SC that were a mix of ABC Project and DAP sites.

The items on the Poll where students from arts-rich schools scored higher than the national mean are:

— The adults at my school care about me
— I have at least one teacher who makes me feel excited about the future
— I have a great future ahead of me
— I know I will find a good job in the future
— I will invent something that changes the world
— I plan to start my own business

In a press release,Ken May, SCAC’s executive director, said, “The arts are integral to a well-rounded education that allows students to achieve the knowledge, skills, and life and career characteristics outlined in the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate.”

He continued, “During this critical time when state leaders are working to modernize the public school system in South Carolina, we are strongly advocating for greater inclusion of the arts, and this study further proves the benefits.”

Peruse the full study online or check out some highlights below. 

Legendary Portrait Photographer Annie Leibovitz Looks Back With L.A. Show of Early Work

A celebrity photographer who is, herself, a celebrity, Annie Leibovitz, who chronicled the 1970s through her work with Rolling Stone Magazine, and later provided indelible portraits of entertainment’s biggest names for the covers of Vanity Fair and Vogue, was feted last night at Hauser & Wirth, where her show, Annie Leibovitz. The Early Years, 1970 – 1983: Archive Project No. 1, runs through April 14. VIPs from entertainment and the art world, including Demi Moore — whom Leibovitz photographed nude and pregnant for the cover of the August 1991 issue of Vanity Fair — turned out to honor the artist. 50 Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson was on hand, as well as celebrated Chef Wolfgang Puck. Fellow artists Larry Bell, Paul McCarthy and Diane Thater also raised a glass to Leibovitz. And Mayor Eric Garcetti and his father, Gil, joined them in a celebration that included dinner and a performance by Patti Smith, who is featured in the exhibit from a photo sess ion in the late 1970s.

“All these people, and so many of them gone and all shot by one girl, one girl!” Smith plied the crowd as Leibovitz looked on. “They fill you with a sort of hopeful sorrow because so many of our people are gone. So, this is for all the people, many of who you will see on the walls. Our friends, people we loved admired, people who we pinned our hopes on but our gone. And we still remember them.”

“She was a poet, and she was special, and always so sensitive but tough, this weird combination of being this tough girl. And I could never take my eyes off of her,” Leibovitz tells The Hollywood Reporter about Smith, who performed an acoustic set for the crowd, including “Ghost Dance” and her classic, “Because the Night.” “I remember her wandering the streets of New York and called me up, up in my studio, and came up. And she was in her leather jacket and I said, ‘C’mere, lemme shoot you.’ And it became one of her album covers.”

Former Mayor Gil Garcetti, an amateur photographer, brought a photo Leibovitz took while covering the O.J. Simpson trial to have signed. “Annie has chronicled American history, and so much of it is L.A.,” his son, Mayor Eric Garcetti explains. “So much of it is California, the creativity, the ferment that she was given this window on the world while she was a student here in California. People think just of the portraiture but they forget what an amazing documentarian and journalist she was.”

Originally shown in 2017 at LUMA Foundation’s Parc Des Ateliers in Arles, France, the new show features more than 4,000 photographs laid out in stream-of-consciousness fashion, as if pinned to a studio wall. Highlights include the 1972 election in which her images were paired with legendary gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s reporting that eventually became the seminal book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Shots of Mick Jagger in his prime and Keith Richards doped up on the 1975 tour with the Rolling Stones are part of an assignment Leibovitz regards as a turning point.

“That was such a lesson for me as a young photographer, cause I was still throwing myself completely into something, giving yourself up completely in every way,” she recalls. “It’s not meant to glorify the Rolling Stones, it’s meant to explain that this is the moment where I realized I cannot always do that.”

Another benchmark, and perhaps her most famous portrait, is a shot of a nude John Lennon lying next to Yoko Ono clad in black, an image taken a mere five hours before he was shot to death in 1980. “I was supposed to go meet John and Yoko at the recording studio and I opted not to do it,” she recalls. “Then I got a call from [Rolling Stone co-founder and publisher] Jann Wenner saying someone matching John’s description was taken to the hospital, and I was just in shock.”

The lessons she took from her fieldwork are essential to the studio work that followed, though it took some adjusting to the absence of spontaneity and the rigors of a controlled environment. “Having an appointment with someone to take their picture was so intimidating. The first thing that happens is the subject says, ‘What do you want me to do?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t know. Go stand against the wall. I have no idea what you should do!'”

She’s reluctant to talk about photographing celebrities (a term she loathes), because her practice continues and people are listening, though she shared her thoughts on performers who start when they’re very young. “When I was working with people who were child actors, like Michael Jackson or Sammy Davis, Jr., their sense of reality is they were out in space. They weren’t on the ground. It’s a danger in the industry when you start as a child actor and don’t have a sense of a kind of reality. So, I always had great empathy for that kind of situation.”

In the show’s final galleries, her work moves beyond the black-and-white candid photos taken in the field to the shots that most fans generally associate with her, theatrical studio shots of Steve Martin, Lily Tomlin, Bruce Springsteen and Meryl Streep among others. “Meryl Streep cannot stand to have her picture taken. She just really wants to play her roles. She’s not interested in who she is outside the role. And I respect that so much. Vanessa Redgrave is very much like that. Daniel Day-Lewis seems very protective of his roles.”

Key to her work and her life was her relationship with author and culture critic Susan Sontag. “When I met Susan, I just knocked my head against the wall cause I said ‘This means I’m going to have to be better.’ I didn’t know if I had it in me to be better. I remember when I went into that relationship I said, ‘Oh, my god,’ it was like choosing the work,” she recalls about the decades-long relationship that ended with Sontag’s death in 2004. “One of the frustrating things about meeting Susan, I really wanted to start a family in the late ’80s, early ’90s, and Susan didn’t want me to have children. When I had Sarah, the first one, she was in love with Sarah. She really, really loved Sarah. But then she died shortly after that. So, she didn’t see too much of that.”

In recent days, Leibovitz has been spotted photographing presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke at his Feb. 11 El Paso rally for an upcoming story she isn’t free to discuss. She enjoys the energy that comes with being in the press pool, as with Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign, and it’s reawakened in her an appreciation for publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post and yes, a certain magazine that has made the grade.

“Hollywood Reporter is doing a fantastic job with their covers,” she offers, unprompted. “I’ve always been envious of the size. There’s been times I thought Vanity Fair should just give up cause it’s so beautiful when you get that large, and you come out weekly. It demands that Vanity Fair get deeply into stories. I look at The Hollywood Reporter and I really love it. I think the photography’s fantastic.”

WesBanco hosting Judy Mattson Reed art exhibit

Photo Provided Artist Judy Mattson Reed with some of her work which will be on display throughout the month at WesBanco Bank, 415 Market St. in Parkersburg.

PARKERSBURG — Judy Mattson Reed has been painting as long as she can remember.

The Judy Mattson Reed watercolor exhibit will be on display at WesBanco Bank, 415 Market St. during February. The exhibit may be viewed during regular business hours of Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Her first-grade teacher taught them to draw an ice cream cone and she has been drawing and painting ever since. Reed is a graduate of Glenville State College with an Art Education Degree and has a Master’s Degree in Art Education from West Virginia University. She has taught art in several schools and previously was the art teacher at VanDevender Junior High School in Parkersburg.

“I have worked in several different media but always returned to transparent watercolor. I love how the colors have that special glow when they are overlaid in glazes or just painted together in wet washes,” said Reed. Reed is a signature artist at Tamarack and The West Virginia Watercolor Society. She has received numerous awards including Best of Show, Award of Excellence, Merit, Honorable Mention and other awards in West Virginia Watercolor Society exhibits, Morgantown Art Association exhibits, Forest Festival exhibits and many other exhibits. Reed and her friend, Linda Elmer, shared exhibits together at the Parkersburg Art Center, the Chuck Matheny Art Center in Princeton, and Artworks Around Town Art Gallery in Wheeling.

“Color is very exciting and using arbitrary or intuitive color feels more expressive and creative. I use specific color harmonies or combinations to keep a sense of unity. Some of my favorite subjects are landscapes, trees and cows usually found in out of the way places,” Reed said.

Art Notes: AVA Gallery to open annual high school show

If there is a main event in visual art for Upper Valley students, it’s the annual High School Exhibition at AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon.

The show, which opens Friday with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m., and is now in its 11th year, usually teems with youthful expressiveness in genres that range from drawing and painting to ceramics and clothing.

The exhibition works like this: AVA contacts area high schools and encourages art teachers to forward work from promising students. As of the end of last month, participating schools included Hanover High School, Hartford High School, Holderness School, Kimball Union Academy, Lebanon High School, Ledyard Charter School, Mascoma Valley Regional High School, Newport High School, Proctor Academy, The Sharon Academy, Stevens High School, Thetford Academy, and Woodstock Union High School. The 11th Annual High School Exhibition is on view through March 8.

James Sturm, co-founder and director of the Center for Cartoon Studies signs copies of his new graphic novel, Off Season, at the White River Junction cartooning college at 4 p.m. Thursday. Set around the 2016 election, Off Season tells the story of a carpenter who’s going through a rough spot in his marriage and his working life. It’s set in a wintry version of the Upper Valley.

Also in White River Junction, South Woodstock gallerist Simran Johnston has installed new public artworks on the brick wall behind Revolution by artists Leah Danze and Lacey Carter.

Openings and receptions

The Library Arts Center, in Newport, N.H., holds a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday for its annual Juried Regional Exhibit and for “Text & Textiles,” a show that mixes artworks and poetry that refer to fabric. Both shows are on view through March 21.

The Mezzanine Gallery in Woodstock’s Norman Williams Public Library holds a closing reception from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Friday for “Love Your Library,” a group exhibition celebrating the beauty of the 1884 library, which was extensively renovated at the turn of the century.

Of note

Two Rivers Printmaking Studio is holding a series of workshops led by Upper Valley printmakers. The first, “Nontoxic Printmaking: Solarplates for Photographers,” taught by Linda Bryan, is scheduled for Feb. 23 and 24. For more information and to see the full slate of workshops, go to tworiversprintmaking.org.


Betty Grant Gallery, Converse Free Library, Lyme. “15 Years of Monday Painting: A Journey,” features oil paintings by the Monday painting class led by artist Aline Ordman. Through March 30.

BigTown Gallery, Rochester, Vt. “Late Works,” recent “construction and collage” by Varujan Boghosian, and “A Muse: A visit to the studio of Varujan Boghosian,” a portfolio of photographs by Erick Hufschmid, will remain on view through March 16.

Center for the Arts, New London. The New London Inn shows photographs by Marc Beerman; at Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, abstract work of Roger Wells and sculptures by Loren Howar; Blue Loon Bakery, photographs by Rick Stockwell; Whipple Hall Gallery shows work by Proctor Academy students; and Emil Nelson Gallery and Annex shows work by 20th-century artists.

Chandler Gallery, Randolph. “Paper Possibilities,” a group show of works made on and of paper by 10 artists, through March 2.

Chelsea Public Library. “Aspects of the Universe,” paintings in acrylic and watercolor by Chelsea artist Marina Sprague, through Feb. 28.

Chew & Co. Design, Hanover. Paintings in egg tempera and precious metals by Windsor artist Gary Milek, through February.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon. Winter exhibitions include: woodworker Put Blodgett, a Bradford native now living in Hanover; Neysa Russo, who makes wool felt tapestry in Corinth; Westminster, Vt., painter Liz Hawkes deNiord; photographer Bruce Parsons, of New London; painter Alan Zola Shulman, also of New London; pastelist Gale Sweet; painter Sharla Broughton; and oil painter Bill Turner, a retired automotive restorer from Milford, N.H.

Gallery at the Space on Main, Bradford, Vt. “Going With the Flow,” paintings by Newbury, Vt., artist Robert Chapla. Through February.

The Great Hall, Springfield, Vt. “Healing: The Transformative Imagery of Art” includes work by Margaret Jacobs, of Enfield; Carolyn Enz Hack, of East Thetford; and Robert O’Brien, Robert Carsten and Neomi Lauritsen, of Springfield. Through March 30.

Jaffe-Friede Gallery, Hopkins Center, Hanover. “Where We Come From,” work by artist-in-residence Emily Jacir. In the adjacent Strauss Gallery is “Book Arts Across Disciplines: Work Made in the Dartmouth Book Arts Workshop.” Through March 3

John D. Bennett Gallery, Claremont. Paintings by Vermont artist Jamie Townsend are on view through mid-February.

Kilton Public Library, West Lebanon. Artwork by students at Hanover Street School. Through May.

Long River Gallery, White River Junction. “The Mind Is a City,” mixed media work by Becky Coburn, of Amesbury, Mass., and “Photographic Vision,” by Matthew Sergeant.

Main Street Museum, White River Junction. “Jack Rowell, Cultural Documentarian: Portraits of Vermont People and Other Wildlife.”

North Common Arts, Chelsea. Paintings by Swiss-born artist Friedrich (Fritz) Gross that combine folklore, myth, and fantasy. Through March 16.

Osher@Dartmouth, Hanover. “Explore the White Line Woodcut Print,” prints by Pomfret artist Marilyn Syme. Through March 22.

Royalton Memorial Library, in South Royalton, Paintings by South Woodstock artist Sue Lenfest.

Scavenger Gallery, White River Junction. “Bewildered,” recent work by Montpelier artist Daryl Burtnett in a variety of media and jewelry by gallery owner Stacy Hopkins.

Steven Thomas, Inc. Fine Arts & Antiques, White River Junction. Work by Upper Valley “vintage” artists, such as Alice Standish Buell, John Semple and Horace Brown is on view.

Tunbridge Public Library. “Coming Into the Light,” paintings by Tunbridge artist Anna Ross, is on view at through Feb. 25.

Two Rivers Printmaking Studio, White River Junction. Work by the studio’s artist-members. Through February.

White River Gallery, South Royalton. “Americans Who Tell the Truth,” portraits by Maine artist Robert Shetterly.

Zollikofer Gallery, White River Junction. “Landscapes Near and Far,” paintings by Thetford artist Jean Gerber. Through March 30.

Alex Hanson can be reached at ahanson@vnews.com or 603-727-3207.

February show to open at Gaslight Art Colony

MARSHALL — Gaslight Art Colony is pleased to present John Hemminghouse and granddaughter, Kara Lovell, as the featured artists of their the February exhibit, according to a press release.

The February show will open with a reception from 5-8 p.m. Saturday. They will be giving away a children’s class at every premier. An adult may register for a child’s class to be given away in the form of a drawing. A coupon to the Main Street Supper Club is also given to everyone who comes to the opening.

Lovell began making pottery after graduating from Indiana University with a degree in art education. After a crash course in making pottery on the wheel so that she could teach it to students, she would stay after school to perfect it and try new things. Before, she had always been a doodler and it all came together when she decided to apply my doodling skills to the pots she was making. The process and style has evolved since those days.

Now, Lovell likes creating traditional pottery forms with high contrast designs that are often inspired southwestern and art deco patterns. She lives in Terre Haute, Ind., and teaches art at Clay City High School.

Hemminghouse’s art career started in Marshall. He was born in Marshall in the fall of 1932. The family moved to Terre Haute, Ind., when he was 5 years old but he spent a great deal of the summers in Marshall with his grandmother, Mrs. Frank Malloy. His grandmother lived in a second floor apartment across from the courthouse on the east side of the square above what he remembers as the Nash Photography building, since torn down. He finds it only fitting that he should return to Marshall to display his art on the north side of the square at the Gas Light Art Colony.

In 1962, Hemminghouse started his own sign business and used his artistic talent in that vein for many years. He did all the Coca-Cola pictorial wall signs that were seen in various communities. When he retired he began to do woodcarving that was satisfying both to him on an artistic basis and work that can be handed down to his family and others. He has continued to find the art of woodcarving interesting and challenging and has created many art pieces that he has entered in art shows in Indiana and Illinois receiving several best of show awards.

Gaslight Art Colony is located at 516 Archer Ave., Marshall. For more information, call 217-293-1050.

Portraits that Feel Like Chance Encounters and Hazy Recollections

Nathaniel Mary Quinn, “Bring Yo’ Big Teeth Ass Here!” (2017) (all images courtesy the artist and Rhona Hoffman gallery)

MADISON, Wis. — Nathaniel Mary Quinn is one of the best portrait painters working today and the competition is steep. Think of Amy Sherald, Elizabeth Peyton, Kehinde Wiley, Nicole Eisenman, Allison Schulnik, Mickalene Thomas, Jeff Sonhouse, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Chris Ofili, Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Lynette Yiadom- Boakye to name a few.  It could be argued that these artists are not exclusively portrait artists but artists who work with the figure. The line blurs. If identity, memory, and personality enter the pictorial conversation, however, then the work tips toward portraiture — meaning it addresses notions of likeness in relation to a real or metaphorical being. No longer bound by functionality or finesse, contemporary artists are revisiting and revitalizing the portrait as a signifier of presence via a reservoir of constructed, culturally influenced identities.

The outsize number of black artists now working in the portrait genre awakens the art world with vital new means of representation. It makes sense that artists who have been kept on the margins of the mainstream art world for centuries might emerge with the idea of visibility front and center. Without a definitive canonical art history of Black self-representation, there are fewer conventions for the work to adhere to. Much of this output feels urgent and compelling, either expanding the language of figure painting or, in the case of Nathaniel Mary Quinn, using collage-like compositions to address the dynamic clamor of contemporary life.

Nathaniel Mary Quinn (b. 1977), a Brooklyn-based artist who grew up in Chicago, is having his first solo museum exhibition, This is Life, at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Wisconsin, curated by Leah Kolb. This exhibition of 17 works dating from 2015 to 2017 was culled from private collections and occupies a large, bright ground-floor gallery. It has only been a few years since Quinn’s career skyrocketed with his first major solo show at Pace London in 2014.

Installation view, Nathaniel Mary Quinn: This is Life at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

On Instagram, Quinn’s images look like collages. In real life they also look like collages. But they aren’t. The viewer strains to translate the illusionistic mark making created with charcoal, pastel, oil stick, and gouache on paper. The result lies somewhere between human and machine made with his compositions running both hot and cold. Quinn withholds evidence of the hand, releasing the means of his trompe l’oeil trickery to viewers willing to lean in and decode the marks. The controlled surfaces, sourced from picture clippings, ooze and flow in cut-and-paste, smeary amalgamations. One senses Quinn’s Chicago origins in noticing homologies with Ed Paschke’s irradiated, blurred figures and the general free-wheeling cultural appropriation of the Imagist group. From Dadaist collage to Romare Bearden and African American quilts, Quinn joins those who believe that reality might best be recognized by its disjunctions, patchwork sensations, and complex social strata, rather than by insistent, single-point perspectives.

Quinn’s subjects are based on memories of people he has known. His mother, Mary, appears in “Bring Yo’ Big Teeth Ass Here!,” (2017), with a pig nose and square, squat body, staring out of the picture. Quinn notes that this is a tribute to her love of pork hocks and ears. Mary, who was influential and supportive, died when Quinn was 15 and living away at a boarding school. He subsequently adopted her name. “My mother had never had an education, so this meant she would have her name on every diploma I received,” said Quinn in a 2018 British Vogue article. Her name appears on his 2000 BFA degree from Wabash College, Indiana and his 2002 MFA degree from New York University. His parents did not read or write and no one else in his family had ever attended college.

Other characters are recollected from the neighborhood of his youth, the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago, built in 1962 to be the largest public housing development in the country with 28 buildings and more than 4,000 units. Gangs and drug dealers, including Quinn’s four brothers who had dropped out of school, ruled the terrain. One of the strongest paintings in the show, “Junebug,” (2015), is a portrait of Quinn’s uncle, a drug dealer. “He was a walking Christmas tree,” Quinn recalled. “He had nice clothes, gold chains.” Quinn only met him once because his mother tried to avoid men like him having any influence on her son. The portrait is a gleaming, joyous celebration of Junebug’s self-styled swagger against a gentle, star-flecked gray background. Multiple, pieced-together bits of eyes, ears, patterns and textures form a formal head and shoulders view held together by a large gold nose ring that is both slick and outrageous. One edge of the image’s bor der is ragged to interrupt the otherwise smooth, round-cornered perfection of the piece. If the Dutch Baroque artist Frans Hals walked into the room, I imagine he would fall to his knees in admiration of where Quinn has taken the notion of “likeness”: a blend of artifice and recollection. Human beings are compilations of inherited and adopted identities, of place and circumstance, luck and genetics, real messes of the vulnerable and volatile percolating within societal restraints. Quinn gets this down on paper. [“Discord in perfect harmony,”] is how one curator aptly described his style. What simmers under the human surface becomes the surface in Quinn’s work. The sensations are unsorted but adhere with compassion.

Nathaniel Mary Quinn, “Junebug” (2015)

“Charles Re-Visited” (2015), renders his brother in a black-and-white hat with a pink, floral vest. Even as he mixes animal parts with human features, twists the face and abandons symmetry, Quinn still manages to represent character. I feel as if I know Charles with his measured but sassy gaze.

Quinn’s process begins with a vision: “maybe from the universe or from God,” he says in an interview published in the exhibition catalog. “I have a visceral, physical response to each vision, which means that I want to create it.” He then looks to magazines and the internet for source material. He may find a mouth or an eye and work from there. When he starts to draw he creates one segment of the composition and then covers it with paper before he moves to the next section. This technique ensures more pronounced seams and jagged transitions. He doesn’t want the compositions to fully settle. A controlled chaos of shape and pattern keeps them stirring. He tries to protect his process, he says, “from the pollution of my mind,” meaning he doesn’t want logic or predictability to interrupt. There are no preliminary sketches.

Charles was the brother who convinced his mom that Quinn’s pencil drawings on their apartment walls, made when he was five years old, were actually good. His mom encouraged his artwork after that. Eventually a teacher helped him obtain a scholarship to a private high school in Indiana. One month after moving there, his mother died. When he later returned home for Thanksgiving, the family apartment had been abandoned. He never saw his father and brothers again until Charles recently resurfaced after hearing Nathaniel on the radio. That all of Quinn’s portraits are composites that emerge through intuition and chance encounters with images that trigger recollections makes sense.

Nathaniel Mary Quinn, “Charles Revisited” (2015)

One wonders where he will go next. Can Nathaniel Mary Quinn sustain such a highly mannered, identifiable style? Will he want to distance himself from the history of his childhood that accompanies discussions of his work? The framing and presentation of these images still feels unresolved. The images would better flourish if they were more confrontational, but they are entrapped by white frames and glass, like collections of butterflies. If Quinn could shed the box, however, and push the life forces he’s able to generate into the world without having them displayed at a safe distance, the full-throttle vivacity of these paintings would ignite. A recent show at Salon 94 in New York featured 15 portraits of his Crown Point neighbors and did include some new works on canvas (no glass).  The show sold out two weeks before it opened. His collectors include Elton John, Carmelo Anthony, and Lenny Kravitz.

During a podcast interview on the Chicago-based show, Bad at Sports, Quinn said his goal is to create a new canon for artists, one that focuses on “the illumination of the human essence.” I’m not exactly sure what that means but perhaps any glimpse of a human essence must also contain echoes of the shifting cultural framework from which it emerges. Quinn achieves that, refreshingly, with fragmentation and the refusal to present an over-simplified, imposed narrative.

Nathaniel Mary Quinn: This is Life runs through March 3 at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (227 State Street, Madison, WI). It was curated by Leah Kolb.