Sunday, December 6, 2009

party, dec 2009

Blackfish members and friends celebrate annual holiday party
Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Unabashedly Introducing Myself- Kane (Kanetaka) Ikeda

Above: various views of " The Walls" in my old studio. 1983, stained and painted wood.

On the left: " Floor #3"; 1982 pebbles and painted wood.

I would like to use this space to introduce myself to non-members who are followers of this Blackfish blog. My name is Kane(Kanetaka)Ikeda, and I along with Ellen Goldschmidt are the newest members of Blackfish joining in June. You have met Ellen as she had a newcomer's show in August and has presented herself on youtube in earlier post. I will be presenting my newcomer's show in coming January along with a group exhibition of members' drawings.

Most of you may not know me though I have first established myself as an artist in this city of Portland. For the last twenty years I have been making sculptures and teaching art at a private university in Sapporo, Japan, Portland's first sister city. I have just returned last year just in time for a great recession (laugh).

I am primarily a sculptor, a mixed media sculptor though I have done some wood carvings, wood constructions, bronze works as well as few full-scale gallery size installations, drawings and pastel and acrylic paintings. As you can see I am more interested in presenting visual idea than exploring particular art media.

Though I am new member, this is my second time being a Blackfish. I was one of the original member that opened the gallery back in 1979 at the sixth avenue gallery space. Naturally atmosphere of Blackfish is a lot different now than back then. I was in my twenty's then and others not much older. This is much more mature group both in experience and age. However, I am pleased to find that the gallery and members are as much energetic, and much of advantages of being co-op such as greater freedom of creativity and enjoyment and learning from interactions with fellow artists are still there. In fact, from the feel of the gallery and from the enthusiasm of members during the annual 'Retreat', despite the economy and all, I don't think I am off the track to say that the gallery is going through another great energetic period;hopefully a golden age. And hopefully too, I contribute my share in this seemingly florescent stage of the gallery.

Photos that I have included with this writing are of groups of works that I have shown at Blackfish prior to leaving in the spring of 83'. I have display them to show my original Blackfish background to those who do not know me. Photos are copies of copies of old, worn out slides, but I think they will gave you an idea. My current works are quite different as I have been slowly developing the theme of the " Tree of Life". Just imagine me making parts for a huge Christmas Tree without the lights, and you are close to understanding my work. For the January show, I am working with new materials as the things I worked in Japan so far I could not find here. I like the adventure of working with new materials and mediums, but right now its not going well. However, it was 'god-awfu'l week ago, but gotten better to 'awful', and then to 'not bad' by yesterday. Hopefully, I can get to 'god- beautiful' by January.

Friday, July 31, 2009

To Blackfish artists

You are encouraged to post info about your shows at Blackfish and at other venues here on this blog. You can talk about what you are currently working on, shows you're having, reviews of your shows, upcoming events, etc. In the Blackfish website information is presented in an official and formal way. You can be as informal here as you like. Use this blog to promote your work and your shows at Blackfish or elsewhere. You know your work better than anyone else.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Greg Conyne sculpture in Vancouver, WA

'Ramona Falls' installed at Turtle Place
by Greg Conyne

The challenge presented to the sculpture team consisting of Wendy Armstrong and myself was using materials that started perhaps as someone’s vision of a better future or a not so elegant, but very serviceable piece of equipment that had become outdated or worn and turn them into a piece of sculpture that would have rain water running over it, becoming a fountain. 

We were to use cast off materials from the likes of Clark County Public Utilities (CPU), the local bus company (C-Tran), a local contractor (Bob Colf), and the department of the city in charge of the traffic signals. This seemed like quite a daunting task until taking of tour of the “bone yards” of these establishments. Wendy and Greg left with spinning heads and many possibilities. They came up with a concept sketch that was approved and were on their way. 

The frame or super structure is made out of 3”x 2”, 2”x2” new steel and new bolts. As the piece is to be approximately 15’x8’x8’ and movable they needed to be able to disassemble it and reassemble it at a future date if the need arises. All of the rest of the sculpture is made up of pieces from the above mentioned places. Transformers and insulators make up the majority of the features. These are not necessarily left the way we received them from CPU. Some are turned upside down, some cut, insulators are all different ways to make the water flow and drip off them. The concept reminds us of Ramona Falls out of recycled materials.

Monday, April 6, 2009

slideshow on youtube

Created a slideshow from Noriko Dozono and Helen Koba's pictures of Blackfish party.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Painting will be exhibited at La Sells Center, O.S.U., Corvallis

Hi Blackfishers,
I will have one of my large 7' x 12' paintings hung in the lobby of the La Sells Stewart Center, O.S.U., Corvallis on April 25th, a Saturday.  This painting will be a part of the Saving the Salmon conference.  I looking forward to answering questions about the work.

Blackfish party photos by Noriko

More photos from the April 4th Blackfish 30th birthday party taken by Noriko Dozono.
Click on picture.

Party photos by Helen & Mario

Photo album from Blackfish Gallery 30th anniversary party April 4, 2009.
Click on picture.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Blackfish

Source: D.K. Row, The Oregonian April 01, 2009

The idea that an art gallery -- or any small business, for that matter -- can survive more than 30 years in this economic tsunami seems quixotic. Kind of like dreaming of a cozy, early retirement.

But a few galleries have been around for that long, including Blackfish Gallery, which celebrates its 30th anniversary tonight with a group exhibit highlighting the work of its roster of 28 Portland-area artists. The exhibit is, ostensibly, a public celebration of this cooperative enterprise run by the artists who show there. But it's also a reminder of the enduring, if unsexy, grass-roots community values that initially formed the Pearl District and its art scene. These values may resonate more deeply right now as the area and city become more complex, and just as some galleries shutter because of the economy.
"We're a whole mixed bag of crazy aunts and uncles and more here," says artist and longtime Blackfish member Michael Knutson. "We have long discussions with each other every month about our work and what's going on. I don't know how it is at other galleries, but I don't think there is that kind of consistent commitment to one another anywhere else."

Founded in 1979 by a group of Portland artists, including Barbara Black and Julia Fish, whose conjoined surnames gave the gallery its name, Blackfish was one of the pioneers of the contemporary art scene, along with Jamison Thomas Gallery, Augen Gallery and Elizabeth Leach Gallery. The artists banded together because precious few galleries were around, and ambitious artists desperately needed more places to show work.

So, in true Portland do-it-yourself fashion -- well before DIY became synonymous with Portland -- they opened a modest space at 325 N.W. Sixth Ave.

The gallery has since persevered a few patches of internal upheaval, two physical moves, several different directors and the commercial transformation of the Pearl. One hundred fifty artists have, at one time or another, been Blackfish members, some of them among the more idiosyncratic local art figures, including Bob Hanson, Judy Cooke, Dennis Cunningham and current members Jim Neidhardt and Knutson. Three founding members -- Paul Missal, Stephen Soihl and Black -- still show at the gallery.

Throughout these changes, the gallery has upheld several rules that have allowed it to survive the recessions of the '80s, '90s and 2001, rules that distinguish it from most commercial galleries defined by one individual's taste and sense of importance.

All of the artists, for example, interview and pick prospective members, of which there has never been more than 30 at a time. Every artist must pay a monthly fee of $70 and serve on two committees that help run and maintain the gallery's daily operations. And every artist must attend each opening.

In other words, being a Blackfish member is a lot of work for its artists, many of whom have other jobs in addition to their respective studio time. But they enjoy rewards unheard of at most other galleries.

"I have a key to the gallery's front door," says painter Knutson. "I have a financial stake in this place."

Though crucial, sales are handled with a relaxed grip. They aren't overseen by the gallery's part-time director -- Gina Carrington -- but by the artist who happens to be on duty at the moment. Forty percent of each sale goes back to the gallery's coffers instead of the usual 50 percent at most galleries.

"The pressure to sell work comes mostly from yourself," artist Sue Tower says

But the downside to the egalitarianism is that it can be artistically prudent to the point of blandness. Because artists are assured of a show every 18 months, members tend to stay for long periods, making for a comfortable, even predictable, place to show. Rare is the dramatic left turn.

So while it showcases artists who exhibit in just about every medium and style, the gallery, over the years, has captured only modestly the sharpest edge of contemporary art dialogue.

Still, Blackfish's class-blind principles allow for other kinds of risk that commercial galleries can't afford to take, such as showing work by students from local college art programs. Like another cooperative, Nine Gallery, Blackfish also has evolved into a kind of refuge for artists whose works have eluded the affections of the commercial marketplace, like the often concept-oriented Neidhardt.

"Some artists are able to have a career just getting grants but don't sell much work," says Jane Beebe, owner of one of Portland's best commercial galleries, PDX Contemporary Art. "Blackfish has shows by these artists that you probably wouldn't see anywhere else."

The gallery's slightly service-oriented perspective is prescient right now, particularly for the art community and the Pearl District, where many businesses are seeking safety from the rising economic tides.

As recently as the mid-'90s, the Pearl District was composed of several galleries, one coffee shop and many empty warehouses.

It's since become a dazzling roundelay of posh restaurants, LEED-certified condos, cafes and knickknack stores.

Sure, galleries remain, but the Pearl is really a neighborhood, not a community; it's a seductive, vibrant place to make and spend money. Of course, such glamorous square blockage signifies a city is growing, and for the better. But places like Blackfish remind the public of the more earthy forces that first moved the ground.

"The early days were hard," Missal says. "But we learned. We learned about commitment. So while things have changed, there is still something that artists and others can say: Blackfish is around."

Right now, the gallery is looking to replace two members who left. Missal says the gallery is taking applications for a very particular fit.

"We don't need an ego that is triumphant," he says. "We stay away from that. That doesn't move well in a cooperative. It's divisive and separates us."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Blackfish Gallery's 30th Anniversary Exhibit

During the month of April 2009, Blackfish Gallery hosts its 30th Anniversary exhibit featuring work by current artist/members. The show opens Tuesday, March 31st and continues through Saturday, May 2nd. An opening reception will be held on First Thursday, April 2nd from 6-9 pm at the gallery.

April marks the 30th anniversary of Blackfish Gallery. Since its inception Blackfish has been one of the most enduring and successful cooperative art galleries in the United States. Fully owned and operated since 1979 the gallery has always remained dedicated to the highest standards of excellence in both selection and presentation of works of art. The gallery continues to have a strong regional reputation for showcasing challenging contemporary work by its own artists as well as invited guests. Each of the projects to which Blackfish makes a commitment is designed to support its three goals as stated in its mission:

To seek out and present outstanding visual art within the context of thought-provoking ideas.

To provide a forum and venue for artists creating unique work that may exist beyond retail and commercial boundaries.

To reach for a broader and more diverse audience by continuing to program exhibitions and events with themes having significance for a wide cross section of our community.

Monday, March 30, 2009

future of art

Rumor has it that 90% of US art galleries will be forced to close by the end of 2009. Some galleries are taking a proactive approach and have expanded their definition by selling alcohol and drugs in addition to showing art. We intend to stay in the successful 10%; what's the game plan?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hey Blackfishers,
I have a show up at a bar on 2026 NE Alberta called The Know.
You've already seen but two of the paintings, but if you're in the
neighborhood after 4pm it'll be open through March 31st.
So slum on down and have a'll put hair on your chest.
-Brandon Wilkinson

jana demartini, jan09

Judith Wyss, Jan09

adding an image to your post

To edit your post and add an image...
(skip # 1 if creating your post initially)

1. click on the yellow pencil icon bottom right of post next to the comments link
2. where it says 'font' go to the right… 3rd to last icon, if you mouse over it, it will say 'add image' click on it
3. click 'browse' (as many times the number of images you want to post) to find the image/s in your computer or from the web, and click 'open' after finding image
4. 'choose layout' for image placement (left, center, right) and image size (small, medium, large)
If it is your first time to post an image, click on the box 'I accept the terms of service'

Go to Blogger FAQ for more help on>> Posting and editing

Sue Tower & Mario Caoile @ Blackfish Gallery

The exhibit opened Tuesday, March 3rd and continues through Saturday, March 28th. An opening reception will be held on First Thursday, March 5th from 6-9 pm at the gallery.

Sue Tower's new series of work is entitled "La Femme," deals with her intent to portray contemporary women in a challenging and unique way. She says, "As I paint these women I attempt to express a spiritual essence and poetic beauty which I believe prevails in all women."

Mario Caoile is showing recent work, mostly paintings and a few painted, welded steel pieces. Caoile finds painting challenging and fun. Making art, to him, is about the expression of emotions. He makes a video of his painting process and then uploads it to YouTube.

Kentree Speirs is showing abstract paintings in the backroom.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

'oregon seen' feb 2009

Over 20 Blackfish artists participate in 'Oregon Seen' a show celebrating Oregon's 150th birthday.

how to post

If you see your name under the contributors list you should be able to post. In the upper right corner of your window click on the 'sign in' link, then 'new post'. You can edit your post later by clicking on the yellow pencil icon, which is visible only on your posts, next to the comments link.

fishing for a title

Right now the title for this blog is Blackfish Gallery. We can change it anytime. Does anyone have suggestions for a different title? Here are a few names that came up: fishing for art, blackfish blog, artists speak out...
We can also have a subtitle, for example: turning 30, owned and operated by working artists since 1979, and so forth. We will eventually have a background image in the heading area, perhaps of the gallery or a group photo.

Monday, March 2, 2009

how to post a video from youtube

If there is a video from the Blackfish channel on youtube that you want to post, the best way is to click and copy the embed code from the video and paste it directly on the message area-- where you type the text. You can add text as well.

fishbowl installations feb09

Charles Sigfried talks about fishbowl installation.

what this blog is for

The intention for creating this blog is have a communal blog for Blackfish members. The director and artist members can post to the blog if they accept the invitation. This blog is open to the public--anyone can view and comment on the posts. Any ideas for improving this blog are welcome.

photo-shoot, feb 2009