Video by Brian Mohr
Oregon Painting Society is a collective of artists who met while studying at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon.
Current collaborations delve into the world of witchery, neopagan ritual, and psychedelic transcension, citing influences by Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s Beekeepers drawing, Scandinavian folk art, Neomedievalism, the irreality of Jorge Luis Borges, the ballads of Joni Mitchell, and the romantic poems of Robert Frost. Living in the Pacific Northwest is an important identifying factor for the group, favoring gray skies, lumbering evergreens, and “getting back to the garden.”
Oregon Painting Society combines relics of the natural world with existentialism and a focus on the unreal, or even surreal. This vision guides the Oregon Painting Society down a path to the garden where the “garden is a dream and willful naiveté is ignorance and ignorance leads to horrors.” They have made talismanic and musical brooms to help sweep clear the path.
The exhibition will include a performance where the members will don handmade masks and cloak-like costumes while playing amplified broom guitars that depict the emblems of their Society. These costumes and instruments will be part of the exhibition in addition to two-dimensional works by individual members of the collective and an installation prepared by the artists during the days leading up to the performance.
Oregon Painting Society has included participation by Ana Briseno, Birch Cooper, Liam Drain, Barbara Kinzle, Brenna Murphy, Julia Perry, Molly Pringle, Nate Shapiro, Eliza Sohn, and Jason Traeger, among others.
Oregon Painting Society will be on view at Fontanelle Gallery, 205 SW Pine Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenue) through January 3, 2009. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 12-6pm and by appointment.