Today, I realized that there've been a bunch of really exciting things happening for Disjecta that I hadn't mentioned on here and so thought I would do a little survey of recent advancements.
If you haven't heard of it before, Disjecta was a gallery and performance space in Northeast Portland for the last four years. It hosted some of the best contemporary art in town during that period. Also, during its run, its staff helped put on The Modern Zoo, a temprary large scale exhibition of 125 contemporary Portland and Pacific Northwest artists held in the summer of 2003 in 120,000 square feet of wharehouse space in the St. John's neighborhood of Portland.
Late last year, Disjecta's space in Northeast Portland closed down due to a change in the building's ownership and Disjecta director Bryan Suereth, along with long time collaborators Sonya Masinovsky and Paul Mittendorf, began planning to expand Disjecta into a professional mid-level arts institution, the first of its kind in the city.
I have been part (to differing degrees) of the effort to acheive just that since last fall. Lately with the rise of PDXPop, I've had less time to spend on Disjecta and so have had to watch the project's recent successes in delight, if from afar.
The big goal for Disjecta all since about December been to raise enough money to sign a lease to occupy the Templeton builing, an historical building that occupies the first frontage on the eastside of the Burnside bridge in the center of Portland. After a somewhat difficult time getting started with organizing and fundraising (including doing setup work such as applying for 501(c)3 nonprofit status), Disjecta's staff, pulled off the coup of convincing the building's landlord to give them access to it for three weeks in order to show what they will be able to accomplish if their fundraising efforts do succeed. We are right in the middle of the first week of the occupation and what they've accomplished turns out to be pretty impressive.
They've arranged a truly staggering number of art events including exhibitions by Mary Mattingly and Theo Angell, a concert featuring Tara Jane O'Neil and the Get Hustle, and an art auction hosted by local art impresario AC Dickson and city coucilor Sam Adams.
The quality of these events has been widely acknowledged in the local press. Today, OPB Radio ran an interview with Bryan. This past weekend, the Oregonian Lifestyle section ran a feature on the project and the Mercury put it on the cover.
Now, whether the whole thing becomes a reality or not just depends on if all of this attention can be transmuted into gold before the month runs out. So, get down there and take a look at this vision of what the city's artistic future could be like while it lasts. And bring your friends with deep pockets with you so that it will.