Hot damn, Eugene! Prepare your peepers for overstimulation by all the art (both dead and alive) happening this week, beginning with the Mayor’s Art Show opening reception 5:30 pm Friday, Aug. 14, at the Hult Center’s Jacobs Gallery. While this annual juried show tends to lean heavy on artists of the safe, expected and over-50 variety (i.e. expect pastel landscapes and Ansel Adams wannabes), it’s worth going down to ferret out the innovators and old masters — look for works from Lynda Lanker and Rogene Manas, to name a few.
Next up on the calendar is ESAP, or Eugene Springfield Art Project’s second annual Art & ChalkFest featuring both professional and amateur artists alike scraping their knees on the pavement as they create temporary 6-by-6-foot chalk masterpieces like Brent Burkett’s 2014 Impressionistic recreation of Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring.” Artists will work on the street from 10 am to 3 pm Saturday, Aug. 15, at the corner of 5th and A Street in downtown Springfield. A group of plein air artists will join the chalk contest, and they’ll compete from 10 am to 2 pm; both contests will be capped by an awards ceremony at 4:30 pm. For more info, find the Eugene Springfield Art Project Facebook page.
We still hear the community musing over the fun of making large-scale original prints with a monolithic steamroller for 2014’s Print!Eugene. The popular event, hosted by Watershed Arts and this year joined by the Oregon Supported Living Program (OSLP), is back for a second go-around, providing an opportunity for the public to create “great big art” 11 am to 5 pm Sunday, Aug. 16, at The Gallery at the Watershed parking lot, 321 Mill Street; free. The event is family-friendly and there will be refreshments, artist demos and a sculpture garden to stroll through. While you’re there, check out the gallery’s swan song exhibit, The Last Picture Show: Exceptional Contemporary Prints by 5 NW Women, which runs through Aug. 29. The Gallery at the Watershed has been an advocate and propeller of the arts and arts education, and EW is sad to see it go. How can we save the galleries, Eugene?
The following weekend, Aug. 21-23, artists take to the outdoors again for the 3rd annual Plein Air Paint Out competition. Participating artists must paint in Lane County, beginning at 6 am Saturday, Aug. 22, and submit artwork by 4 pm for judging. See the fruits of their labor, hung and framed, 5:30 to 8:30 pm in the Hult’s Studiocade. Selected works will be on view in the Hult lobby through Sept. 2.
In other arts news, Los Angeles-based artist Steven Lopez recently returned to Eugene to paint a portrait of the late Big Papa, aka Ted Lee, of Papa’s Soul Food Kitchen and BBQ for the Whiteaker restaurant. Deb Lee, Papa’s widow, commissioned the portrait. “That was heartwarming to work on a portrait of Big Papa,” says Lopez, who lived in Eugene until 2003 and remembers hanging out with Papa and discussing art and music. “On my artistic side, I only paint the female figure. He’s the first [male portrait].” Lopez says the 4-by-5-foot portrait will hang in the restaurant’s new patio section as soon as it’s weatherized, likely next week. Lopez has recently completed other murals in Eugene, such as the Technicolor feathered elephant mural on the exterior wall of High Priestess Piercing and Tattoo (210 W. 6th Ave). He will return next month to complete other local art commissions.