That said, I do see a lot of art. The thing that has struck me most is that the people who are at the top, in terms of making highly interesting, quality, professional work now are, by and large, the same people who were doing it 10 years ago. There are a few new people making significant contributions, and a few who have gone to their reward, but I'm surprised that there aren't more contenders for the ultimate prize: making something really worth while.
People like Mark Wethli, Noriko Sakanishi, Charlie Hewitt, Scott Davis, Alison Hildreth, and Fred Lynch are making some of the best work of their careers, decades into the enterprise. Maturity can, and does, find its way into the work of those who persist in pursuing the goal of finding a unique voice and doing something with it.
I see lots of work that looks like it was prepared to appear well in the pages of the art magazines, and lots more that seems like retreads of ideas that I saw in New York years ago. But every once in a while I run into a surprise, and that makes it worth it.
Ken Greenleaf can be reached at email@example.com.
: Museum And Gallery
, Visual Arts, Scott Davis, Portland Museum of Art, More