Arts Briefs: May/June 2013

British minimalist rockers The xx will grace the Schnitzer Concert Hall May 27.
British minimalist rockers The xx will grace the Schnitzer Concert Hall May 27.

Portland native Jinkx Monsoon took home the Season Five win of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Monsoon, née Jerick Hoffer, began performing in drag at age 16 at Portland’s Escape night club while attending Grant High School before relocating to Seattle in 2006 to attend Cornish College of the Arts. Monsoon took home the title of ‘America’s Next Drag Superstar’ after winning eight consecutive weeks at the top of the reality show competition, including one notable win for her impersonation of Grey Gardens’ Little Edie. Watch our blog for an interview with the victorious Ms. Monsoon.

The Oregon Community Foundation has announced a five-year, $32-million investment in strategies and programs that will support education and the arts. Of this amount, $13 million is allotted specifically towards arts education via the School to School program, an initiative providing multiyear support between arts organizations and schools; the Creative Heights program, which supports the creation and dissemination of innovative artworks; and small arts and culture grants that support the state’s smallest creative organizations. RPFs will be released throughout the year for these grants via the Oregon Community Foundation website at

North Portland modern art space Disjecta announced that Amanda Hunt, curator of Los Angeles contemporary center LAXART, has been chosen to curate the Portland2014 Biennial of Contemporary Art — a survey of Oregon artists that spans multiple venues for three months of exhibitions, events, and artist talks later this year. Hunt marks the first Biennial curator from outside the region. In a statement issued by Disjecta, Hunt explained: “I intend to use the biennial to make art in Oregon more visible and accessible across the U.S., and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Disjecta on a large-scale, yet local and flexible biennial.” To introduce artists and other community members to both Hunt and Disjecta’s recently-appointed curator-in-residence, Summer Guthery, the center will host an open presentation and dialogue on May 18 at 6 p.m. at 929 NW Flanders (next to PDX Contemporary Art); for more information, visit

Now is the time to apply for Literary Arts’ 2014 Oregon Literary Fellowships. Intended to help writers initiate, develop, or complete literary projects and to support small presses and publications, the merit-based fellowships are open to all, but targeted towards those in the early stages of their careers. Applications are accepted until June 28; for more information and application materials, go to

Catalyst Art & Cultural Space and Nikki Lev Glitter Beast Productions present an evening of Erotic Figure Drawing on May 25. Genderqueer models Ynigma and Nikki present scandalous poses for your sketching pleasures from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. As only 15 spots are available, this event will fill up, so contact Nikki Lev at for more info and to book your space.

British minimalist-rockers the XX will make everyone in the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall weak in the knees on May 27. Let’s put it this way: if you haven’t heard their most recent album, “Coexist,” you may not yet know what love is. Doors open at 7 p.m.; tickets are $47.50 and available at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts box office and at TicketsWest outlets.

The Portland Art Museum will be adding three new patron-selected works to their permanent collection. Patrons at the Museum’s recent “New for the Wall” event selected Itō Jakuchū’s “Carp Ascending a Waterfall,” Albrecht Dürer’s “Madonna Crowned by Two Angels,” and Irving Penn’s “Marcel Duchamp” for addition to the collection. The Japanese painting “Carp Ascending a Waterfall” was purchased outright and given as a gift to the Museum by Mia Hervin Moore in honor of her mother Maria Hervin, a noted member of the Asian Art Council.

Diamond Way Buddhist Center Portland brings Danish Karma Kagyu teacher Lama Ole Nydal to the Brunish Theater on May 28. Teaching from his new book “What Happens When We Die,” Lama Ole delivers distinctively incisive (and even confrontational) Buddhist wisdom on the art of dying. Lecture begins at 8 p.m.; for more information and tickets, visit

Oregon Ballet Theatre presents Celebrating Balanchine, a celebration of the seminal choreographer George Balanchine’s contribution to dance. Through three radically different works — “Stravinsky Violin Concerto,” “Prodigal Son,” and “Square Dance” — OBT presents a compelling look into Balanchine’s continuing relevance and import in the world of expressive arts, even 30 years after his death. Celebrating Balanchine runs June 14-16 at the Keller Auditorium; for more information on showtimes and tickets, go to

Get wet: The Second Annual Recycled Rain Show brings together 25 local artists to show original works created using only collected rainwater. While the subject matter in the paintings varies widely, the show brings to light many simple ways in which we can rethink water and our usage of it. The show, hanging in the Olympic Mills Building (107 SE Washington, Portland), opens with a reception on June 1, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Take our advice: kick off Pride with Testify!: A Drag Storytelling Revival. Hear inspiring true testimonies of terrible, terrible shame presented by Melody Awesomazing, Jason Myers, and more, all presented amongst “Songs of Werqship” by Shitney Houston and PQ’s own Gula Delgatto. Seriously, mark your damn calendar now: June 9, 7 p.m., Floyd’s Coffee (118 NW Couch, Portland). The door’s only $5, so come out, get on your knees, and play!