As a follow up to the success of last year’s Tool Show, the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art presents The Garden Show, its second annual curated art sale, June 12 – July 12. Guest curated by Chicago artist Victoria Beal, The Garden Show features more than 60 locally and nationally based artists whose work ranges from their unique use of icons sourced from gardens to highly unusual interpretations of the plant world. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from noon to 6 p.m and admission is free. An opening night reception will be held Thursday, June 12 from 6 – 9 p.m. and the public is invited. Through the generosity of the participating artists and their galleries, partial proceeds of all sales will benefit PICA.

A Leap of Faith

“As both an artist and a devoted gardener, I found the prospect of curating The Garden Show to be a thrilling and challenging one,” said organizer and guest curator, Victoria Beal. “I use live plants in my own artwork and am intrigued by the relationship between gardening and artmaking. Aside from the obvious parallels of line, form, color and composition, there is a larger spiritual connection. Each require a leap of faith, a step forward despite an unknown outcome. We can do little to predict what the garden will look like at the end of the summer or how the painting will function on the gallery wall. Therein lies the thrill of either activity: despite infinite sketches and plans, we still have to wait and see what happens.”

Mixed Media Beehives

The exhibition includes more than 100 works of art ranging from large-scale installations to painting, sculpture, photography, prints, drawings and mixed media. A number of the art works incorporate live plants into their design, while others explore our relationships with plants and the natural world. Some use plants as iconography and still others extend our traditional notion of gardens to include farms, lawns, arboretums, zoos and even beehives.

Among the artists whose work will be featured are: Patrick Abby; Lynn Aldrich; Paul Arensmeyer; Mowry Baden; Brian Borello; Candace Bowen-Louch; Louis Brandt; Michele Brody; Michael Brophy; Sean Cain; Mark Calderon; Jim Clausnitzer; Matthew Dennison; Jean Erhardt; Margaret Goddard; Paul Green; Jef Gunn; Linda Horn; Lee Imonen; Kathryn Jacobi; Malia Jensen; Mary Josephson; Dianne Kornberg; Yvonne Kosun; Horatio Law; Joel Lee; Margarita Leon; Helen Lessick; Patrick Long; Lisa Lockhart; Jeffry Mitchell; Kenna Moser; Dierdre Murphy; Megan Murphy; Loren Nelson; Stephan O’Donnell; Kim Osgood; Curtis Phillips; Tom Prochaska; Matt Proctor; Ken Ragsdale; Scott Reynolds; Chris Ritter; Jim Rittiman; Ben Rosenberg; Michelle Ross; Sandy Sampson; Larry Schwarm; Stephanie Serpick; Susan Seubert; Anne Siems; Christopher Sinkinson & Kristan Kennedy; Mark Smith; Mikelle Standbridge; James Stauber; Arne Svenson; Margot Thompson; Val Valgardson; Carlisle Vandervoort, Stephanie Bartron and Cathryn Miller; Elise Wagner; Gail Wagner; Morgan Walker; Darren Waterston; Susan Webb; and Thomas Wood.

A Plot

Organizer and guest curator Victoria Beal is an artist currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in fine arts from Lewis & Clark College and is working toward her M.F.A. at the University of Chicago. She has received several awards for her work which has been exhibited in Chicago, New York, Cincinnati, Austin, TX, Murfeesboro, TN, and Tacoma, WA, as well as in Portland. A solo exhibition of her new work will be on view at Quartersaw Gallery during the month of June.

Victoria is an avid gardener and maintains a plot at the 13th Street garden, a community garden near the Maxwell Street Market in Chicago. The Garden Show is her first curatorial venture.

Lawns are like Victorian Children

In conjunction with The Garden Show, on Saturday, June 21st PICA presents Sea of Green: A Short History of the Lawn, a humorous and insightful look at the evolution of the lawn by cultural historian David Ritchie. “In general gardening lore,” says Ritchie, “Lawns are like Victorian children — they sometimes appear in the pictures, but one doesn’t talk about them unless it’s absolutely necessary.” The lecture takes place at 4 p.m. at the exhibition site. Admission is free and the public is invited.

Living Tree Sculpture

Also on June 21st, the Hoyt Arboretum celebrates the tenth anniversary of artist Helen Lessick’s living tree sculpture, House for Summer. House for Summer is a year-round sculptural work constructed of fifteen living Himalayan birch trees. On the longest day of the year, the shadow of the leafy roof sits directly over the floor of the house. House for Summer is located in the Hoyt Arboretum, 1/16 mile from the Visitor’s Center (4000 SW Fairview Blvd.). The celebration takes place from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and features music and poetry readings by local performers. The event is free and the public is invited to bring along a picnic lunch to enjoy during the performance. The Garden Show features a re-installation of this piece as it originally appeared ten years ago.