Milepost 5 hosts ‘Open Studios’ art show

In a word: eclectic! See how this live/work studio complex in Montavilla has blossomed, since it opened …

Guests visit one of the many galleries, open to the public, during the Milepost 5 “Open Studios” in early August.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

After more than a year of wrangling, the Milepost 5 live/work art studio complex celebrated its grand opening in April, 2011.

> To read our coverage of the event,
“Artists Collective Dedicated in East Portland”: CLICK HERE.

Since then, Milepost 5, located at 900 NE 81st Avenue, across the street from Montavilla Park, has hosted the first Montavilla Jazz Festival in 2014, and served as the incubator for a Shakespearian theatrical company.

And, the lofts and studios have become home-base for dozens in Portland’s creative community.

Milepost 5 artist Katie Argens says she does acrylic paintings, particularly in a pop art style, and mainly of The Beatles – a motif she adopted after living in Liverpool, England, for about 18 months.

On August 7, Milepost 5 held its first “Open Studios” art show – featuring exhibits, live music, and performance, in the Studio’s courtyard.

The performance was by Blair Crissman, who lives at the complex, and is one of the three gallery coordinators, as well as the Open Studios coordinator.

“The first Friday of every month, we have gallery openings, as well as performance events, in our space called The Chapel,” Crissman told East Portland News.

Milepost 5 resident and gallery coordinator Blair Crissman performs in the courtyard.

“This time, we decided to do a full ‘Open Studios’, so all resident artists, or friends of resident artists, it could show work in any of the spaces here, or within the studio spaces,” Crissman explained.

“It’s important for each of our residents to feel that their art is being represented in our community,” Crissman added. “It’s important for Portland in general to be engaged in as many mediums of arts as possible.”

Mixed media and collage artist James Halvorson says he uses acrylic, charcoal, and “anything else I can get hold of to work with”, as he creates during the Open Studio show.

Sarah Bernstein shows her work, “Adornment of a Dream where I am a Tiger”, a mixed-media work created from acrylic, yarn, felt, sequins and found paper, based the visualization of a dream.

As a consequence of its success, Crissman said they now hope to offer Open Studios at their outer East Portland complex three or four times a year; giving the artists more opportunity to show the new works they have produced.

Find out more by about Milepost 5 visiting their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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