Benz and Chang 2018

Today I received a package of 100 D ring picture hangers that I ordered, and it made me think about progress, because it meant that I had gone through the 100 D ring hangers that I had ordered in 2015. I do my own framing, so between September 2015 and now, I’ve put hanging hardware on the back of at least fifty paintings.

I started the what I call “the Benz and Chang paintings” in late 2013. In actuality, it was some fast and splotchy walnut ink drawings that I completed in two hours at a SHARE arts event, but that was where it started. I used some walnut ink and fell in love with it.

I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities I had in 2017.

  • Main gallery show at Guardino Gallery with Tamae Frame
  • Main gallery show at RiverSea Gallery with the amazing and wonderful Jill McVarish
  • Self-published my own catalog
  • Appeared with Jill McVarish in a show catalog (Night at the Haunted Big Top) produced by RiverSea Gallery
  • Joined the following group shows:
    • Mayhem and Magic at RiverSea Gallery
    • Day of the Dead at Guardino
    • Chris Haberman’s Big 500 Show
    • Catch the Moon at RiverSea Gallery.
  • Benz and Chang paid for a gallery and museum trip to NYC
  • Participated in #Inktober on Instagram and sold a third of my drawings

From the groups shows, the “Catch the Moon” show at RiverSea was particularly sweet to me because Jeannine Grafton, the Gallery Director at RiverSea, said that the show was about how she started her gallery with the goal of catching the moon. She wanted to celebrate their 20th anniversary with a show about how she felt that she had caught it, and more.

As things are coming together for 2018 (and 2019), I’m looking forward and I can’t believe it’s been four and a half years since I started this journey. Part of me feels a little superstitious about counting the years, and I’m knocking on wood as I write this. I hope to have many more years working on Benz and Chang paintings.

Blackfish Gallery Fishbowl Project

Benz and Chang will be showing three new paintings in one of the “Fishbowl Project” windows at Blackfish Gallery. This is a window outside the gallery that Blackfish uses to host the work of guest artists.

Since they are in a window on the street, the paintings will be up and viewable 24 hours a day, seven days a week from October 31 to November 27, 2016.

Blackfish Gallery hours are 11 – 5, Tuesday through Saturday. They are located at 420 NW 9th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

2016 Portland Building Installation

Benz and Chang won a juried commission to install a piece of public art in the Portland Building starting mid-September 2016. The photos above are different views of a model of what I plan to build for it, except the content will be a little different. The finished piece will be room-sized and be installed in a room.

Every year the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) puts out a call for artists to submit proposals for the installation space in the Portland Building. This is the city building at 1120 5th Avenue in downtown Port­land – the one with the enormous statue on it. The installation space is to the side in their main lobby. Here is a link to the page that RACC maintains to document the Portland Building installations.

Artists are chosen by a jury. RACC says that about 100 artists submit proposals every year. Six professional artists and three student artists are chosen each year. I submitted a proposal in late 2015 for the 2016-2017 season, and was fortunate to be chosen. My installation will be up from September 19 to October 14. The date that I can start installing is September 12. My current plan is to start the work in early August, build most of my installation in my garage, and install it during that week.

I thought that it would be interesting to post my entire proposal here as a sample for other artists to see what it looks like. First off, here is the 2016-2017 Artist RFP from RACC (This one is specific to 2016-2017 only. If you’re thinking of applying, get a current one from RACC).

Here is the text of my proposal, as it was submitted:

The Bridge, 1910


To dream of a bridge may signify making a connection, crossing a transition, or overcoming an obstacle. When I was contemplating the project, I came across this photo from the City of Portland Archives, and was struck by the poses and faces of the men. I wanted to bring these figures and bridge building into a more dream-like, archetypal representation. Here are the agents of change and here is their means of transport over this obstacle.

Hawthorne Bridge Crew in 1910 – framed area will be used for silhouette Source: City of Portland Archives


The bridge will be constructed of four frames, each being 8′ tall by 6′ 5″ wide, which are assembled in a line like a bridge (see the attached photos for a model of the piece). Photography backdrop paper will be stretched across each frame. This paper will be cut with silhouettes as shown in the sketches (but with more detail). The back of the installation space will be painted with raindrops. On the left side of the bridge, I will leave a few inches of space. Viewers will be able to enter the space to the right of the bridge.

The paper and other materials will be cut ahead of time in my studio and transported to the installation space to be assembled.

Here is my sketch of the installation:

Artists are asked to include up to six images of past work. I opted to include two images of a “proof of concept” model that I built.

1. Proof of concept paper model, view 1 – Cardboard and glue – 2015 – This is a photo of a paper model I did as a test to see how this sort of format would work.

2. Proof of concept paper model, view 2. – Cardboard and glue – 2015

3. Finding Beauty in Cancer, the Alchemist, 1912 – Walnut ink on watercolor paper – 10 x 14.5 inches – 2015 – My current body of work is very archetypal and dream-like. These two “Finding Beauty” paintings were a collaboration with local photographer Kimberli Ransom.

4. Finding Beauty in Cancer, New Diagnosis, 1912 – Walnut ink on watercolor paper – 10 x 14.5 inches – 2015

5. Mr. Marguerite Lives Like a Ghost, 1923 – Walnut ink on watercolor paper – 10 x 13 inches – 2015

6. The Photographer, 1933 – Walnut ink on watercolor paper – 14 x 11 inches – 2015

Here, in PDFs linked to the text, are my “simple budget or list of expenses“, “image_list“, and “resume or bio.” I did my best to keep everything on one page and simple.

That’s it! I’ll be sending out invites when it happens.

Painting in Progress – Show Mlle Sabrina

final show-mlle-raw0008-mlle-m

I have a superstitious thing about showing work in progress, so it’s a little deceptive to call this “Painting in Progress” but there it is. With this painting, I’ve got a bunch of source photos to show as well.

Show Mlle Sabrina is a reproduction quack spiritualist photograph of the sort that John Beattie, Frederick Hudson, and Georgiana Houghton (among others) made.