Portland, Volume 22, Number 2 April, 2011

Portland

No longer the West Coast’s best kept secret, Portland appears in the media as often as you’ll find microbreweries in the city. Innovations like the gourmet food carts that so many cities are mimicking have been covered in The New York Times. Often hailed as one of the most livable cities in the U.S., Portland has long practiced sustainable living. And, to the delight of some and dismay of others, IFC (Independent Film Channel) recently launched Portlandia, a quirky parody of a city where nature meets culture, and everything imaginable happens along the way.

The city is divided into four quadrants — north and south by Burnside Street, and east and west by the massive Williamette River. Natural beauty is ubiquitous, and is seen perhaps foremost in Forest Park, the largest, forested natural area within city limits in America, with 5,170 acres of greenery that occupy the northwest corner of the city.

Portland’s boffo public transportation system, TriMet, and a good pair of walking shoes will suffice for your sightseeing. TriMet includes the MAX light rail from the Portland International Airport (recipient of numerous awards for its design and efficiency), buses and the Portland Streetcar, all of which link seamlessly with 52 miles of light rail. Launched in 2001, Portland Streetcar became the first modern streetcar system in the country with its brightly colored cars made by Skoda-Inekon in Plzen of the Czech Republic. They are free in “fareless square” and a few dollars elsewhere. But, if you want to feel like a true Portlander, rent a bike at one of the countless bike shops and explore the nearly 300 miles of bike paths throughout the city. After experiencing Portland even for a few days, you will understand its official motto, “The City that Works.”

The best place for ARTExpress readers to land in is the Pearl District. Formerly occupied by warehouses, industry and a railroad yard, the area began its transformation in the late 90s, and is now a model for live-work spaces brimming with art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and loft living. The district’s namesake has many explanations, but they all center around the idea of a pearl discovered in a crusty oyster. Pearl’s “First Thursday” events happen whether it’s rain or shine, and they’re pulsing with locals and tourists promenading to see art, indulging in taste treats from fantastic food trucks (like Korean fusion tacos), or enjoying street music. Pick up the monthly PADA (Portland Art Dealers Association) brochure at your hotel or any gallery, and dive into the Pearl for the premier galleries. Begin with Bullseye Gallery on NW 13th. Owners Lani McGregor and Dan Schwoerer continue to impress us with stunning installations of kiln-formed glass art in a gallery space that is worth the visit alone. Klaus Moje, Dante Marioni and Jun Kaneko are among the artists found here who beautifully push the boundaries of their craft. The Bullseye Glass Company is legendary for their quality production techniques for many fields, as well as their worldwide efforts at promoting art glass. Dale Chihuly, who sources Bullseye for his materials, calls it “the most sophisticated glass coloring company in the world.” Though not located in the Pearl, you can tour Bullseye Glass at its SE 21st Street location. We look forward to the BECon (Bullseye Conference) this June, which will host world-class kiln-glass artists exploring the intersection of their craft with other forms of expression, such as painting, architecture, photography, digital technologies, printmaking and textiles.

Next stop is the Elizabeth Leach Gallery (founded in 1981), offering Portland’s most comprehensive selection of contemporary fine art. The gallery relocated in late 2004 to a 4,000-square-foot space in the Pearl District, on NW 9th Avenue. The new space was designed by Randy Higgins, and features a video and light installation by Portland light artist Hap Tivey, titled Light on the Horizon. Liz has been a passionate advocate for the arts in Portland, and continues to raise the bar for quality. She represents artists who are found in private and museum collections worldwide, including Ding Q. Le, MK Guth, Lee Kelly, Willy Heeks and John Baldessari. Pulliam Gallery (formerly Pulliam Deffenbaugh) and PDX Contemporary Art occupy adjacent and beautiful spaces on NW Flanders designed by Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture (projects include the Seattle Art Museum’s expansion and Wieden + Kennedy Agency World Headquarters, as in the agency that invented “Just Do It”). Rod Pulliam always has a few gems behind the main gallery wall, so introduce yourself. Roy McMakin, Jeffry Mitchell, Deborah Oropallo, Matthew Picton and Glenn Clevenger are among the noted artists exhibited here. At PDX you will find, according to owner Jane Beebe, work that “has a slight conceptual edge. It is personal work that is both intellectually and visually satisfying.”

The American Institute of Architects: Portland chapter is housed in a revitalized 1880s building and is one of the few LEED Platinum-certified buildings in Oregon. Check out changing exhibitions of architectural photography and cutting-edge projects in this fantastic space. AIA Portland also has an ongoing Friday Night Symposium Series. Heading east toward the Williamette River you will find another gem in the Pearl: The DeSoto Building. Located on the North Park Blocks, the project began as a conversation between Bruce Guenther, chief curator at Portland Art Museum, and local developer and art collector, Jim Winkler. They envisioned a project allowing arts entities to own their own spaces to help ensure that Portland’s current cultural vibrancy would not fall victim to rising rents. In no time, The Museum of Contemporary Craft (MCC) and Blue Sky Gallery relocated to the DeSoto from more humble digs. MCC has a Soho-like historic charm, while Blue Sky boasts an awesome Chelsea-slick exhibition space designed by architect Rick Potestio. Founded as the Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts by five young photographers in 1975, Blue Sky became an established venue for local photography. Over the course of three decades, the organization has expanded its offerings to include national and international artists, many of whom exhibited at Blue Sky early in their careers. Well-known documentary photographers like Mary Ellen Mark are among the many important artists shown here. The president of the board remains the talented and visionary Christopher Rauschenberg, son of Robert Rauschenberg. Check their website for a series of free public lectures by photographers during your visit, as Blue Sky offers programs frequently throughout the year. Other galleries that round out the scene nicely include: Augen Gallery, Charles A. Hartman Fine Art, and Froelick Gallery. Hartman Fine Art has selected works by blue chip photographers such as Berenice Abbott. Augen and Froelick both feature paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture by contemporary Northwest artists, plus prints and works on paper by internationally recognized artists.

The Portland Art Museum (PAM) deserves a full day, including a tasty lunch break at the wonderfully reliable Southpark Seafood Grill & Wine Bar (just across the street at SW Salmon). Aforementioned PAM curator, Bruce Guenther has organized the perfect show to complement any visit this spring — Riches of a City: Portland Collects. PAM is one of the oldest art museums in the U.S., the oldest in the Pacific Northwest, and this exhibition honors C. E. S. Wood, who largely influenced its founding in 1892. The permanent collection holds 42,000 objects, reflecting the history of art from ancient times to today, and is most distinguished for its holdings of arts of the native peoples of North America. Other collections include modern and contemporary art, Asian and American art, photographs, prints, drawings, and English silver. PAM is also recognized for its special, often intimate, programming such as the APEX series showcasing contemporary, Northwest-based artists in the Gilkey Center galleries.

PAM’s two-and-one-half block campus, the cornerstone of Portland’s cultural district, includes the early modernist-style Belluschi Building, the historic Mark Building, and an outdoor sculpture court, with a subterranean gallery connecting the two buildings. The Belluschi Building was completed in the 1930s, then expanded and renovated in 1969 and most recently in 2000. The Mark Building, originally a Masonic temple built in 1925, was renovated in 2005 and now affords curatorial and executive office space in addition to: the Crumpacker Family Library, with its 33,000 volumes, event rental space (including two ballrooms and a theater), plus the Jubitz Center for Modern and Contemporary Art. Wander through the Jubitz Center and enjoy The Clement Greenberg Collection, acquired by the museum in 2000. The inspired collection of one of the 20th century’s most influential art critics consists of 155 paintings, drawings and sculptures by such notables as Robert Rauschenberg, Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Sir Anthony Caro, and others, representing the Abstract Expressionist, Color-Field and Post-Painterly Abstraction movements. The collection was installed for permanent view in 2005, and it continues to expand with important works. Finally, PAM’s Northwest Film Center, established in 1978, is a regional media arts organization integrated with museum programming. Check their website for film, exhibition, and festival scheduling.

If you’re ready for refreshment, the BridgePort BrewPub, Henry Weinhard’s, and Deschutes are the premier places to experience “beervana,” to quote the namesake of an annual celebration of the heavenly beverage that is treated with the same enthusiasm that winemakers expend on their pinot in the Williamette Valley. Speaking of wine, this is pinot noir country. To sample the fruit of the winemakers’ labors, go to Vino Paradiso on NW 10th, owned by Timothy Nishimoto, sommelier by day and member of famed Pink Martini, a jazz and Latin fusion band, by night. Enjoy light gourmet fare while sampling the wines. Fasten your seatbelt for flights of fantastic Oregon wine at Metrovino on NW 11th. When a sweet craving strikes, Portland delivers. Hit Voodoo Doughnut (their motto: “The Magic is in the Hole”) on SW 3rd to experience owners Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson and Tres Shannon’s astonishing reinterpretation of donuts. For a somewhat tamer experience, the sinfully delicious cupcakes to be had at Saint Cupcake on NW 17th will bring you to your knees. Cupcake-fortified, you can’t leave town without a pilgrimage to Powell’s Books, the gold standard for independent bookstores. Maps of the store are available so you won’t lose your way in the world’s largest independent bookstore — do not fail to check out the impressive art book area! (By the way, Powell’s will be recognized by The Los Angeles Times this year with their “Innovator’s Award,” which honors cutting-edge business models in the bookselling biz.)

Beyond Powell’s, shops come and go these days, but those that have endured are worth a visit. Cargo on NW 13th, where the artifacts, cards, books and furniture have arrived from all over Asia, is a knockout. Here’s where you’ll find that hot-pink velveteen bust of Mao you’ve been looking for. For more retail therapy while you are in the Pearl, hit Moulé for hip designer clothing and fabulous objects of desire for your home. For traditional, upscale men’s clothing, visit Finn on NW 12th. Stroll NW 23rd for great shopping and happy hour at 23Hoyt. NW 23rd boasts the usual suspects — Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn — but you will also find unique independent boutiques like Goorin Brothers’ Hat Shop. Since 1895, the Goorins have kept American heads warm and fashionable with their handcrafted caps and hats. Just a block or two south of the Pearl, check out Canoe, on SW Alder, where you will find modern gifts and objects for life, home and workspace from the world’s best places for design, like Scandinavia and Berlin. When you need refreshment, nip into American Pinot Brasserie, a promising newcomer in the new Indigo building. Go into the lobby to look at the gorgeous architecture.

“Four seasons, five senses, one extraordinary experience” is the Portland Japanese Garden’s statement of purpose, and regardless of the season of your visit, you will have an extraordinary experience here. Public lectures, art exhibitions, workshops and the most authentic Japanese gardens found outside of Japan make this a magical place. (Editor’s note: at this writing, the Garden is currently working with Portland State University to launch a series of concerts and events to benefit Japan.) The classical Lan Su Chinese Garden is another one of Portland’s greatest treasures — a unique and inspiring landscape that takes you through time, offering a window into Chinese culture, history and way of thinking. Take a break in The Teahouse with green tea and moon cakes. Adjacent to the Pearl District, stroll through Old Town Chinatown, an area undergoing its own transformation; better yet, hail one of their new pedi-cabs for a fun eco-tour. Nearby Davis Street Tavern has an exceptional happy hour — fresh Kumamoto oysters on the half-shell and heavenly pear-ginger martinis. The International Rose Test Garden shows off the “City of Roses” best in June, but is worth a visit anytime of the year. The garden is the officially the oldest, continuously operated public rose test garden in the U.S. It was founded in 1917, when hybridist/growers sent their prize roses from around the world to Portland’s garden for testing as well as safekeeping from the bombing in Europe during World War I. The garden offers magnificent views of the city as well.

Before you rest, check out the Living Room Theatres, where you can catch an art film in big, comfy leather chairs while sampling their tasty menu and sipping on wine. If you want more of a “roots Portland” experience, go to the Mission Theatre on NW Glisan where you can watch a second-run film in a historic McMenamins building, while enjoying their house microbrew Ruby Ale (brewed with berries) and a gourmet burger. McMenamins is a Portland institution with nearly sixty locations, all historic landmarks once slated for demolition but transformed into pubs, restaurants, theaters, hotels and music venues by the brothers Mike and Brian McMenamin.

When it’s time to choose your hotel, consider the Heathman Hotel downtown. The restaurant is first rate, with breakfast being our favorite, and the art collection is notable. Elizabeth Leach curates the changing upstairs exhibitions and they never disappoint. Also upstairs, look for the library with bookshelves filled with books signed by famous authors who have visited. This sumptuous yet comfortable hotel is the perfect place to wind down with an evening cocktail in the lounge and listen to live piano music. The stylish Hotel Lucia boasts a fine collection of well-known photographs by David Hume Kennerly. And the Ace Hotel on SW Stark is the brainchild of Alex Calderwood, Wade Weigel, Doug Herrick, plus Jack Barron who founded the Ace Hotel concept in Seattle. They eschew the term “boutique” and instead call the Ace “modern and bohemian.” Formerly the old Clyde Hotel, the Ace has 79 rooms that boast many eco-friendly, sustainable, and green elements, including vintage furniture, low-VOC paints and recycled materials throughout. You can take classic black-and-white analog photos in the photobooth located in the lobby, and take a spin on a hotel bike if you are a guest. The hotel serves delicious Stumptown Coffee, whose roasters “take its coffee very seriously,” (or you can stop in their coffee shop just off the lobby); and Clyde Common, whose menu changes with the local markets, is also located here. The happy hour scene will provide a cheerful remembrance of one of America’s most desirable destinations.

–Tracy Keys, special Portland correspondent for ARTExpress, whom we thank for her beautiful photographs as well.

Focus Portland

HOTELS

The Heathman Hotel, 1001 SW Broadway, Tel. 503-241-4100, heathmanhotel.com. Adjacent to the Portland Center for the Performing Arts and the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, this historic, grand boutique hotel is a prominent supporter of the city’s cultural, educational and arts communities.

The Benson Hotel, 309 SW Broadway, Tel. 503-228-2000, bensonhotel.com. A Portland institution for nearly 100 years, The Benson has seen its share of celebrities, CEOs, and even U.S. presidents at check-in. Although elegant touches shine throughout — such as crystal chandeliers, marble floors, and paneling crafted from Imperial forest walnut — we also love The Benson for being both pet- and eco-friendly. The hotel restaurant is top-award winner London Grill; live jazz in the Palm Court (Friday-Saturday evenings) adds a nice touch.

Hotel Lucia, 400 SW Broadway, Tel. 503-225-1717, hotellucia.com. Stylish, like the W Hotels, the Hotel Lucia is also a refreshing boutique set in the heart of everything you’ll want to visit. The rooms may be small, but the beds are brilliant, and the Kennerly photographs found throughout are quite wonderful.

The Nines Hotel, 525 SW Morrison, Tel. 877-229-9995, thenines.com. Situated at the top of one of Portland’s most beloved landmarks, the Meier & Frank Building (circa 1909), you’ll find this 331-room luxury hotel beautifully appointed, with contemporary art by local artists everywhere. Have dinner at Urban Farmer, an upscale redefinition of the American steakhouse — be sure to try the “Moonshine Punch,” if you’re not driving anywhere afterward.

The Ace Hotel, 1022 SW Stark Street, Tel. 503-228-2277, acehotel.com. Called “the country’s most original new hotel” by The New York Times, each room is very unique, so check out the decor on their website before you book yours.

RESTAURANTS
Andina, 1314 Northwest Glisan Street, Tel. 503-228-9535, andinarestaurant.com. This Pearl District favorite serves Peruvian cuisine that deliciously reflects the intertwined influences of Peru’s pre-Hispanic, European, African and Asian roots. Add in gracious service plus tasteful interior design (conceived by Paul Scardina), and you have an unforgettable evening. Be sure to order a hand-shaken margarita with fresh-squeezed lime juice (no cans here). When there is live music, sample some delectable tapas at the bar.

Clyde Common, 1014 SW Stark Street (in the Ace Hotel), Tel. 503-228-3333, clydecommon.com. Opened in May 2007 by Nate Tilden and Matt Piacentini, Clyde Common is a European-style tavern serving delicious food and drinks in a casual and energizing space. You can count on chef Chris DiMinno to prepare something seasonal, fresh and unusual.

Davis Street Tavern, 500 NW Davis Street, Tel. 503-505-5050, davisstreettavern.com. Situated in another successful building restoration, Davis Street Tavern “. . . handsomely preserves a piece of Portland’s past, with sandblasted beams and pillars, original brick interior walls and acres of polished wood for a splendidly burnished effect,” according to The Oregonian, and we couldn’t agree more. Chef Gabriel Kapustka has created an upscale, locally sourced menu at reasonable prices.

Grüner, 527 SW 12th Avenue, Tel. 503-241-7163, grunerpdx.com. The vision of Grüner belongs to award-winning restaurateur and chef Christopher Israel. Inspired by a lifetime of wanderlust and epicurean curiosity, Grüner draws on the affinity between the geographies of the Pacific Northwest and the Alpine regions of northern Europe. Can’t decide? Everyone loves their burgers. The salad of shaved radishes, Styrian pumpkin seed oil, cider vinegar, dill, chervil, chives, savory, toasted pumpkin seeds is a must!

Higgins, 1239 SW Broadway, Tel. 503-222-9070, higgins.ypguides.net. Greg Higgins was first on Portland’s food scene with kitchen innovations such as “farm to plate” and house-cured meats — practices which are now found throughout the city. Word has it that he’s now exploring cheese making, and we can hardly wait. The lively bar has an equally impressive menu, but it can be noisy.

Lucy’s Table, 704 NW 21st Avenue, Tel. 503-226-6126, lucystable.com. Even though it’s tiny, it’s easy to find favorite local spot Lucy’s Table — you can’t miss the striking chartreuse exterior. Simple yet very flavorful food prepared with the freshest ingredients available by chef/owner Michael Conklin makes for a memorable evening in the Nob Hill area.

Paley’s Place, 1204 NW 21st Avenue, Tel. 503-243-2403, paleysplace.net. Former Russian pianist turned exceptionally artistic chef, Vitaly Paley hosts a bistro in a beautifully restored home. The menu reflects European inspiration applied to fresh local bounty, including wild mushrooms, new beans, Peruvian spinach and dessert chocolate; plus the cheese selection is fabulous.

Paragon, 1309 NW Hoyt at 13th, Tel. 503-833-5060, paragonrestaurant.com. As dependable as the rain here, Paragon is a lively neighborhood restaurant and bar featuring American brasserie-style cuisine, tempting house-made desserts and signature house cocktails. Go Sunday afternoon for the live music, and if the sun is shining, the street-facing, roll-up window will be open — a superb place to watch the passers-by.

Southpark Seafood Grill and Wine Bar, 901 SW Salmon Street, Tel. 503-326-1300, southparkseafood.com. Rightfully recognized by Bon Appétit, Restaurant Hospitality, Santé and Sunset magazines, chef Broc Willis’s menu reflects the highlights of each season, and the fish is as fresh as it gets. There’s also a nice wine bar, with its own menu (service from 3 PM-midnight); and an in-house wine shop.

Tabla Mediterranean Bistro, 200 NE 28th Avenue, Tel. 503-238-3777, tmbistro.com. This little gem of a restaurant is always warm and inviting, and serves up delicious food in the northeast neighborhood. Tabla adds a modern twist to authentic Mediterranean specialties. Co-founder Adam Berger credits his fusion creativity to his travels in Italy, where he spent years learning how to create their renowned cuisines, including the art of handcrafting fresh pasta utilizing generations-old techniques.

MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Avenue, Tel. 503-226-2811, portlandartmuseum.org.

Museum of Contemporary Craft, 724 Northwest Davis Street, Tel. 503-223-2654, MuseumofContemporaryCraft.org. Founded in parternship with Pacific Northwest College of Art in 1937, MoCC features exhibitions of contemporary artists, while honoring the history of the studio craft movement. Don’t miss the The Gallery — their fabulous museum shop — where you can buy one-of-a-kind works to add to your own collection.

Maryhill Museum, 35 Maryhill Museum Drive, Goldendale, Washington, Tel. 509-773-3733, maryhillmuseum.org. Though it’s not in Portland (or even Oregon!) this gem of a museum is included here in case you have time for a side trip — and its ongoing, first-ever expansion is cause for celebration. 100 miles east of Portland, you’ll find this enchanting “castle-like chateau” set on 6,000 acres and overlooking a gorge, filled with everything from European masterpieces to Native American art. The museum is open during construction; in fact you can watch the progress on their website. But do try to see it in person!

Bullseye Gallery, 300 NW 13th Avenue, Tel. 503-227-0222, bullseyegallery.com.

Elizabeth Leach Gallery, 417 NW 9th Avenue, Tel. 503-224-0521, elizabethleachgallery.com.

Pulliam Gallery, 29 NW Flanders Street, Tel. 503-228-6665, pulliamdeffenbaugh.com.

PDX Contemporary Art Gallery, 925 NW Flanders, Tel. 503-222-0063, pdxcontemporaryart.com.

Blue Sky Gallery, 122 NW 8th Avenue, Tel. 503-225-0210, blueskygallery.org.

Charles A. Hartman Fine Art, 134 NW 8th Avenue, Tel. 503-287-3886, hartmanfineart.net.

Augen Gallery, 716 NW Davis, Tel: 503-546-5056, augengallery.com.

Froelick Gallery, 714 NW Davis Street, Tel. 503-222-1142, froelickgallery.com.

ARCHITECTURE & GARDENS
Grand Stable and Carriage Building, 411-421 SW 2nd Avenue. Stunning example of Italianate Iron façade.

Public Art Walking Tour, (to take a walking tour of Portland’s public art), Tel. 503-823-5111, or email info@racc.org to have a guide mailed to you.

American Institutes of Architects: Portland (AIA), 403 NW 11th Avenue, Tel. 503-223-8757, aiaportland.org.

Old Town Chinatown, oldtownchinatown.net.

Lan Su Chinese Garden, 239 NW Everett Street, Tel. 503-228-8131, lansugarden.org.

Portland Japanese Garden, 611 SW Kingston Avenue, Tel. 503-223-1321, japanesegarden.com.

International Rose Test Garden, 850 SW Rose Garden Way, Tel. 503-227-7033, rosegardenstore.org.

SHOPPING
Cargo, 380 NW 13th Avenue, Tel. 503-209-8349, cargoinc.com. An enormous space filled with everything Asian, from Maoist propaganda, to paper lanterns and Buddha paperweights.

Moule, 1225 NW Everett Street, Tel. 503-227-8530, moulestores.com. A sleek boutique featuring items for man, woman, child and home by big-name designers.

Finn, 132 Northwest 12th Avenue, Tel. 503-467-4660, finnclothing.com. Fine men’s clothing, accessories, gifts.

Canoe, 1136 SW Alder, Tel. 503-889-8545, canoeonline.net. Simple, beautiful, and functional objects that can be used and enjoyed everyday.

Goorin’s Hat Shop, 808 Northwest 23rd Avenue, Tel. 503-227-5300, goorin.com. Goorin offers classic styles with a unique flare and personality.

Lizard Lounge, 1323 NW Irving Street, Tel. 503-416-7476, lizardloungepdx.com. Clothing store with a lounge atmosphere where you can check out local art, play ping-pong, and enjoy complimentary Stumptown coffee. The clothes are hip, comfortable and well-made.

Oblation Papers & Press, 516 NW 12th Avenue, Tel. 503-223-1093, oblationpapers.com. A popular destination for tourists and locals alike, Oblation is a 19th-century print shop complete with their own letterpress and on-site papermaking mill. Choose from beautiful sets of monogrammed note cards, journals, and other ephemera to take home, or have your wedding invitations designed and printed here!

Relish, 1715 NW Lovejoy, Tel. 503-227-3779, shoprelish.com. This fabulous store demonstrates what happens when you combine strong modern design with well-chosen, sustainable materials. The home and personal accessories found here have been created by emerging designers from all over the world, but regional artists command extra floor space. Be sure to check their website, as Relish offers special events throughout the year.[/pay]

News

Whether you’re a winter-long snowbird or on a brief visit in search of sun, southern Arizona — from Scottsdale to Tucson — has plenty to offer. In Tucson, much of the art interest centers around the campus of The University of Arizona — beginning with the Center for Creative Photography. Site of the archive of such renowned photographers as Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Harry Callahan, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Garry Winogrand . . . and more, it is an incomparable research center and home to premiere photography exhibitions. Through May 15, two marvelous exhibits will spice your trip: Face to Face: 150 Years of Photographic Portraiture and Ansel Adams: Arizona and the West. The portraiture show covers the work of a wide variety of artists — primarily from the 20th century — spanning the history of photography. Whether you’re drawn to Diane Arbus or Cindy Sherman, the quality is superb, as it is, of course, in the Ansel Adams exhibit selected from the Center’s vast holdings. [pay]While you’re visiting the campus, don’t forget that across the street is the University of Arizona Museum of Art, with its particularly enticing Samuel H. Kress Collection (of all of the Kress gifts spread throughout America’s museums, this remains one of my favorites), and just a few steps further is the Arizona State Museum, with its fabulous Navajo textiles.

In old downtown Tucson, save time for the Etherton Gallery, which specializes in vintage and contemporary photography, plus art in all media. Founded in 1981, it occupies the grand second-story space of the historic 1914 Oddfellows Hall — while downstairs don’t miss star chef Janos Wilder’s newest trendsetting restaurant called “Downtown.” With a number of restaurants in and around Tucson, this James Beard “Top Chef in the Southwest” is hugely popular for his regional cuisine, tweaked by his background in classical French cooking.

Although it’s a bit of a distance, if your trip takes you to some of the elegant residential areas north and east of downtown Tucson, stop to explore the shops and restaurants along North Campbell Avenue. We enjoyed a wonderful, lingering lunch at Vivace and a visit to our favorite “Art to Wear” boutique, Limited Additions — with its European and American one-of-a-kind designs.

Enroute to Phoenix, consider a stay or a meal at the picturesque Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort in Chandler, where executive chef Michael O’Dowd’s Kai Restaurant leads the pack in the Valley of the Sun. In Phoenix proper (and on the edge of Scottsdale), we love the laid-back elegance of the intimate Royal Palms Resort and Spa, but can also be lured away to the majestic Arizona Biltmore in all of its Frank Lloyd Wright-style splendor, or to the romantic Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, framed by heart-stopping views of Paradise Valley. Lunch at Beau Macmillan’s Elements Restaurant, set above the infinity pool at the Sanctuary, is a must! On our most recent visit, we thought the resort looked like it could use a wee bit of freshening up, but it remains a truly unique retreat. The art headquarters in Phoenix — should you choose to come in out of the sun — is, of course, the fine Phoenix Art Museum, which, over his long tenure, Director Jim Ballinger has guided and expanded into one of the West’s best destinations. Through July 3, 2011, don’t miss Living for Art: Gifts from the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection. The museum received the gift of works documenting the origins of minimal and conceptual art in 2009, when the Vogels gave 1,000 works to the National Gallery of Art and created, in addition, the “Fifty Works for Fifty States” program, gifting another 2,500 works to select museums across America. In actuality, the Phoenix Art Museum received 128 objects by 28 artists, including works by Lawrence Weiner, Richard Tuttle, Lynda Benglis, Robert Mangold, and more. And, speaking of gifts, at the same time (through August 6), the ASU Art Museum in Tempe will be exhibiting 155 Warhol Polaroid and gelatin silver prints — the gift of The Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program.

Can it possibly be — another Venice Biennale is upon us? Yes, in fact the art exhibitions will open June 4th and run through November 27th, with preview dates of June 1-3. This year’s title for the Visual Arts Sector is ILLUMinations, chosen by director Bice Curiger (co-founder and editor-in-chief of Parkett, and curator at Kunsthaus Zürich), using the work of Tintoretto for inspiration as she curates this 54th go-round of the famed festival. For a preview of what to expect, be sure to visit the website. Of course, we also urge you to save room on your arts itinerary for the Gallerie dell’Accademia, the Punta della Dogana, strolling time on the Riva degli Schiavoni . . . and much, much more!

But first, let’s check-in to a few hotels. If affordability is not a concern, put BAUERs Il Palazzo at the top of the list. Located in an 18th-century palace, it’s romance personified, with most rooms providing a balcony or terrace to enjoy gorgeous canal views. If the 18th century is too recent for your taste, Ca Maria Adele on Dorsoduro is another converted palazzo, this one circa 16th century. The recent renovation has somewhat contemporized the luxe décor, and it comes with canal views as well, with the bonus that Palladio’s glorious Santa Maria della Salute Church is in direct sight.

For a resort experience, try the new five-star-rated San Clemente Palace. Located in the lagoon on San Clemente, a private island, it’s a short boat ride to Piazza San Marco or Lido. Bear in mind that this means you are not exactly in the center of the action, and you may be reluctant to leave the elegant courtyards and beautiful views of the lagoon!

For a contemporary boutique hotel, our choice is the Ca’ Pisani, with its retro decor. It’s very convenient to the Galleria dell’Accademia, and moderately priced, although note that you will sacrifice a precious canal view here.

Saving your tourist dollars to bring back glass and silk? For a very boutique bed and breakfast experience, Domus Orsoni is a standout, and crazy cheap in comparison to central Venice (it’s located in the Cannaregio — the old Jewish Ghetto) within a working glass studio. You must book early, as there are only five rooms, but each one is a work of art in itself, outfitted with spectacular mosaics by different Italian artists — created on premises. For the cozy boutique experience in the heart of Venice, the must-stay is Oltre Il Giardino. It’s six tasteful rooms set in a country-house that once belonged to Alma Mahler. Breakfast in the garden is not to be missed.

Speaking of silk, be sure to tour the famous Luigi Bevilacqua weaving mill. In operation now for over 300 years, headquarters and factory are located in Venice. Watch them spin their splendid brocades, velvets, damask patterns, and more, up close and personal. Can’t wait? Visit their website — even their online catalog is sumptuous!

For a memorable dining experience, a few of our top choices right now are Vini da Gigio, traditional cooking with emphasis on super fresh ingredients; Met Restaurant, which boasts a 2-star Michelin rating and is located in the drop-dead gorgeous Metropole Hotel; and our old favorite, da Fiore, still a great take on traditional Venetian fare, in a homey setting — the seafood is fabulous.

One last, don’t-miss-it note: Teatro La Fenice. The famed opera house, rebuilt twice in its lifetime due to disastrous fires, is well worth its own tour, even if you can’t catch a performance. For a full calendar of events, go to the website.

Even in an off-Biennale year, Venice is probably — but don’t tell the others — our favorite art and architecture destination. Such a wealth of visual delight, set against an incomparable backdrop. We can only make a few suggestions here. Be sure to share yours with us!

Want to be simply blown away by new architecture in the service of art? You’ve already heard about Zaha Hadid’s long-awaited MAXXI, Rome’s National Museum of XXI Century Arts, inaugurated last spring, and awarded the coveted RIBA Sterling Prize for 2010, but have you seen noted French architect Odile Decq’s design for MACRO — Museo d’Arte Contemporanea — also in Rome? Her new wing was unveiled in December, and the old Peroni brewery has certainly become a gorgeous Cinderella. From the all-glass, seductive corner entry to the great bulk of the red auditorium and red pathways cutting through to the roof garden, the pleasure of the spaces is palpable. View stunning photos at worldarchitecturenews.com, and make Rome part of your Biennale itinerary.

Have you read Blood, Bones & Butter, the best-selling memoir by chef/writer Gabrielle Hamilton? No doubt everyone who has ever been to her divine Prune Restaurant, at the unlikely juncture of 1st Street and 2nd Avenue (not exactly lovely!) in New York, has picked it up and is nose-deep in the tell-all. Prune is unforgettable — an anomaly — a bit “scruffy,” with sublime dishes! It seats only 30, at sometimes-tipsy chairs and tables, according to the chef herself, but oh, how impeccable her French mother’s home-grown cuisine, accented by Hamilton’s highly personal take. Swear you’ll make a reservation on your next Big Apple venture.

Great Addresses

IN TUCSON
Center for Creative Photography at The University of Arizona, Tucson, 1030 North Olive Road, P.O. Box 210103, Tucson, AZ 85121-0103, Tel. 520-621-7968, creativephotography.org. Located in the Fine Arts Complex at the northwest corner of the campus at Park Avenue and Speedway Boulevard. Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9-5, Sat.-Sun. 1-4.

The University of Arizona Museum of Art, P.O. Box 210002, Tucson, AZ 85121, Tel. 520-621-7657, artmuseum.arizona.edu. Just across from the Center for Creative Photography at Park Avenue and Speedway Boulevard. Hours: Tues.-Fri. 9-5, Sat.-Sun. noon-4.

Arizona State Museum, 1013 East University Boulevard, Tel. 520-0621-6302, statemuseum.arizona.edu. Collections focused on the American Southwest, and northern Mexico, including Southwest Indian art, pottery, basketry, textiles and jewelry, plus Mexican folk art and works from indigenous tribes.

Etherton Gallery, 135 South 6th Avenue #B, Tel. 520-624-7370, ethertongallery.com. Hours: Tues.-Sat. 11-5. Photography, contemporary art, art of non-Western cultures. Also manages Temple Gallery, Upstairs at the Temple of Music and Art, 330 South Scott Avenue, Tucson, Tel. 520-624-7370.

Downtown Kitchen & Cocktails, 135 South 6th Avenue, Tel. 520-623-7700, downtownkitchen.com. Lunch, dinner and late night — seven days. Housed in a historic 1914 building, downtown on the ground floor of the original Oddfellows hall; the latest incarnation of the Janos group.

Vivace Restaurant, 4310 North Campbell Avenue, Tel. 520-795-7221, vivacetucson.com. Chef Daniel Scordato turns out consistently delicious Italian and continental cuisine in a lovely, light-filled dining space, where we enjoyed lunch. Very popular and always busy, it is a Tucson mainstay and you’ll need reservations.

Limited Additions, 4300 North Campbell Avenue #20, Tel. 520-577-1356, limitedadditionstucson.com. Also in St. Philips Plaza (as is Vivace), this “Art to Wear” delight has been around since 1986 and has not only expanded into European and American collections but has three other locations as well: Tapestry at 6360 North Campbell, Finale (the budget boutique) at 4300 North Campbell #43, and Finale 11 at 11015 North Oracle Road in Oro Valley. Be aware, when the heat is blistering (June-September) Limited Additions is closed on Sundays; otherwise you can drop in seven days a week.

IN PHOENIX
Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa, 5594 West Wild Horse Pass Boulevard, Chandler, Tel. 602-225-0100, 888-218-8989, wildhorsepassresort.com. If you are driving from Tucson to Phoenix, as we were, the resort is 20 minutes south of the Phoenix Airport in Chandler, on the Gila River Indian Reservation. The ruggedly beautiful destination features two golf courses, horseback riding, a picturesque two-and-a-half-mile-long artificial river, 5 restaurants — and more! The top restaurant, Kai, is the toast of Phoenix and chef Michael O’Dowd’s Southwestern cuisine, with global notes, is spectacular.

Royal Palms Resort and Spa, 5200 East Camelback Road, Tel. 800-672-6011, 602-840-3610, royalpalmsresortandspa.com. The Royal Palms is intimate, historic (built more than 50 years ago Delos Cooke, a Cunard Steamship executive) and centrally located between Old Town Scottsdale and Biltmore Fashion Park. The look is Spanish villa, and the lovely walled gardens and splashing fountains offer a quiet oasis. The restaurant, T. Cook’s, is a local favorite.

Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, 2400 East Missouri Avenue, Tel. 800-950-0086, 620-955-6600, arizonabiltmore.com. Designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright’s and completed with the assistance of Wright himself, the Biltmore is an architectural treasure. We never go to Phoenix without a requisite walk through the grand and superbly preserved lobby — and, of course, it’s a great place to check in as well!

Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa, 5700 East McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley, Tel. 800-245-2051, 480-948-2100, sanctuarycamelback.com. Stop at this legendary retreat just to have lunch at Elements — facing the dazzling view over Paradise Valley and the desert beyond. Or, why not stay the winter in a mountain casita?

Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue, Tel. 602-257-1222, phxart.org. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. From photography to fashion, Picasso to Kahlo, O’Keeffe to Rodin, this is one of the largest and best-loved museums in the Southwest.

ASU Art Museum/Herberger Institute for Design, Nelson Fine Arts Center, 51 East 10th Street, Tempe, Tel. 480-965-2787, asuartmuseum.asu.edu, on the campus of Arizona State University, Tempe. The stunning Center, clothed in the colors of the desert mountain landscape, was designed by noted architect Antoine Predock. Through August 6, 2011, see Andy Warhol: Who, What, Where, drawn from the museum’s gift of 155 Warhol photographs.

IN VENICE
BAUERs Il Palazzo, Calletta dei XIII Martiri, Tel. 39 041 520 70 22, ilpalazzovenezia.com. The ultimate in Venetian luxury in an 18th-century palace on the Grand Canal.

Ca Maria Adele, Dorsoduro, 111, camariaadele.hotelinvenice.com. Fourteen rooms are available (no children) in this attractive small palazzo. Adjacent to Santa Maria della Salute, it is convenient — by vaparetto — to Saint Mark’s square, the Riva degli Schiavoni and the Giardini.

San Clemente Palace Hotel and Resort, Isola di San Clemente, Tel. 39 041 244 50 01, sanclementepalacevenice.com. Located on its own island in the center of the lagoon, the resort has unprecedented views of Piazza San Marco, Guidecca and Lido. There is 24-hour shuttle service to the Piazza San Marco (10 minutes). This is an elegant, full-service “Leading Hotels of the World” resort.

Design Hotel Ca’ Pisani, Dorsoduro, 979A, Tel. 39 041 240 14 11, capisanihotel.it. A modest, four-star boutique hotel on Dorsoduro, Ca’Pisani has 29 rooms and a small restaurant, La Rivista. It is owned by the owners of the more centrally located Sauturnia.

Oltre Il Giardino, Cannaregio, 1045, Tel. 39 041 275 00 15, oltregiardino-veniza.com. This tiny (6 rooms) delight just a stone’s throw from the Church of the Frari is an ARTExpress favorite. The rates are reasonable, the garden lovely, and breakfast amid the blooms is fine.

Domus Orsoni Bed and Breakfast, Cannaregio 1045, Tel. 39 041 275 95 38, domusorsoni.it. A must-stay if you are a fan of glassworks; each of the five rooms is its own work of art.

Vini da Gigio, Cannaregio, 3628, Tel. 39 041 528 5140, vinidagigio.com. Traditional Venetian cuisine; book by fax: 39 041 522 8597.

da Fiore, San Marco 3461, Tel 39 041 52 353 10, dafiore.it. This traditional trattoria will make you feel right at home, and it’s heaven for fish aficionados.

Met Restaurant, Hotel Metropole, Riva degli Schiavoni, 4149, Tel. 39 041 52 050 44, hotelmetropole.com. Fusion cuisine by chef Corrado Fasolato — flavors of the lagoon mixed with tastes of the Orient.

Luigi Bevilacqua Looms, S. Croce 1320, Tel. 39 041 72 15 66, luigi-bevilacqua.com. Fascinating tour of a company that still hand-produces their gorgeous fabrics on 17th- and 18th-century looms; their archive holds over 3,500 original patterns.

IN ROME
MAXXI, National Museum of XXI Century Arts, via Guido Reni, 6, Tel. 06 32 10181, maxi.beniculturali.it. Rome has entered the 21st century in a flash with two architecturally blockbuster museums: MAXXI, by the British powerhouse Zaha Hadid and MACRO, by the hugely talented French architect Odile Decq. It is certainly the ladies’ season here. Walk the ramps of MAXXI and you’ll be captivated by the bold design. Tues., Wed., Fri., Sun. 11-7, Thurs.-Sat. until 10 PM. Closed Monday.

MACRO, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma, via Reggio Emilia, 54; Piazza Orazio Giustiniani, 4 (MACROTESTACCIO); MACRO, via Nizza at via Cagliari, en.macro.roma.museum (in English). The new Odile Decq façade and expansion are at the corner of the old Via Reggio industrial building, facing the juncture of Via Nizza and Via Cagliari. Tues.-Sun. 11 AM-10 PM, closed Monday. The MACRO Testacio branch is open Tues.-Sun. 4 PM-midnight, closed Monday.

IN NEW YORK
Prune Restaurant, 54 East 1st Street at 2nd Avenue, Tel. 212-677-6221, prunerestaurant.com. A simple, almost downscale space, with perhaps the most upscale tastes in the city. You will become a member of the Gabrielle Hamilton fan club!

Travel Bookshelf Portland

Guides & Blogs
Kaie Wellman and Jon Hart. eat.shop portland: A Curated Guide of Inspired and Unique Locally Owned Eating and Shopping Establishments, Cabazon Books, 2010.
Rachel Dresbeck. Insiders’ Guide to Portland, Oregon, Insiders Guide, 2011.
Paul Koberstein. City Smart: Portland, Avalon, 2000.
Elizabeth Lopeman. Best Places Portland, Sasquatch, 2010.
Jeff Jahn. PORT. portlandart.net. Blogger Jahn and his guests keep the pulse on the local art scene.
Katya Laroche. Street Fashion Worldwide: Portland. street-fashion.net/portland-oregon-usa. This is a fun blog that chooses a city every year and asks people to submit photos of what they’re wearing (some great stuff; some screaming “makeover please!”). Also has helpful links to local shops.
Jeff Alworth. BEERVANA. beervana.blogspot.com. Keep up-to-date with all things microbrewery plus beer-centric event dates of Portland.

History & Literature
Peter Donahue, Ed. Reading Portland: The City in Prose, Oregon Historical Society, 2007.

Art & Architecture
William J. Hawkins, III. Classic Houses of Portland, Oregon, 1850-1950, Timber Press, 2005.
Bart King. An Architectural Guide to Portland, Oregon State University, 2005.
Dale Chihuly. Fire, Portland Press, 2006.
Jim Lommasson. Oaks Park Pentimento: Portland’s Lost and Found Carousel Art, Oregon State University, 2009.
Michael Fields, Ed. Invision: A Collection of Visual Art in Portland, Oregon, another sky press, 2007.

S. Isenstadt, K. Frampton and B. Cloepfil. Brad Cloepfil: Allied Works Architecture. G.R. Miller, 2011.

Cuisine
William King. A Chef’s Bounty: Celebrating Oregon’s Cuisine, Arnica, 2007.
Amelia Hard, et al. Portland Food and Drink, portlandfoodanddrink.com.
Brett Burmeister, Lizzy Caston. Food Carts Portland, foodcartsportland.com.

and, strictly for fun . . .
Mysteries
Chelsea Cain. The Night Season, Minotaur, 2011.
Kevin Sampsell, Ed. Portland Noir, Akashic, 2009.
M. J. Zellnik. A Death at the Rose Paperworks, Midnight Ink, 2006.
Lisa Gardner. The Next Accident, Bantam, 2002.

Calendar

Through Apr. 4 Palazzo Grassi, Venice Mapping The Studio: Artists from the Pinault Collection
Through May 1 Minneapolis Institite of Arts Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting
Through May 2 Tate Modern, London The Unilever Series: Ai Weiwei
Through May 15 Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg Blurred: Gerhard Richter
Through May 15 Albertina, Vienna Roy Lichtenstein: Black and White Drawings
Through May 15 Phillips Collection, Washington, DC Philip Guston, Roma
Through May 15 Virginia MFA, Richmond Picasso: Masterpieces from Mus
ée National Picasso, Paris
Through May 15 Hammer Museum, Los Angeles Robert Cuoghi
Through May 22 Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid Jean-Leon Gerome
Through May 22 Barbican Gallery, London Laurie Anderson, Trisha Brown, Gordon Matta-Clark
Through May 22 Portland (OR) Art Museum Riches of a City: Portland Collects
Through May 29 Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek Picasso: Peace and Freedom
Through May 29 MCA, Chicago Seeing is a Kind of Thinking: a Jim Nutt Companion
Through June 5 Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield Shirin Neshat: Soliloquy
Through June 5 LACMA, Los Angeles Vija Celmins: Televison and Disaster
Through June 5 Whitney Museum, New York Glenn Ligon: America
Through June 6 MoMA, New York Picasso: Guitars 1912-1914
Through June 11 National Gallery, Washington, DC Gauguin: Maker of Myth
Through June 26 MAXXI, Rome Michelanagelo Pistoletto: From One to Many 1956-74
Through June 26 MCA (Downtown) San Diego Jennifer Steinkamp: Madame Curie
Through July 4 Centre Pompidou, Paris François Morellet
Through July 11 Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris The Caillebotte Brothers
Through July 13 New Museum, New York Lynda Benglis
Through July 17 Palazzo Strozzi, Florence Angry Young Men: Picasso, Miró, Dalí

Through July 31 Phoenix Art Museum Living With Art: Gifts from the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Coll.
Through Aug. 14 Brooklyn Museum, New York Sam Taylor-Wood: Ghosts
Through Aug. 16 Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena Surface Truths: Abstract Painting in the Sixties
Through Aug. 31 MOCA, Los Angeles Art in the Streets
Apr. 3 - July 24 LACMA, Los Angeles David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy
Apr. 5 - July 3 Musée d’Orsay, Paris Manet: The Man Who Invented Modern
Apr. 6 - 10 Zona Mexico Arte Contemporaneo (Mexico City)
Apr. 8 - 10 Dallas Art Fair (Contemporary)

Apr. 12 - Sept. 11 Guggenheim Bilbao The Luminous Integral
Apr. 13 - 17 Art Cologne
Apr. 13 - 17 Art Shanghai
Apr. 13 - Aug. 28 Met, New York Richard Serra Drawing
Apr. 14 - Aug. 19 Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin Stella/Calatrava
Apr. 15 - 18 SOFA, New York (Sculpture, Objects and Functional Art)
Apr. 15 - July 17 Museum Ludgwig, Cologne Vija Celmins: Desert, Sea and Stars
Apr. 26 - Aug. 7 Getty Museum, Los Angeles Paris: Life and Luxury
Apr. 29 - May 2 Art Chicago/Next
May 11 - 15 Art Amsterdam
May 13 - June 20 Grand Palais, Paris Monumenta 2011: Anish Kapoor
May 20 - Sept.11 O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe Shared Intelligence: American Painting and the Photograph
May 21 - Sept. 6 SFMOMA, San Francisco The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso the Parisian Avant-Garde

May 22 - Sept. 4 Hammer Museum, Los Angeles Paul Thek: A Retrospective
May 27 - Sept.11 Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels Jeff Wall: the Crooked Path
May 29 - Oct. 2 Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice Ileana Sonnabend: an Italian Portrait
June 4 - Nov. 27 54th Venice Biennale, ILLUMinations
June 13 - 19 Verge Art Fair/Volta Art Fair, Basel
June 14 - 19 Liste-Yong Art Fair/Scope, Basel
June 15 - 19 Art/42/Basel

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