Some of you may remember Foster Art Night. Some of you may have even participated. There were walking maps with stops at bars along Foster, each agreeing to showcase art on the walls; there were art openings at NWIPA; at its peak, there was even a salon in the flat above Starday Tavern (then Bob and Alice’s), in which poetry was read, live music was performed, art was shared, and lots of wine was poured.
It was short-lived, though. And at the time, the art scene on Foster was very much more under ground. It was also a hard task selling people on an art walk that was more resembling of a pub crawl and somewhat short on art. But it was a start. And at the very least, it was something to get people onto Foster a few times a year. And, typically, it really was only a few. But there were also nights that the Foster Road Salon packed in a few dozen people.
Then it fizzled and went away.
Fast forward a few years.
The Foster Window Project happened: Two art galleries have opened (with a third rumored to be in the works). NWIPA and an assortment of other bars (and Pieper Cafe, too) still rotate artwork on their walls. And the artists who organize Craft Night at Bar Carlo have recently celebrated eight years of the weekly event, and they’re as strong as ever. You can even find art for sale at Backstory Books.
It’s safe to say, Foster’s art scene is no longer under ground.
And a group of people want to nudge it along and bring more of that artistic energy to the forefront of the neighborhood.
Enter “Second Saturdays” on Foster.
Second Saturday will commence March 12, with a joint-artist showing hosted by Backstory Books (6010 SE Foster) and Latchkey Gallery (6004 SE Foster), with assists from Wild at Heart Salon and Velvet Goldmine. Remember, these businesses help anchor a burgeoning two-block commercial stretch of Foster that has seen an influx of new businesses and storefront improvements over the last couple years. There’s food (Nayar, Tambayan, Torta), retail (Green Noise, Velvet Goldmine, Backstory, and Meticon Bikes), drink (FoPo Tavern) and art (Latchkey), all combining to make an increasingly vibrant node on Foster.
Second Saturday will offer a chance to support these local businesses, as well as the arts. Can’t forget the arts! Local artist, Meg McHutchison, will be featured at Latchkey Gallery (noon to 6), but accompanied by several other artist with work on display, too. Backstory Books will be featuring the work of Meg McGuinness (from 4 – 8 pm), but they, too, will have other artwork on display. Both places have an assortment of locally made crafts, trinkets, and other items for sale too.
The goal for Second Saturday is to start small and proclaim that art is alive and well on Foster, and perhaps get a few of you out for support. With a little momentum, other artists and businesses participating, and warmer and drier weather ahead, the goal is to have a full-on Foster art walk for the summer months. Just to consider the range of options along the corridor: there’s I’ve Been Framed, Foster Row and their assortment of artists and makers, the aforementioned Latchkey and Backstory, BenWill Studio, Performance Works NW, SMART Collective and I Heart Retro, and even the Portland Mercado. When considering the businesses and bars that could participate along the way, there is a lot of potential to be realized.
Consider showing up on March 12; bring a friend in April; tell your neighbors in May; and make it a full-on party during the summer.