Second Saturday Foster Art Walk enters the summer months

Well, all of the sudden it doesn’t quite feel so summer-y. But as gloomy as this coming weekend may be, you can brighten it up a bit with art and patronage of your local businesses. Foster’s Second Saturday art walk is this Saturday.

You should be there.

Go for the art. Stick around for the snacks, beer and wine. Get to know your neighbors and local (and not so local) artists. Support Foster’s art galleries and small businesses.

Here’s where to go:

lipsticksquare_Proof1Champagne Room Gallery (5330 SE Foster, June 10 from 5-8 p.m.)
MANIC MUNDANE, featuring artworks and handmade accessories by artist INTERROBANGBANG!
About the artist: “INTERROBANGBANG! turns ordinary objects and imagery into saturated, quirky works of postmodern fantasy. Inspired by the big-eyed aesthetics of 1960s lowbrow art and industrial design of household items, Interro’s mixed media works and wearable accessories emerge from a self-consciously impulsive place, where blank stares and everyday objects are simply shapes to be combined with colors. Interior Bang Bang lives and creates in South Florida.”

Darling Press (5330 SE Foster, June 10 from 5-9 p.m.)
Art opening with Brooke Walker-Knoblich, featuring her oil-painted landscapes

18881862_1330023347045924_693805453393413355_nPo’ Boy Art Framing & Gallery (5444 SE Foster, June 10 from 2-8 p.m.)
Marq Spusta and Tyler Stout art show, featuring art prints, rock and movie posters, several artist/vendors, and live music from DJ Joel Barber
About the artists: “Marq Spusta was born in 1977 in Madison, Wisconsin. He was drawing prolifically within moments of leaving the womb. Marq continued developing his art along side graphic design while attending the UW-Stout. Marq has been living and working on the West Coast for nearly a decade, creating concert posters, album covers and all kinds of prints. His variety of subjects and projects are related in the same mind-spring that his illustrative and cartoonish nature can muster. His variety of projects ranges from designs of concert posters (Dinosaur Jr., Widespread Panic, Soundgarden, Further) to exhibiting intricate paintings, prints and beer bottle packaging. His “world” of characters is reminiscent of a fresh and original memory of Alice In Wonderland meets Where The Wild Things Are, doused with an arty hot-sauce formula that is the signature of the cartoonish intricacy that makes it a Marq Spusta.

“Tyler Stout has done posters for awhile, he lives in Brush Prairie Washington.”

Latchkey Gallery (6004 SE Foster)
* We’re not sure who’s featured, but this little gallery is well worth the visit.

EW_BIOPIC_1024x1024Flat Blak Gallery (6006 SE Foster, June 10 from 6-9 p.m.)
Elizabeth Waggett, opening reception, Gilded Works on Paper
About the Artist: “Eminently modern and free spirited Elizabeth’s artwork focuses on the confusion of today’s modern society.  She challenges the viewer to confront the relationship between humanity’s preconceived notions of value and worth, in our consumable world.  The Gold Standard, which has been used for centuries, is a perfect representation of humanity’s obsession with vain and valueless beauty….Elizabeth is a British Artist and Designer currently residing and maintaining full time studio practice in New York City. Her work has been exhibited widely in the UK, USA and the UAE, where she began her career with her sell out solo show in the capital,  Abu Dhabi.  Most recently she has completed a commission for HRH The Prince of Wales and had a solo show at Soho House.  Her works are held in private collections in North America, Bahrain, Europe, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.    Various publications such as Cheshire Life Magazine,  Art Zealous, The Art Gorgeous,  Juxtapoze, Anti Heroin Chic, AIMO and Fashion Week have all covered Elizabeth’s work.  She holds an honours degree in Fashion and a postgraduate in Design from the University of Manchester.” (Read the full bio here)

Wild at Heart Salon (6008 SE Foster)
Artist Kim Davies will be featured in the salon, showing off her bright acrylic works

Backstory Books (6010 SE Foster, June 10 from 4-8 p.m.)
Cut paper art of Jen Rombach, whose “work is often political, such as the awesome March for Science posters she made in April.

Have fun, y’all. And don’t hesitate to get a drink or bite to eat somewhere on Foster along the way. Make a night out of it.

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Building boom continues

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As proposed, a 3-story, 15-unit apartment building may rise at this location,

Just to be clear, there is no actual building boom on Foster. To date, only one of the residential projects proposed for the commercial strip in the last year has actually been built—or even begun construction, for that matter. And that project, which added 30 apartments to 5811 SE Boise, is not technically on Foster (though, it’s close enough).

However, three other projects—the former Busy Bee lot, the YMCA rebuild, and 72Foster—are in the planning process. And combined, they’d add 188 units of housing to the corridor in mixed-use developments. That would constitute a building boom in these parts.

And those three projects could eventually be joined by a fourth, just off Foster at SE 61st.

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As proposed, a three-story residential building would rise at 6103 SE Cora and offer 15 rental units. Tucked just off of Foster and within site of the proposed YMCA project, adding more housing to this corner of the neighborhood could help boost the commercial strip on either side of Foster—there’s Kilroy’s Tattoo, Tambayan Filipino restaurant, Backstory Books, Flat Blak and Latchkey galleries, and Wild at Heart Salon on one side of the street; Meticon bike shop, Nayar Taqueria, and vacant storefront on the other; Torta-landia and Botanica dispensary are just around the corner.

It’s unclear if the entire project would be built on one single lot, as Portlandmaps lists to properties at 6103 SE Cora—one is a single family home on a 5,000 square-foot lot, the other is a Comcast utility station also on a 5,000 square-foot lot. The former was recently sold in November, 2016, so we’ll assume that’s the property being developed. Stay tuned as more details emerge.


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From hogs to scooters–Foster’s quick evolution in photo

Well, how’s this for a contrast? The recent and ongoing evolution of Foster might best be captured in these two photos—remnants of the biker scene that existed not long ago, and the newly opened vegan restaurant that replaced a string of bars that have occupied the space (RIP Gemini Lounge!) over the years.

The Foster as we know it may very well be a thing of the past. Or not (as you only have to walk a couple blocks—if that—to find the refreshing grit that was once more prevalent).

But if it is, indeed, changing. This is the proof in the proverbial pudding.

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Throwback Thursday

You all know about Foster’s Second Saturday Art Walk. But who remembers Foster Art Night, its earlier and unrelated incarnation that helped lay the foundation for a regular art event in the ‘hood?

I’m guessing not many.

Today we’re going back a half-decade, a time when Foster was still finding itself, was a little rougher around the edges, and folks were very content with the “unpolished cool” of a mostly-overlooked neighborhood on the fringes of SE Portland…one that had a vibrant-in-its-own-right night life and unlikely arts scene.

Now that I think about it, I miss that Foster.

Much love to the old Foster United crew, Crafty Underdog, and all the people and businesses that supported Foster Art Night back in the day. Here’s a look back at 2012 (click here for the original):

Foster Art Night is Nearly Upon Us

Time to do your Foster boogie.  This Saturday

Check the lineup.  Figure out when and where you’ll join in the fun.  The FAN fun.

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The Bob, reborn?

Leave it to an old, rusty and defunct theater to make my heart flutter, cause confusion, and give me a terribly familiar headache.

Thanks to the Twitter-verse, we were alerted to the fact that the Bob White Theater is for lease. Cue shortness of breath. Then cue ensuing, “nah, we’ve been fooled one too many times.” We just couldn’t dismiss it, though. So we checked it out for ourselves.

IMG_7534Indeed, there is space (indoors and outdoors) for lease at “The Bob.”

That’s the good news.

The bad news: the space available for lease is not the theater. In other words, the theater is still being used for lord-knows-what. Probably car storage. Rather, the unused lobby is for lease, as is the alleyway space outside.

It’s not the grand return to glory that we envisioned for the theater. But it’s a start.

In case you’re looking for ideas, here’s what the Twitter-verse had to say on the matter:

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 7.09.48 AM

At this point, anything works for us. Mostly. I’ll just add….we could really go for a place to get some ice cream right about now.

But what could the space actually accommodate? The lobby fronts Foster and would make neighbors out of Bar Carlo. That’s the selling point. So, too, is the cheap rent–we hear it’s going for $450/month. The drawback: you’re only getting 150-200 square feet of space.

The adjoining alley is where the potential magic is, though. Also going for a reasonable $450/month, it’s being marketed as a space for a food cart(s). Assuming a seating area, this could make good use of the space and make for a funky addition to the strip.

No theater. But for now, the Bob White story remains slightly alive.

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Happy Weekend, Foster People!

Well, I suppose at this point we’re just going to skip spring altogether and jump right into summer. The next 10 days call for a range of mid-70s to upper-80s. And one day in the 90s. Ahhhgeeyaah!

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– With the weather taking a decidedly positive turn, we thought we’d remind you that outdoor dining and drinking options abound on Foster. Here’s a quick rundown: Speedboat Coffee, Carts on Foster and Pod Bar, Devil’s Point, Foster Burger, An Xuyen, Slingshot, FoPo Tavern, Nayar Taqueria, Bar Maven, NWIPA, Bar Carlo, Pieper Cafe, Starday Tavern, Da Hui, Off The Griddle, O’Malley’s, Portland Mercado and….wait for it…Foster Gardens.

– Also, don’t forget, Bar Maven is doing brunch on the weekends. Get on some of that…

– And while we’re talking food, Bar Carlo has new menus. We especially dig the ‘soup and grilled cheese’ addition to the happy hour menu.

– There are now three large-scale mixed-use projects planned for Foster in the near term. We discussed the latest plans for the project at the west end of Foster, just next to Speedboat Coffee, earlier in the week. Times are a changing…

– Here’s your weekend entertainment:
Starday Tavern- Buzz Holland Band w/Paula Sinclair (6 pm) and The Amber Harlan Trio-It’s the Right Time (9 pm), Friday; Long Knife Record Release Party, Saturday at 10 pm
Day TheaterPortland Radio Project Pop-up Music Fest, Sunday 3 – 7 pm
Barrio- Live Music w/Coronation, Sunday at 2 pm

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