JON RAYMOND IN CONVERSATION WITH PETER ROCK AT NATIONALE

Nationale is excited to host a special friends & family event in celebration of Jon Raymond's new novel FREEBIRD (Graywolf Press). Join us on Tuesday, March 7 (7 p.m.) for a conversation between Jon and fellow Portland writer, Peter Rock at Nationale.

Jon Raymond in Conversation with Peter Rock
Tuesday, March 7 (7 p.m.)
Nationale
3360 SE Division St.
Portland, OR 97215

BIOS
Jon Raymond
is the author of Rain Dragon and The Half-Life, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2004, and the short-story collection Livability, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and winner of the Oregon Book Award. He is also the screenwriter of the film Meek's Cutoff and co-writer of the films Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy, both based on his short fiction, and the film Night Moves. He cowrote the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce, winner of five Emmy Awards. Raymond's writing has appeared in Tin House, the Village Voice, Bookforum, Artforum, and other publications. He lives in Portland, OR.

Peter Rock has published eight works of fiction, most recently Klickitat. He lives in Portland, OR with his wife and two fierce young daughters, and teaches writing at Reed College. His novel-within-photographs, Spells, will be published by Counterpoint in April. The adaptation of his novel My Abandonment, directed by Debra Granik, will begin filming in Portland this Spring.

TEXT MEANS TISSUE // PUBLICATION RELEASE & READING

With more than 30 contributing artists, "Text means Tissue" is the accompanying publication to Francesca Capone's solo exhibition, currently on view at Nationale. Please join us at Nationale this Sunday, February 26 (3–5p.m.) for the release & reading. Come help us celebrate this extraordinary project and see the show one more time!

Readings by: Francesca Capone, Patricia No, Anahita Jamali Rad, Alayna Rasile Digrindakis, Catie Hannigan, and Molly Schaeffer.

Thank you to all the contributors: Alexandra Barlow, Anna-Sophie Berger, Jen Bervin, Amaranth Borsuk, Tess Brown-Lavoie, Charity Coleman, Corina Copp, Elizabeth Crawford, Alayna Rasile Digrindakis, Ricki Dwyer, Catie Hannigan, Marwa Helal, Emily Hunt, Lucy Ives, Rin Johnson, Mariette Lamson, Sophia Le Fraga, Monica McClure, Helen Mirra, Katy Mongeau, Kristen Mueller, Vi Khi Nao, Patricia No, Antonia Pinter, Anahita Jamali Rad, Emmalea Russo, Molly Schaeffer, Martha Tuttle, Rachel Valinsky, Cecilia Vicuña, Rosmarie Waldrop, Tali Weinberg, and Laura A. Warman.

AMY BERNSTEIN & CARSON ELLIS // ALCU OF OREGON ART AUCTION

Carson Ellis' donation to the ALCU of Oregon's Liberty Dinner Art Auction

Carson Ellis' donation to the ALCU of Oregon's Liberty Dinner Art Auction

Gallery artists Amy Bernstein and Carson Ellis are honored to be included in the ACLU of Oregon's Art Auction at their Liberty Dinner this Friday, February 24th. For more info on the Liberty Dinner, please follow THIS LINK. And for those attending, be sure to raise those paddles to support a more than worthy cause: civil liberties!

Amy Bernstein's Soft Mechanics will be up for auction at the ALCU of Oregon's Liberty Dinner

Amy Bernstein's Soft Mechanics will be up for auction at the ALCU of Oregon's Liberty Dinner

INTERVIEW: FRANCESCA CAPONE

Artist, writer, and textile designer, Francesca Capone shares her thoughts on her solo show at Nationale, Text means Tissue.

Gabi Lewton-Leopold: This new body of work (exhibition and book) Text means Tissue, your 2015 project Writing in Threads, and 2012 publication Weaving Language all explore the relationship between weaving/textiles and language. When did this conversation between two seemingly disparate forms begin for you?

Francesca Capone: I started experimenting with weaving and writing during my time on the Jacquard loom at RISD. I began exploring how the repeat function of the loom could affect the metrics of the poems I was writing, and my framework for working in this way began. In 2009, I started interning and studio assisting for Jen Bervin, who has worked with text and textiles for many years, and whose thinking deeply influenced me. The more I reflect upon this question though, the more I start to convince myself that it's actually ingrained in me, as well. In the house I grew up in, my great-grandmother's ruby pink embroidered Italian alphabet sampler takes a prominent space in the kitchen. My mother makes fine leather gloves for a living—gloves, this particular garment that clothe the hands, which are so deeply emotive of language. I've found that expression through textile is actually a part of my family history, though I came to it on my own.

Francesca Capone, unsaid, unsung, unstrung (THKC), 2016, cotton and reflective thread on wood, 24 x 36"

Francesca Capone, unsaid, unsung, unstrung (THKC), 2016, cotton and reflective thread on wood, 24 x 36"

GLL: The two most recent projects, Writing in Threads and Text means Tissue involved many collaborators—for the former, writers responded to your work and with this current series, writers responded to the question you posed about the connection between textile, language, the body, and femininity. I imagine that weaving in the studio is a solitary exercise and that making a publication with many contributors is a welcome counter. Can you talk about why collaboration is important to you?

FC: That's very true. I don't want to be a lone weaver speaking only to herself. In my experience, the best art happens in the push-pull of dialogue. I want to know what other people think, how they feel, I want to feel challenged, comforted, and inspired. I want to make work that is generous, and share the opportunities I have to create platforms for the work of others, not just my own. Collaboration always makes things more interesting, and the more I involve my community, the better the work is. I feel so fortunate to know so many talented artists and writers, and being in conversation with them drives the work I do on my loom.

Cover of Francesca's book Text means Tissue, which includes over 30 contributing writers

Cover of Francesca's book Text means Tissue, which includes over 30 contributing writers

GLL: Looking back at your weavings from Writing in Threads (shown at 99c Plus Gallery in NYC), it seems that you've moved towards a more focused, pared down direction in both form and color. In Text means Tissue, you take the form of the written page as a starting point to develop your imagery. How do you see the weavings from these two series as connecting and diverging from one another?

FC: I made two weavings inspired by the aesthetics of the written page in 2012 while I was at the Haystack residency, and then put those ideas aside until most recently. These two weavings were a jumping off point for my formal choices in Text means Tissue. In 2014, while I was working on Writing in Threads, I focused on generating a wide variety of woven forms, fibers and colors, since those weavings would then be "translated" by different writers. I tried to create aesthetic diversity for the written outcomes. So the work didn't really evolve in the way that the Text means Tissue work did, because I was always trying to make something completely different every time. With Text means Tissue, the intent was to create weavings with a similar process to how I might sit down to write something. I wanted to create the experience of being in front of an empty page, with just my mind, and whatever was passing through it. It's quite a meditative task. I'd start weaving a blank substrate (usually in a white, black, or ivory yarn—neutral or "blank" colors), and wait to see what passed through my mind, and then record it in the weaving. One formal objective I kept in mind while weaving was empathy, creating spaces for the eyes and mind to rest. The back and forth of the lines that appear in this work is inspired by boustrophedon, which is the form that western writing took before there were spaces and lines as we now know them—this occurred in Ancient Greek, among some other languages. Boustrophedon means "as the ox turns," and it is a natural conceptual and formal fit for the movement of a woven line.

Francesca Capone, There's a knot where I was picked pure (KM), 2017, cotton, metallic thread, reflective thread, and polyester rope on wood, 36 x 24"

Francesca Capone, There's a knot where I was picked pure (KM), 2017, cotton, metallic thread, reflective thread, and polyester rope on wood, 36 x 24"

GLL: I love the material choices in these works. You go from super natural fiber, non-dyed cotton to very "futuristic" appearing materials—reflective thread, metallic cord, and Mylar. How did you come to combine these materials in your work?

FC: Material choices are a kind of vocabulary. Weaving can have a misconception of being an antiquated craft, but it's really just like any other medium—there's always new ways to reinvent it, and make it feel relevant for today. Through my commercial work in the textile industry, I'm exposed to the newest innovations in fibers as part of my day to day. Weaving with the materials that have come on the market more recently makes me feel connected to this moment in time. I especially love mixing old and new, and finding ways to integrate the futuristic stuff with other fibers that are tried and true, like wool and cotton. Our culture is all about new new new, but really it's impossible for all objects to be new—the new objects just layer onto the old, and I find this strange and fascinating.

Francesca Capone, I'm trying to tell you something about how rearranging words rearranges the universe (MH), 2016, cotton, reflective thread, and Mylar on wood, 24 x 18"

Francesca Capone, I'm trying to tell you something about how rearranging words rearranges the universe (MH), 2016, cotton, reflective thread, and Mylar on wood, 24 x 18"

GLL: You have a chair in the exhibition that is a collaboration between you and furniture designer, LikeMindedObjects. For me, this piece is a reminder that textiles are often functional. Do you often make functional weavings? How do you think textiles change when given these different contexts and purposes?

FC: Though I have designed functional textiles, the chair is really the first that I've handwoven. There's something really special about it I think—and it was palpable through the whole process. My interest in making the chair was purely conceptual. I wanted to create a situation where the idea of a textile supporting a body was conveyed quite literally, since a big part of the show was exploring ways that textiles have supported the lives of women. I felt really connected to women's history as I was weaving it. I was reminded of women in antiquity, and I was humbled by the consideration that before the industrial revolution, there was a cotton industry of women in America who hand wove fabric for sheets, clothing, dresses, pants—everything. I wove fabric on an enormous AVL loom during a residency at A-Z West in Andrea Zittel's weaving studio, accompanied by two other weavers, Ricki Dwyer and Elena Yu. It took me three full workdays of non-stop weaving to make the fabric for the chair. I used a flyshuttle to efficiently weave 60 inches from selvedge to selvedge, a swinging the shuttle for every pick. Nowadays, nearly all fabrics are made by mechanical looms. It's easy to disregard labor when something is machine-made, making textile objects feel disposable, not at all precious. In contrast, it feels really special to sit in the chair, since it was woven with the same amount of care, time, and thoughtfulness as the weavings on the wall. I really hope that people feel connected to Elsie (LikeMindedObjects) and I when they sit on the chair, and I hope they feel supported. 

Francesca Capone + LikeMindedObjects, I don't know how people have enough time, I feel like I am falling through mine (ML), 2016, cotton, glow in the dark cord, reflective thread, and metallic cord on bent steel, 41 x 41 x 32"

Francesca Capone + LikeMindedObjects, I don't know how people have enough time, I feel like I am falling through mine (ML), 2016, cotton, glow in the dark cord, reflective thread, and metallic cord on bent steel, 41 x 41 x 32"

GLL: The notion of design and functional objects also reminds me of your day job as a textile designer at a large sportswear company. Can you talk about how these worlds collide in your daily life and studio practice?  

FC: My studio practice and my commercial work are pretty separate, most of the time. As I mentioned before however, my awareness of contemporary material culture is heightened because of my commercial work, and this undoubtedly influences my palette of yarn choices. My studio practice is driven by my personal experience, my relationships with other poets and artists, and my conceptual interests in language and textile. In contrast, my commercial work really has nothing to do with me as an individual, aside from harnessing my ability to research, my taste in textile, and my technical knowledge—it's more about the consumer that I am designing for. It's almost like using two completely separate parts of my brain, and as time passes, it's become much easier for me to switch gears. I think the way that I use my hands really helps define my studio practice—I touch every thread of every weaving that I make and I push type around in InDesign to carefully make the book—it is all very slow-going, a lot of thoughtfulness and time goes into it. My commercial work takes great focus, but it happens in a fast paced, collaborative design environment, and then the fabrics are all machine made, so the processes and outcomes are significantly different. I think there's a lot to be learned from trying to distinguish this space between art and design, personal work and commercial work, and I find opportunities for intersections to be challenging and exciting. I think that is why the chair is my favorite piece in the show, it raises a lot of questions in this arena.

Installation image of Text means Tissue

Installation image of Text means Tissue

GLL: This may sound a bit off topic, but I'm so curious about how you organize your time! You are so insanely productive and driven, working in many different arenas—weaving studio, book designing, writing, and working a demanding day job. How do you stay focused?

FC: I think for this show I might have pushed my multitasking to the limit! I was pretty reclusive for about 6 months, so I could get all the weaving and editing done. Really it comes down to awareness of the limited hours in the day, and attempting to divvy it all up into everything you want to do. It's exhausting to burn the candle at both ends, but I've been fortunate in that both ends of the candle are interesting to me, so it feels good. I think the desire to keep making keeps me focused.

BERNSTEIN / COUNTS / MALASKA & THE OCAC AUCTION PREVIEW

Gallery artists Amy Bernstein, Emily Counts, and Elizabeth Malaska all have work in Oregon College of Art and Craft's upcoming Art on the Vine auction supporting student scholarships. The official auction is April 8th, 2017 at the Portland Art Museum, but this coming Sunday, January 29th (2–5pm) there will be a preview party of the work included in the auction at OCAC's Hoffman Gallery. More details can be found HERE. If you can't make it Sunday, no worries! The work will remain on view until February 4th.

Hoffman Gallery, OCAC Campus
8245 SW Barnes Road, Portland 97225

ANNOUNCING LE OUI

Back in early December, gallery artist Carson Ellis approached me to see if we could help her with an idea she had: she had just finished her family's holiday card and thought the design would make an amazing poster. Since the elections, she'd also been wanting to do a benefit for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Putting the two ideas together, together we produced ONWARD, silk-screened locally here in Portland. The first run sold out in just a few days raising $5600.

The experience of producing Onward with Ellis led to many sleepless nights with fast running thoughts about the state of the world; the madness & challenges of running a small art gallery in Portland, OR; and on a more personal level, what I love most doing: working with inspiring artists whose work is not only beautiful but also thought provoking.

And so with the second printing of Carson's Onward, we launched Le Oui, an offshoot of Nationale. The first batch of prints sold out within a few hours on Inauguration Day, but you can sign up to be on the alert list HERE (leoui--001 will always be an open edition so we can raise more funds for the ACLU).

With Le Oui, our goal is to closely collaborate with established and emerging artists to eventually release limited edition silkscreen prints and donate part of the proceeds to organizations fighting for social justice and equality.

EMILY COUNTS FEATURED IN SEATTLE GROUP SHOW

Emily Counts' Basic Diagram (2016) now on view in Migratory Paths at Tashiro Kaplan Lofts in Seattle

Emily Counts' Basic Diagram (2016) now on view in Migratory Paths at Tashiro Kaplan Lofts in Seattle

Seattle friends! Check out Migratory Paths, a group exhibition featuring work by gallery artist Emily Counts and curated by Julie Alexander at the Tashiro Kaplan Lofts. The show features four Seattle-based artists whose work is "tactile, object based and engages the viewer’s body."  Exhibiting artists include:  Emily Counts, Marisa Manso, Tuan Nguyen, Dori Scherer. Gallery hours and more info can be found HERE.  

Upcoming hours are:
Open hours: Friday 1/27 and Saturday 1/28 from 12-4pm
Open for the First Thursday Art Walk 2/2, from 6-8pm
Closing reception: Saturday Feb 4th from 12-3pm

Tashiro Kaplan Lofts
300 South Washington

DU IZ TAK? RECEIVES CALDECOTT HONOR

Congratulations to gallery artist Carson Ellis for her recent Caldecott Honor for her amazing book, Du Iz Tak?. The Caldecott is an annual honor awarded by the Association for Library Service to Children, part of the American Library Association, recognizing the "most distinguished" picture books for children. Here's what they had to say about Du Iz Tak?:

A diverse community of anthropomorphic bugs is intrigued by an unfurling sprout. Carson Ellis deftly depicts the mysteries of life in an imaginary, natural world. Through intricate details and the witty humor of a made-up language, “Du Iz Tak?” is a treasure trove of visual and linguistic literacy.

Follow THIS link to read about Carson's fellow honorees and the Caldecott Medal winner. Congrats to all!

NATIONALE CLOSED 1/21 FOR THE WOMEN'S MARCH

"the struggle continues" / mai 68 poster

"the struggle continues" / mai 68 poster

We encourage you to turn the TV off today and visit art galleries, museums, libraries, and bookstores at a time when culture & education are so important. Nationale will be open regular hours from noon to 6pm on Friday. On Saturday the gallery will be closed so we can attend and support the Women's March.

PADA PANEL DISCUSSION: SHAPING EMERGING ARTISTS 1/21

Please join gallery artist Elizabeth Malaska and Nationale Assistant Director, Gabi Lewton-Leopold for a PADA panel discussion alongside: Stephanie Chefas, gallerist; Rory ONeal, artist; Michelle Ross, artist and teacher; and Peter Simensky, teacher and artist at Blackfish Gallery. The panel will be discussing important questions surrounding emerging artists in our community, such as: What are the forces shaping the development of Portland's emerging artists? How do arts professionals in Portland negotiate the trick dance between creativity and commerce?

Saturday, January 21, 2017
2-3pm
Blackfish Gallery
420 SW 9th Ave

The talk is free and open to the public!

"THE ARTISTS RESIST" / AMY BERNSTEIN FEATURED IN THE MERCURY

Many thanks to Megan Burbank, at The Portland Mercury, for her inspiring article, THE ARTISTS RESIST about how art can help us through these bleak political times (as it has so many times before!). 

Burbank writes, "...if you’re looking for an aesthetic refuge from the 24-hour news cycle, pop in to see the shop’s January show of Amy Bernstein’s minimalist paintings. A Lover’s Race features neatly elegant constructions—bright blobs of color on white canvases that seem to blend into the wall—and after months of trying to make sense of Trump tweets, it’s a relief to get away from screens and in front of abstract pieces. Nationale’s accompanying copy calls the show an attempt to reach the 'heart within the chaos,' which is exactly what it was for me on a recent weekday visit."

Check out the article for other great exhibitions and programming happening now to, as Burbank puts it, "preserve your sanity"!

 

THE NEED FOR BOOKS // FREDRIK AVERIN & DELPHINE BEDIENT

THE NEED FOR BOOKS
bookmakers, collectors, writers

DATE CHANGE:
Sunday, January 22 (3–5 p.m.)
Short talk by Fredrik Averin at 3:30 p.m.


If you go home with somebody, and they don't have books, don't f**k 'em! –John Waters

Calling all book lovers! Nationale is excited to kick off 2017 with a book event featuring bookmaker/designer/collector Fredrik Averin, and writer/maker/publisher Delphine Bedient. Join us for an informative afternoon, which will include a short talk from Averin about his extensive vintage book collection, browse the books made by these two innovative local artists, and help us celebrate Bedient’s most recent book, Every Single Piece of Blue Clothing That I Currently Own. Nationale will also be highlighting one of our most beloved publishers, Haymarket Books, who brought us Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me (our bestseller) and more recently, Angela Davis’ Freedom Is a Constant Struggle, to name just a few. The Need for Books marks the first in a series of events highlighting our library and the work of inspiring bookmakers.

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Fredrik Averin received his MFA from Konstfack – University College of Arts, Crafts, and Design in 1998. His work is included in the following libraries: University of Oregon, University of Washington, University of Buffalo, Columbia University, Stanford University, SFMOMA, and MACBA: Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, and in Portland, OR, at Division Leap, Passages Bookshop, and Nationale. Averin currently lives and works in Portland, OR.

Delphine Bedient is a writer and maker currently based in Portland, OR. She writes fiction and also runs Sincerely Analog Press, which publishes conceptually-minded books focusing on the contemporary ephemera and marginalia of human existence. Her writing has been published by Blunderbuss Magazine and Fog Machine, and a collection of her short fiction, entitled Down and Out on a Yacht, is available from Two Plum Press. She spends most of her time touching books.

 

INTERVIEW: JAIK FAULK

Gallery artist Jaik Faulk discusses his fifth solo exhibition at Nationale (!), "I feel alright with azaleas around." 

Gabi Lewton-Leopold: This is the first series you've shown at Nationale that focuses solely on the still life genre. We've seen elements of this in other series—abstracted paintings of objects or flowers, but they are typically accompanied by a healthy dose of the figure. What brought you to this space that focuses completely on painting objects with a clear nod to the still life tradition (skulls, flowers, vases)? Do you see it as a departure or as an extension of your past work? 

Jaik Faulk, Dark Skull and Bottle, 2016, oil on linen stretched over panel, 18.25 x 21.5" 

Jaik Faulk, Dark Skull and Bottle, 2016, oil on linen stretched over panel, 18.25 x 21.5" 

Jaik Faulk: Man, this question actually has thrown me for a loop. I was going to be wishy-washy and say it's a little bit of both (an extension as well as a departure) in some ways. But I will say firmly that it is an extension of my previous work. 

The big difference is that these paintings come from direct observation. I constructed these little arrangements and still lifes with painted bottles, handmade flowers (as well as flowers I've gathered from my neighborhood), and skulls that I have collected and painted. My work up until now has always resulted from collected images—painting as a direct response to the archive I've amassed in numerous sketchbooks and carried about. They've aged and torn and become discolored and I had always found it to be a nice little secret world to pull from. At some point I found myself searching and searching this archive and nothing grabbed my attention. I felt like I had hit a brick wall with that method of working. So, in response I began creating these little studio sculptures and arrangements. I set them up and lit them—moved them a bit here and there and began tinkering with these things in a more tangible way. I've toyed with this sort of thing for quite awhile but somehow it stuck this time. I guess I have such an attachment to portraiture and the figure that it was hard to allow myself to let it go. 

I find something very measured and nuanced in working this new way. It's really spooky how a studio practice can evolve and take you to places you never could've imagined. So there ya go: Extension vs Departure ?? Who knows. I could make a case for both, I guess.

A cardboard flower arrangement in Jaik's studio 

A cardboard flower arrangement in Jaik's studio 

GLL: It's like you took all the 2D imagery you usually work from in your sketchbooks and made it 3D in your studio—as if all the elements you collected and set up for these paintings were sketches in themselves. Your studio become your sketchbook and where you'd normally pull magazine fragments, you collected real objects. Something kinda magical about that idea. Can you talk more about your studio process with this series, what your setup is like and what materials you used. 

JF: In the studio I have little clusters of arrangements all around so each angle that I am painting from varies. These objects and things are ever-present, they create a vibe in the studio that I've always wanted to be in the work. Many a time I found myself saying "ah I wish I could just have a show in my studio, or I wish I could open my studio up to the viewers." Perhaps I thought that the thinking and logic in my paintings would be more apparent that way? But I'm not sure if that's the way it works. 

It is very much a painter's studio; very lived in and worked in, I love being in there. At some point in grad school someone said that it was exactly what they had imagined an artist's studio to look like, or that maybe it was "the studio most likely to be a real artist's studio." I love to see visitors respond to it, there is always something they gravitate towards that grabs their attention. Their thoughts on the objects, the space, the paintings are so informative. As I said, I love to be there and it's a nice little space that I've carved out for myself to think in and to paint in. 

Studio flower made from a plastic bottle

Studio flower made from a plastic bottle

GLL: This is perhaps your first series without of figures. The paintings Wolf Mask and Mask with Punk Wig could be seen as figures, but you've been sure to tell us in your titles that they are in fact objects, not living beings. Through this naming they lose their menacing quality and become more artificial. Was that your intention? 

JF: Yes, in the naming I did want to point out that they are artificial. You are exactly right that I wanted to strip them of their menacing quality and in fact, a great deal of all these things are artificial. 

They are flowers I made out of plastic and are sort of maquettes of flowers and arrangements that I imagine to be unreal or hyper-real. I wanted to use them as objects, as things to paint for purely formal reasons. With Wolf Mask for example, I really wanted to paint the hair and I was curious as to what I would need to do to achieve that. Mask with Punk Wig was much the same—I saw the teeth as a challenge. I thought to myself, "what could I do with that?"

Mask with Punk Wig, 2016, oil on canvas stretched over panel, 18 x 20"

Mask with Punk Wig, 2016, oil on canvas stretched over panel, 18 x 20"

GLL: The teeth are one of my favorite moments from this series! The pop of color and texture is so good and satisfying. I was also wondering about symbolism. Dutch still life genre (or Vanitas) was all about symbols—the skull and flowers as markers of time passing and impermanence of this life and pleasures that will not last. Was that part of your thought process conceiving of this series? Were you thinking about mortality?

JF: I do think of the Dutch still life tradition and Vanitas painting, but I hold it all on the periphery. I've done a bit of research on its history but to be honest, I felt that I was ruining good paintings by reading too much symbolism into it or adhering to the specific coded language those old fellows were using. I like that meaning to be there, and perhaps to discover personal meaning in these works, or to develop a personal language with them is more valuable than adopting a coded language. 

Mortality, oh yes. I was thinking about mortality, but again, only at the periphery. I've been to way too many funerals in the past year or two—many loved ones and people way too young, so I could see the skulls being a reflection of that. My brother is getting married in January, and I told him his wedding needs to hurry and get here so I can dress up for something fun.

I guess also on a lighter note, if the funerals have taught me anything, it is that life is too short to not paint what you want. I've always loved skulls and they do carry such a heavy weight symbolically that I've steered away from painting them. However lately, I've been looking at James Ensor and I felt like seeing how he embraced painting both skulls and masks—that gave me permission to do the same. As I get older I am learning to enjoy my little eccentricities.

James Ensor, Squelette arrêtant masques, 1891, oil on canvas 

James Ensor, Squelette arrêtant masques, 1891, oil on canvas 

GLL: I see that in my own life too, that growing up doesn’t get rid of insecurities, but it does make it easier to embrace those aspects that used to make me uncomfortable. Can you tell us a little about azaleas? What do they mean to you in terms of place and cultural or personal significance (as implied with the first person title)? And I may be wrong, but they seem to only make an appearance in one of the paintings Still Life with Gold Cup, and even in that work they are more white and light pink versus their signature hot pink. 

JF: Azalea's are a little bush or shrub that is very common in Acadiana (Cajun South Louisiana), where I live. I actually didn't paint any. The little flower in Still Life with Gold Cup is some other unknown flower from my front yard. It fades pretty quick after clipping so I had to work pretty fast to paint those flowers. 

Back to the Azalea's though, I thought maybe it would be too obvious to paint them, so I didn't even approach the idea. However, I love them, their presence in our neighborhoods down here gives me a specific sense of place. I see them everywhere riding my bike, and this combined with the bungalow architecture and porches I find endlessly fascinating. They do have a hot pink color and I'm not sure that they fit in the category of classic beauty, as they are a little "weedy." They pair well with linoleum counter tops and Salvation Army furniture. “Southern Bohemian Beauty” I would call it—beer rather than wine. 

Photo from Rick Olivier's 1976 Bayou Lafourche azaleas series

Photo from Rick Olivier's 1976 Bayou Lafourche azaleas series

GLL: "Southern Bohemian Beauty" —love that, and that's exactly the picture I have in my mind of you working in your studio. I've never been to the South but people always talk about how the pace is different. Do you think your studio practice and your work have changed since moving back to Louisiana? 

JF: Yes, I do believe both my practice and my work have changed—evolved, more so. I can't say if it is outwardly visible, it may be more subtle, but I know that I look at my work differently now. I expect different things from any particular piece. I've had much more time to get to know my work rather than the work of others. Who's doing what and where, and which way the art world was swaying; these were things that I paid more attention to in Portland and San Francisco. Now I am at a place where I am able to ignore extraneous noise.

I am getting to a point where I can view older pieces of mine through the lens of new works and say, "oh ok, that's what I was doing there, now I get it." And "ah-ha! that's why that piece works!" If I had to give specifics, it would be something to do with the lame fundamentals of painting. Quite often it is in analyzing the structure of a painting, the visual depth or the arrangement of things, visual cues. Silly little things that make paintings work. 

Louisiana has afforded much more time and space for my work. It feels very healthy. Also I get to have lunch with my brothers just about every week. It has been a very long time since I was able to do that.

HELLO, LADIES!

Hilary Horvath
Holly Stalder
Kate Towers
Nahanni Arntzen
Sea + Pattern
Skin by Ori 

Sunday, December 18 (1–3PM) 

Nationale is excited to announce a special evening with clothing designers Nahanni Arntzen, Holly Stalder, and Kate Towers; jewelry designer Sea + Pattern; and featuring mistletoe from florist Hilary Horvath. Whether designing in fabric, clay, or flowers, these five artists create unique & beautiful work. Skin By Ori will be offering her amazing lip sugar waxing. For one evening only, come meet these rad women and experience their captivating ways. 

☃❄ ☃❄ ☃❄ ☃❄ ☃❄ ☃❄ ☃❄ ☃❄ ☃❄ ☃❄ ☃❄ ☃❄ ☃❄ ☃❄ ☃❄ ☃❄ ☃❄ ☃❄ ☃❄ ☃❄ ☃❄

Hilary Horvath is dedicated to sourcing the most beautiful, local flowers to feature in her shop & for her clients. One of her favorite and distinguished customers has said, "not even in Paris are the flowers this beautiful." Hilary is constantly amazed and inspired by the offerings of the many flower growers with whom she is fortunate to know in the Pacific Northwest. Hilary Horvath Flowers is located inside Alder & Co in downtown Portland.

Holly Stalder is a clothing designer, bridal designer, and shop owner holding court at 811 East Burnside in Portland, OR. Her days consist of dreaming up and making fanciful clothing in her tiny treasure box of a store, HAUNT where her two clothing labels, HOLLY STALDER and THE DIAMOND SEA BRIDAL, can be found. She is sweet, likes to accept challenges, and loves anything over a 100 years old. Since she established her business in 2000, she has been featured in national magazines, including Elle, Martha Stewert Weddings, The Wall Street Journal, Bust, and Venus. She is hands down what Nationale has missed the most since moving to Division in 2014.

Self taught through experimentation and an artist’s vision, Kate Towers creates non-seasonal one of a kind clothing. From 2000–2007, Towers was co-founder and co-owner of seaplane, a renowned shop in Portland featuring local designers and an intriguing collection of hand-made clothing. It is there that she developed her own line and helped inspire the fashion scene that is now Portland. She works out of her studio—located at 1215 SE 8th, Suite C—during the hours of Portland Public School. Visitors welcome! 

Nahanni Arntzen was born in a teepee in Kingdom Inlet, 11 miles up the river on a sandbar, way out there on the Southwest coast of British Columbia, Canada. Partly inspired by the styles she grew up with, as well as for a desire to expand her everyday jeans and t-shirt uniform, Nahanni designs clothing to be worn anywhere. All pieces are designed and produced onsite in her studio in Portland, OR (located at 1215 SE 8th, Suite C).  

Sea + Pattern is a Portland-based minimalist jewelry line and lifestyle blog with an edge by Britt Campagna Hawkes. There she shares her unique perspective and provide inspiration to all lovers of design.

Skin By Ori is the practice of Oriana Lewton-Leopold, a licensed esthetician and certified Reiki practitioner. She specializes in holistic facials using organic, plant based products that incorporate massage and healing touch, as well as natural sugar hair removal. Sugaring is an art form dating back to ancient Egypt. Using a paste made of sugar, lemon and water, it is molded to the skin and then flicked off, gently extracting hair at the follicle. Oriana’s background as an artist guides her as she helps her clients tap into their inner beauty, enhancing what makes them uniquely lovely. Skin By Ori is located across the street from Nationale, within Luminary Salon.

THIS BLACK FRIDAY...

As much as Nationale has always tried to play the retail game when it comes to Black Friday, we're not in the mood this year for business as usual. Actually we are outraged by what is happening at Standing Rock and have a hard time focusing on running a business when there seems to be so many more important ways we could use our time and energy right now. 

With this in mind, Nationale will be donating 15% of all Black Friday sales to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe - Dakota Access Pipeline Donation Fund. To thank our generous customers for helping us make this event have an impact, we will give complimentary copies of the life changing book, Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions to those who spend $100 or more in the shop ♥ 

Lame Deer

Lame Deer