Thursday, June 04, 2009

Hidden Portland: local museums event TONIGHT

For those of you not attending the OHSU Commencement tonight--or, if you find Bas Vanderzalm's address a wee bit long and want an excuse to sneak out: Reading Frenzy is hosting a book launch party for "Local Museum Lady" Carye Bye, author of the new guidebook HIDDEN PORTLAND: Museums and Collections. There will also be a showing and sale of original illustrations from the book; the show will run through the end of the month.

Carye became interested in OHSU Historical Collections & Archives after stumbling across the School of Dentistry's display of dental anomalies on a visit to her dentist. She was kind enough to include us in her first compilation of small museums in Portland, a one-page trifold brochure which is now available on the Hidden Portland web site. After a recent tour of Marquam Hill art (a very long tour, because even I had underestimated how many great things there are to see here), Carye was sketching a preliminary design for the illustration that will accompany OHSU's write up in the guidebook. Be sure to check out the show--if not tonight, then sometime before the end of June--to see what image she found most iconic of OHSU's collections.

The full announcement for the book launch and show is below.

Hidden Portland: the Museums
Art Show & Limited Edition Artist Book/Guide Release by artist/local museum expert Carye Bye
First Thursday, June 4, 6 - 9 pm

Carye Bye has three distinct creative identities in Portland: the artist and printer behind Red Bat Press, Bicycle Fun Advocate -- starting rides such as the Bunny on a Bike and Pretty Dress Bike Rides -- and Local Museum Lady (LML). As Carye Bye, LML she self-published a free brochure two years ago called "A Compendium of Small Museums & Obscure Collections" and led monthly Small Museums by Bike tours. Now she's starting a guidebook series called Hidden Portland. The first one is on the subject she knows best -- museums and collections.

Portland is home to many amazing but relatively unknown collections of art and artifacts and Bye wants both townies and tourists to have a chance to discover these obscure treasures. Collections such as the Museum of Dental Anomalies at the OHSU Dental School, the Portland Police Museum at the Justice Center (featuring a rapping McGruff Crime Dog from the late 70s!) or the Kidd's Toy Museum, tucked away in an unassuming gray office building off of SE Grand Avenue, which boasts a whopping collection of nearly 15,000 toys, are typically overlooked by conventional guidebooks. But even the bigger museums have their secrets too, such as an exhibit of preserved human fetuses in OMSI's Life Science Hall, or the 19th century plaster cast replicas of classic Greek sculptures, including the Venus de Milo, in the Mark Building Lobby at the Portland Art Museum.

As a printmaker, photographer and zine publisher, Carye has never had occasion or inclination to part with her original artwork. This show marks a departure for the artist as she will be exhibiting and selling the original watercolor & ink illustrations painted at each museum, as well as dozens of other small original works which will be replenished throughout the month. A limited edition, special debut release of Hidden Portland: The Museums will be available exclusively at Reading Frenzy.

This is the first show Bye has done with Reading Frenzy, but her relationship with the store dates back to 2002, when she started to sell her very first art postcards from Red Bat Press. A portion of the artist's proceeds will be donated to Reading Frenzy as a thank you for being a kick ass independent book and art shop, and one of the places that makes Portland such an awesome place to live and work as an artist.
The Show will run through June.

Red Bat Press

Hidden Portland

Flickr Photo Blog

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