PCS Blog

First Thursday on February 7

Posted by Sarah Mitchell | 15 January 2013

You're Invited to First Thursday at Portland Center Stage!

Thursday, February 7 from 6-9 p.m.

Portland Center Stage
Gerding Theater at the Armory
128 NW 11th Ave


Featuring exhibits by Anna Kodesch and Elizabeth Malaska

Curated by Elizabeth Spavento

Live music presentation by composer Jack Gabel

About the Artists


Anna Kodesch

Be simple. Be honest.
January 2 – February 17, 2013
Anna Kodesch's exhibit is offered in support of our Main Stage production,  I Love to Eat.
"This season, Portland Center Stage is celebrating the spirit and legacy of James Beard, the culinary connoisseur who inspires chefs all over the world. After reading about James Beard in preparation for this show, one quotation of his stood out in particular: 'Be simple. Be honest.' As I began to contemplate simplicity, I realized how central this idea was to my work and to Anna’s process at PCS.
Anna Kodesch’s paintings are an honest reflection of the simple pleasures she encounters in life: the people she loves and admires, ephemeral landscapes, and the everyday scenes that shape her perspective. This exhibition features works that reflect how Anna’s honest way of looking at the world nourishes our bodies. And, how could it not? Food is such a visceral experience; it is a need and simultaneous delight that imprints itself onto every aspect of our personality from personal taste to childhood memories. We comfort ourselves when we fall ill, celebrate thrilling successes, remember loved ones who passed away, draw political boundaries and establish families, all with food. Whether carnivore, omnivore, vegan or vegetarian, I hope that you find some time this month to honor the legacy of James Beard and be simple; be honest."
- Curator Elizabeth Spavento


Elizabeth Malaska

January 29 - March 11, 2013
We will be exhibiting paintings by Elizabeth Malaska in conjunction with our production of Venus in Fur.  This series is co-presented with Nationale.
Elizabeth Malaska’s new works combine a deep and sustained interest in the history of the painted female form with the immense iconographic power that the goddess, Venus, projects within this history. Using classical representations of Venus as starting point for this series, the artist shifts the viewer’s relationship with the familiar deity. Inspired by the play that these works have been created to accompany, each Venus Malaska paints retains her original pose, but now drapes, caresses, hides, or reveals herself with the skin of an animal. As a symbol of bestiality, wilderness, and the unknowable, Malaska’s creatures, at once inanimate and familiar, make the gaze that Venus returns to the viewer slightly less civilized.
Born in Portland, OR, Elizabeth Malaska earned her MFA from the city’s Pacific Northwest College of Art after honing her practice in such diverse locations as Rome, Italy and Bar Harbor, ME. Her work has been exhibited nationally at various institutions including Portland’s Nationale, Froelick Gallery, Disjecta, and San Francisco’s California College of the Arts, where she also received her BFA. In addition to teaching painting at the Oregon College of Art and Craft, she was recently named a finalist for The Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant and the Fine Arts Work Center fellowship in Provincetown, MA.


by Jack Gabel

Performed by 12 top-shelf regional musicians
Percussion handled by Northwest New Music co-founder Florian Conzetti
Performance at 6pm --  Duration ca. 50 minutes


DIAMETERS is composer Jack Gabel's monumental set of 12 duets, each for a different orchestral instrument and set of percussion instruments. Each is under five minutes in duration and designed to be programmable in any combination. The performance at the Gerding Theater at the Armory will provide a rare opportunity to hear the entire set performed (DIAMETER I through XII, back to back). Moreover, the performance will be uniquely staged in the Gerding Theater lobby, with percussionists spread across the main floor and musicians arrayed around the Mezzanine balcony. Not a typical "concert," as the audience may mingle around performers (of course, no touching... those alpine cowbells are crying out to be petted, but...), come and go at will, take in the gallery opening on the lower levels, cruise around the mezzanine upstairs, etc.  Out of respect for musicians and the listening audience, sotto voce please. Be aware--one performance only!
Jack Gabel has written numerous concert hall works for many different combinations of instruments and voices, with and without electro-acoustic accompaniments. He also creates mixed-media works. As Agnieszka Laska Dancers' Resident Composer, his musical output for the past 10 years is primarily programmatic work for the dance theatre stage -- intimate dances like Spring Quartet and the award-wining multi-media-performance movie The Fall ‘01. Returning to his Diameters series (started 1980 as a graduate student and completed 2011 on an Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship), a rarely heard, abstract side to Gabel's music comes to the fore.
Click here to hear a sample of DIAMETERS, and here for more information about Jack Gabel.
Please note: This proscenium stage performance includes transitory improvisation. It will not be done in the performance on February 7, which will instead include a brief pause between each piece.
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