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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


Reed Arts Weekend (RAW), a series of performances, exhibitions, and lectures, will be held from Wednesday, February 14, to Sunday, February 18, at various locations around the Reed College campus. Sculptors, filmmakers, musicians, painters, and performers, including controversial performance artist Karen Finley, will offer their takes on facets of artistic exposure such as fame, sexuality, communication, and obsession. Student art for RAW ranges from shower karaoke to painted murals to animatronic teddy bears.

All events are free and open to the public, with the exception of Karen Finley’s February 14 performance of Shut Up and Love Me. A limited number of tickets to this event will be sold to the public for $20 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Kaul Auditorium on the evening of the performance. Descriptions of professional artists and their events follow. Maps showing the location and times of student artwork will be available on campus. For more information call the RAW hotline at 503/777-7708.

Karen Finley: Shut Up and Love Me
Lecture on her book: 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 14, Vollum lecture hall
Ticket sales for performance ($20): 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, February 14, Kaul Auditorium
Performance, discussion, and book signing: 7 p.m., Wednesday, February 14, Kaul Auditorium

Labeled variously "woman of the year" (by Ms. magazine) and "obscene" (by U.S. senator Jesse Helms), Finley is one of the most renowned performance artists in the U.S. She is perhaps best known as the "chocolate-smeared woman" who in 1990 was one of four artists to ignite a battle over NEA funding that ended in the U.S. Supreme Court. "I wanted to present a female character who is not a victim," said Finley of Shut Up and Love Me, the piece she will perform at Reed. "I admit to the audience that the performance is about sex, and about the need to connect, the need for intimacy." Thunder’s Mouth Press published her book, A Different Kind of Intimacy, in November 2000.

Tears of Joy Theatre: The Jungle Book
Performance and discussion: 12:30 p.m., Thursday, February 15, commons

Tears of Joy Theatre, a Vancouver, Washington-based puppet theater, will present its version of The Jungle Book. Tears of Joy has transformed Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale into an anthropomorphic exploration of the meaning of family and of childhood. Tears of Joy bases its puppetry on a Japanese form called bunraku, in which the puppeteers, though dressed in black clothing, can be seen by the audience. The company has three times received American puppetry’s highest honor: the American chapter of the Union Internationale de la Marionnette’s citation of excellence in the art of puppetry.

Stephanie Speight
Exhibition: 10 a.m.-7 p.m., February 14-February 18, Vollum lounge
Reception: 4 p.m., Thursday, February 15, Vollum lounge

Speight, who writes that her work is prompted by "an obsessive response to things in my path," deals with themes of obsession, impermanence, fragility, and light. Speight works with materials such as cash register tape, book pages, sheet music, and piano wires, which she often knits or sews together to surprise viewers with what she calls "the unexpected beauty found in mundane materials." Speight, a graduate of Oregon State University and Marylhurst College, has exhibited her work at a great many galleries, including Nine Gallery, Tidbit, and Gallery 114 in Portland. The Oregonian has called her work "thoroughly ingenious."

Vanessa Renwick: short films
Film screening: 7 p.m., Friday, February 16, Vollum lecture hall

Portland filmmaker Vanessa Renwick will show several of her short films. Her best-known film, Lovejoy, documents the story of the Lovejoy art columns, whimsical murals beneath the Lovejoy ramp in Northeast Portland that were painted in the 1950s by night watchman Tom Stefopoulos. In Renwick’s film, the recent restoration of the columns by Portland art collective RIGGA appears as a surreal clash between beauty and impermanence. Renwick, who teaches at the Northwest Film Center, has worked for 23 years as a filmmaker in Portland.

Norfolk & Western
Performance: 9 p.m., Friday, February 16, student union

Portland band Norfolk & Western has a layered, low-fi sound that alternates in unexpected ways between energetic rock and wistful contemplation. Singer and guitarist Adam Selzer writes songs that blur the boundaries between self-revelation and self-invention. "It’s like a photograph as opposed to a moving picture," he says. "A photograph is a still image, but you can say so much more about it than you can about something that’s moving." Portland record label Film Guerrero released Norfolk & Western’s second album, Centralia, in winter 2000. Reed senior Jeremy Brown will open for Norfolk & Western at 9 p.m.

Eleanor H. Erskine: still life
On display 9 a.m.-2:30 a.m., Wednesday, February 14-Sunday, February 18, Hauser library reading room
Reception: 5-6 p.m., Friday, February 16, library lobby

Eleanor H. Erskine, a Portland State University professor with artistic roots in printmaking, will show still life, one of her most distinctive pieces. The work, a series of sheets made from sausage casings and hung from the ceiling, has a translucent, tissue paper-like quality, the movement of the sheets evoking the interplay of an ecological web. The piece is typical of Erskine’s approach to installation, which combines sensuality and emotion with the formal rigor of printmaking. Erskine, whose work was included in the Portland Art Museum’s 1999 biennial, has exhibited her work throughout the United States and Canada.

Pete McCracken & Jeremy Bitterman: Multiple installations
On display throughout campus Wednesday, February 14—Sunday, February 18

Portland artist Pete McCracken has attracted national attention for his innovative, playful approach to graphic design. A graduate of Portland's Pacific Northwest College of Art, McCracken explores the intersections, contradictions, and possibilities of commerce and art. McCracken is one of the founders of Plazm Media Collective, the group that produces Plazm magazine, a design studio, and Plazmfonts, a font company. Plazm has gained a strong reputation as a showcase for innovative, challenging design ideas. Jeremy Bittermann, a Portland artist whose artwork the Willamette Week called "a glowing monument to the human penchant to document experience," will work with McCracken for the Reed show.

Keith Goodman and Dance Gatherer: Three short pieces
Performance: Sunday, February 18, 7 p.m., gym II

Dancer Keith Goodman and his company, Dance Gatherer, will perform 3 Fathers, M-1 Tank, and Impermanence. Using a rich vocabulary of Caribbean, Thai, urban, and Latin American movements, Goodman and his company explore the interplay of the old and the new and the potential of dance to create a new vernacular. The recipient of an Oregon Arts Commission fellowship and a New Langston Arts grant, Goodman has traveled with anthropologists to Thailand, the Caribbean, and Latin America to gain inspiration for his choreography. Willamette Week called Goodman’s work "strong, precise, and controlled, but smooth as thick cream."

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