At a time when reality TV reigns and viewers are deserting television in droves for the Internet, you have to give props to a TV show devoted to the old-fashioned mission of profiling local and regional artists. That being said, Oregon Art Beat
is a cringe-inducing show that manages to make even the most inspired artists come across as corny, pabulum-spouting wankers. With its outdated set and production values, Art Beat
homogenizes artists by reducing their unique practices into pat featurettes, heavy on clueless voice-overs by the show’s correspondents and an intrusively saccharine soundtrack heavy on synths and faux-Native flute. Now the show is sponsoring an exhibition at Mark Woolley and People’s Art of Portland, showcasing work by hundreds of artists subjected to the program’s icky formula over the past 15 years. Much of the artwork itself is sublime. Too bad the show’s producers can’t find a way to translate the creative impulse into anything other than patronizing New-Age drivel. April 19-June 15.
Mark Woolley Gallery @ PioneerPhone:
700 SW 5th Ave., 3rd floor, Pioneer Place MallWebsite: www.markwoolley.com