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May 2012

PROJECT GROW

Stumptown Coffee Roasters proudly presents a new collaboration with the North East Portland non-profit organization Project Grow. For this group exhibition, we selected recent paintings by eight of their regular contributors: QT Buggs, David Crittendon, Forrest Hellum-Willits, David Lechner, Olga Shchepina, Alvina Ternes, Dillon Vacheresse, and Jamond Williams. We hope you will join us in celebrating these artists on First Thursday at our Downtown café for the opening reception (5-7pm).

“Project Grow is a wild, brimming-full-of-possibilities art studio, a thriving inner-city farm, and a community space. Here, dozens of compelling artists practice their art and grow chemical-free produce for the community. In the evenings and weekends, we host lectures, concerts, and workshops to invite more of the community to be part of this movement. Our mission is to advocate for art as a viable choice in life, to grow delicious produce for communities that otherwise may not have access to healthy food, to create opportunities for people to bond closer together, to change stereotypes about what kind of life individuals with disabilities can lead, and to celebrate the magic of the world…together.”“Project Grow is a wild, brimming-full-of-possibilities art studio, a thriving inner-city farm, and a community space. Here, dozens of compelling artists practice their art and grow chemical-free produce for the community. In the evenings and weekends, we host lectures, concerts, and workshops to invite more of the community to be part of this movement. Our mission is to advocate for art as a viable choice in life, to grow delicious produce for communities that otherwise may not have access to healthy food, to create opportunities for people to bond closer together, to change stereotypes about what kind of life individuals with disabilities can lead, and to celebrate the magic of the world…together.”

On view June 6th – July 1st, 2012
Opening reception First Thursday June 7th, 5 – 7 p.m

Find out more about Project Grow on their website.

Image: Forrest Hellum-Willits, Gone With The Wind, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 18” x 24”

Stumptown Coffee Roasters
128 SW Third Avenue
Portland, OR
M-F: 6am-7pm
S-S: 7am-7pm
503-295-6144

Hues of Reality
Benjamin McPherson Ficklin

Typically beautiful sights are too often turned into typically beautiful photographs. While potentially pretty, straightforward pictures cannot convey the complexity of experience. I sit with my feet in the churning shore of the Willamette River and my mind engages the moment. The river is expansive, the wind hums, the cottonwood trees smell like fresh rain and soft Spring. The moment is constituted by every sense and my personal consciousness. Taking a usual picture of this section of the Willamette River would convey a minute fragment of my experience. I try to fill the void between photography and my experience by presenting my subjects in atypical ways. Experiencing the river elates me, thus I try to elate my photograph of the river with splashes of color. One evening I strolled home drunk on red wine and  came across a fresh pile of pink camellia flowers. If I took a picture of these petals with a bright flash and a nice camera, the resulting image would not be how I saw the flowers. I recall their vibrant pink hue against a backdrop of shadows and green leaves. My photograph of the camellia petals uses one minute’s worth of light that results in a pink cloud. The emotions lent by that wash of pink on canvas hints at my drunk memories more than a precise picture. I only hope that the bright hues and abstracted shapes of my reality are interesting to others.

Love you all,
 Benjamin McPherson Ficklin

Opening reception is 6 pm – 8 pm Sunday, June 10th.

Live Music by:
Sarcastic Dharma Society
Like A Villain

Stumptown Coffee Roasters
3356 SE Belmont Street
Portland, OR
M-F: 6AM-9PM / S-S: 7AM-9PM
TEL: 503-232-8889

Curator Contact Info:
Wendy Swartz

Day one Nairobi, Kenya

The red eye gave me no chance for a wink, but I was lucky enough to get some early morning nap time before heading out of the city to see an animal preserve for giraffes in a sub-district of Nairobi called Karen. We then headed a few miles away to see Karen Blixen’s house, the women who was portrayed in the Sydney Pollock movie “Out of Africa”. Then we took a quick jaunt over to Mamba, an animal sanctuary for crocodiles and ostrich’s, where I witnessed a young man poke sticks at 12-14 ft. male crocs to get them to hiss. At least that was my take as I clung to the guard rail. Afterwards, we moved on to slower, kinder things: I held a 2 year old croc in my hands while the driver and our guide Sammie toiled with my iPhone for a snap or two that seemed to take an eternity. Wildlife handling is just not in my blood.  By this time, it became clear that it must have been a Sunday and the offices of our exporter coffee group were closed and I had to make like a tourist or end up falling prey to jet lag. Luckily, tourism won out.

Day two, Dorman’s cupping lab
We ran through close to 160 cupping samples: AAs, ABs and many PB grades. The morning tables produced a few great samples, especially from groups such as Ngunguru, Kora, Kihuyo (from Muthega factory), Gichathaini, Ndimani and Ndaroini. At the end, we realized that we hadn’t tasted the previous week’s selection of our fondest coffee: Gatomboya, Gaturiri, Kagumoini, Kangunu, Ngunguru or any of the other Kenya standouts that we look for at Stumptown. All in all, there were about 13 that had showed some promise. After cupping for 9 hours straight, I felt a little dejected and worried we might not find the beauties I was hoping to find. This led to calls for a big meal, so we went for a feast at Curry In a Hurry which, later in the meal, was coined Curry not in a Hurry, which was just fine with us. This was a bastion of amazing Indian styles from the southern regions.

Day three
At 3 am I was already up and clamoring for more samples. I hoped for bright and silky coffees that would display deep toned body, floral nuance, citrus that holds high tannin, nectarine, peach, currant and marked by the rare and often sought jasmine. Cupping in Kenya is as close to coffee heaven as you can get. The range and intensity speak for themselves, and this morning I’m ready for another full day of sweetness and vibrancy. Fingers crossed we get there.

We cupped through some Gatomboya, Gaturiri and a few other standbys. We found two, if not three, stellar coffees. Karatu showed some promise with its floral, pine and jasmine aromatics, followed by apricot, white pepper, lemon balm, white grape and tones of cleanly washed Yirgacheffe. Karatu is from the Thika area, with elevations around 1,700 meters. The Ngunguru Peaberry was amazing with its fresh butter, hints of lime, currant, bergamot and a long spiced finish. Pretty sick. The Peaberry Ngunguru has the promise of cracking the 90s.

Last year seems to loom as the year of small output, high prices and excellent quality. We will see how things progress, but most Kenya predictions are for modest prices, good to hopeful for us, and some potential Grand Crus.

darrin


Order Abstracted
works by Laura Jane Walker

Laura is interested in the generation of order from chaos. This is something humans do as a way to make sense of the world around them. Nails define the limits and string reveals possible paths between those limits, mapping possible routes from one point to another. The final works show how chance can be interpreted and transformed into a learning experience.

Opening reception 4-6 pm Sunday, May 20th

You can view her website here.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters
4525 SE Division Street
Portland, OR
M-F: 6AM-7PM / S-S: 7AM-7PM
TEL: 503-230-7702

Curator Contact Info:
Wendy Swartz

Other Worldly
Jillian Vento

The pictures that make up “Other Worldly” consist of an honest look at my own contradictions. I have an untempered desire to disappear into the woods, dive into oceans, and observe wild animals with voyeuristic intensity. I rue the constant ringing in my ears, and criticize the modern industrial disconnect from the natural world, while still taking advantage of its benefits.

Using binoculars to take photographs, I employ a literal lens through which to depict a symbolic distance from our world, looking upon it as “other”, as not mine. Photography can serve as an artifact, and when abstracted, it can become an artifact of experience. Visual art became possible when evolving human brains became capable of abstract thought. The way science and evolutionary theory overlap with expression and emotion is well-suited subject matter for photography.

These photographs are a limited visual representation of my own experience of biophilia, a term used by sociobiologist E.O. Wilson and explained as “the innate affiliation people seek with other organisms, and especially with the living natural world.” Sentimentality and science coexisting.

Looking through binoculars makes me think of the theories of E.O. Wilson, the critical essays of John Berger, the poems of Mary Oliver, and ragged, urgent guitar music, in equal parts.

Opening reception is 6 pm – 8 pm Sunday, May 13th.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters
3356 SE Belmont Street
Portland, OR
M-F: 6AM-9PM / S-S: 7AM-9PM
TEL: 503-232-8889

Curator Contact Info:
Wendy Swartz

We are honored to collaborate with acclaimed English designer Tom Dixon, on London Underground at New York Design Week 2012. Featuring work from his Luminosity collection, we will be serving coffee alongside the showcase in a custom designed/built pop-up coffee cart. On Display at the Bleecker Street Theatre, May 17-22.

Visit www.tomdixon.net/news for more updates.

Tom Dixon’s Design Talks from Carlo Lavagna and Roberto De Paolis on Nowness.com.