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January 2013

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On view at Belmont January 30th – March 5th, 2013

For my work in graphite and charcoal on paper, I approach drawing as both experiential and objective. The profound way drawing can open an idea – be blown up in scale, redrawn, placed in a computer program and become something else – is the foundation for my art process. My reference points stem from personal photographs and images found in books, magazines and online. Each piece, whether drawing, sculpture, or painting, transcends the polarity between figuration and abstraction, placing micro and macro side by side.
-Jill Raymundo

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Between writing and recording his own solo records, touring intercontinentally playing keyboards with The Shins, and producing records with musicians like songwriter Damien Jurado and Portland’s dreamy up-and-comers Pure Bathing Culture at his studio National Freedom, Richard Swift is a busy human.

Swift’s show Mt. Mountain opens at the Division cafe today, revealing inky black and white paintings, whose surfaces are often emblazoned with scribbled text and a dark sense of humor. Swift lists influences like Walt Whitman and Jack Kerouac, Bo Diddley and Captain Beefheart and outsider artists Bill Traylor and Royal Robertson.

His artist statement reveals a bit of insight into his process:

And only his humor, his vinyl collection, his libations and his canvas — whatever his canvas may be — are there to keep him from crossing that oh-so-thin and fragile line into madness. If you should see themes and reoccurring characters in Swift’s black ink pieces, it’s likely these are the themes and characters that kept him just to this side of that line.

We caught up with him in his studio in Cottage Grove and asked him a few questions about his life and work — and from here, it’s tough to tell which side of mad he’s hollering from.

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Alfred Coffee & Kitchen on Melrose is now open in L.A.! Stop in the bright and airy shop serving Stumptown Cold Brew stubbies, espresso and pour overs, with a more extensive menu in the works. For now, grab a pastry pick-me-up, admire the sleek color palette and the well-styled Rag & Bone bedecked staff, and sit by the working fireplace as you sip.

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On view at Division January 29th – February 28th, 2013
Opening reception 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, February 17thIMG_0300Artist Statement

Richard Swift’s art has a place in an American lineage of primal, urgent outsider art that can be traced from Walt Whitman to Kerouac, from Bo Diddley to Captain Beefheart, from Bill Traylor to Royal Robertson. It is the kind of art that can only come to pass when the rest of the world is deep into REM and old death comes creeping in at a man from the shadows. (more…)

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Liam has been holding down the fort at the Stumptown Annex pop-up at our HQalongside our training lab and green team. A build-out is in the works and we’re looking forward to offering more classes, tours and tastings, but for now, you can buy beans in bulk fresh off the roastery floor, order a Beehouse, V60 or Chemex pour over and talk shop with Liam. Pop by Friday through Monday, 10 am to 4 pm, with daily tastings at 3 pm. See you this weekend. (more…)