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July 2013

lewton-leopold

On view Downtown July 28th – September 1st, 2013
Opening reception Sunday, August 4th (5 – 7 p.m.)

Two disparate sets of familiar women—the subjects of French Impressionist Edouard Manet and images of the pop star Rihanna culled from her album artwork and Instagram account—coalesce in a new series of paintings, Alliseeissigns by Oriana Lewton-Leopold. The exhibition owes its name to a Rihanna song lyric, but it also references the rich symbolic quality of Manet’s images, where the development of modernism is apparent in both style and subject matter. Manet’s women—barmaids, prostitutes, social spectators, among others—exposed the multifaceted cultural and economic shift into Parisian urban life in the mid-nineteenth century. Similarly, Rihanna represents the complexity of the celebrity in contemporary society as she walks the line between powerful female and public victim.

Hints of electric yellows, blues, and pinks glow off the canvases, highlighting the palimpsest of eras and styles in Alliseeissigns. Rihanna enters the pictures sometimes physically connecting with the anachronistic figures, and other times existing separately in her own reality. In one image based on Manet’s infamous painting Olympia (1865), Rihanna replaces the pale nude courtesan, becoming the confident odalisque. As her eyes fix on the viewer, she becomes a modern-day Olympia, confident in her position as an object of desire and exchange.

The exhibit continues in a Fishbowl window gallery at Blackfish Gallery in the Pearl throughout the month of August.

Oriana Lewton-Leopold is a painter based in Portland, OR. She received her MFA in Visual Studies from PNCA, and is currently a member of Blackfish Gallery. This is her first exhibition at Stumptown Coffee Roasters.

For additional information/images, please contact may@stumptowncoffee.com.

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Our friend and former Stumptown employee Nathan McKee makes paper cut art about basketball that is impressively three-dimensional and expressive. He was recently interviewed for the blog Hardwood Paroxysm, and has this to say about his process and his networthy subjects:

I’m pretty much self-taught. I’ve always drawn since I was a kid but as I got older I started doing a lot of screen printing and stenciling. The more I got into basketball, the more I realized how much style & motion was involved with it as well as players’ personalities in their expressions. It drove me to try and capture that on paper. I also really liked the interactions I got from people when they saw my pieces and the dialogue it opened up; at one of my shows, someone that I wouldn’t even expect to be into basketball, saw a Rasheed Wallace piece I did and all of a sudden they are talking like a teenager about that one time he did this or that. I think that’s cool that something like basketball can get people to talk to each other without actually knowing each other especially at something like an art opening.

See more of Nathan’s work here.magic - Jordan_6 Blazers

Over the past month and a half, I have spent over four weeks traveling in South America checking in on the harvest there with our producing partners, and am currently on the road again for another stretch. Much of the recent travel has been focused on Colombia and I’m truly excited about what Stumptown is working on there to bring to you this year, so I wanted to share some of the best images and prime moments from some of those visits.blog-pic-01These are the hillsides of the Tolima region, near Planadas where our El Jordan coffee comes from. I’m always so amazed how steep the slopes are where coffee grows in Colombia.

blog-pic-02 Motorcycles are the primary mode of transportation around town and out to the farms. This area of Tolima is one of the most remote, isolated producing areas in the country, previously known more for the guerilla activity and conflict. Quality coffee is helping to change that.

blog-pic-04The small scale farmers here in Planadas are increasingly investing more in quality and organizing together to share ideas and knowledge.

blog-pic-06blog-pic-08High prices are really going a long way here, farmers are able to invest in more land and expanding infrastructure on the farm–though the the roads and other basic services are lacking and far behind other parts of Colombia, making moving the coffee out a huge challenge.blog-pic-09 blog-pic-10Looking out at workers picking coffee, the sound of ripe cherries hitting the buckets echoed up the valley.

blog-pic-11Controlled, meticulous drying systems are fundamental for quality here in Tolima. Changing climate patterns are bringing rain all year, so farmers must adjust and adapt, but stay focused on quality to maintain a viable business.

blog-pic-12An example of the reality of producing coffee in Colombia: on one single branch of the same plant you can see ripe cherry, green unripe cherry, and flowering that will soon become cherry.

blog-pic-50This is what we mean when we say “manual depulping” equipment. It’s very traditional, and is capable of helping to produce some of the world’s best coffee.blog-pic-15Farmers in and around Planadas are on average much younger than in other areas of the coffee producing world.

blog-pic-17 blog-pic-18 I’ll never get tired of these incredible views and landscapes in Colombia.

blog-pic-22 blog-pic-23Tasting the local fruits with producers of our La Piramide coffee.

blog-pic-25A coffee tree trunk sprouting new life.blog-pic-29Covered, ventilated drying at San Isidro.blog-pic-30The one and only Isaias Cantillo, model coffee farmer, Finca La Esperanza, Suaza, Huila.blog-pic-32Isaias is a dedicated, hard working, farmer totally committed to proudly producing outstanding quality coffee, a great model for small scale farmers around the world.blog-pic-36The Cantillo brothers and their proud papa. The fourth generation of farmers in this great family is coming up and excited about a positive future producing coffee thanks to their model for sustainable production and focus on quality.blog-pic-37Brothers Cantillo and the mother shrub.blog-pic-38The appropriately named Cantillo variety, a genetic mutation they came across on their farms almost 20 years ago and decided to keep propagating.blog-pic-39Looking out over the valleys below from La Esperanza with the Nevado de Huila looming in the distance.blog-pic-41If it rained after you went down the hill, it might be a little sticky getting back up.  blog-pic-42A coffee farmer in Loja, Ecuador tending the seedlings with his daughters.blog-pic-46Magic moments in the Andes. Quillabamba, Ecuador.

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Bringing down the day’s cherry harvest, Vilcabamba, Ecuador.

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Coffee has united centuries of obsessive, creative-types as chronicled in Mason Currey’s new book “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work.

He writes:

“Coffee! … It’s what brings together Beethoven and Proust, Glenn Gould and Francis Bacon, Jean-Paul Sartre and Gustav Mahler. This should hardly be surprising. Caffeine is the rare drug that has a powerful salutary effect—it aids focus and attention, wards off sleepiness, and speeds the refresh rate on new ideas—with only minimal drawbacks. And the ritual of preparing coffee serves for many as a gateway to the creative mood.”

Balzac wrote:

“Coffee glides into one’s stomach and sets all of one’s mental processes in motion. One’s ideas advance in column of route like battalions of the Grande Armée. Memories come up at the double, bearing the standards which will lead the troops into battle. The light cavalry deploys at the gallop. The artillery of logic thunders along with its supply wagons and shells. Brilliant notions join in the combat as sharpshooters. The characters don their costumes, the paper is covered with ink, the battle has started, and ends with an outpouring of black fluid like a real battlefield enveloped in swaths of black smoke from the expended gunpowder. Were it not for coffee one could not write, which is to say one could not live.”

Happy weekend. Get to it!

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The one and only Skip Colombo, wholesale senior account manager/lover-of-life/hometown hero was duly appointed with the mission of visiting our friends and honorable colleagues of La Marzocco at their impressive headquarters outside of Florence, Italy. La Marzocco have continued to make top of the top espresso machines since coming onto the scene in 1927. Skilled craftsmen and visionaries, LM were pioneers in the industry with the first horizontal espresso machine (early 20th century machines were equipped with tall vertical boilers), the first double boilers and the first ever PID temperature controlled machines — all trademarks of temperature control, efficiency, stability and consistency. And, of course, the company’s designs have always looked terribly cool to boot. We proudly work on La Marzocco machines in all of our Stumptown retail cafes.

Skip brought his darling daughter Ida Bleu with him, hung out with Piero Bambi (son and nephew of the founders of La Marzocco) toured the factory and generally had, he says, “the best 10 days I’ve probably ever had in my life.” Skip shared with us some photos from his Italian holiday.

But first! A cool time lapse video of the making of a La Marzocco Strada in the factory in Tuscany.

IMG_3815Piero with a drawing of his father Guiseppe’s first espresso machine design from when he was 18 – Guiseppe intended it as a gift for his professor.

IMG_3829A special edition 80th anniversary GS3 IMG_3858The La Marzocco factory floor in the second stage of production. To this day, all La Marzocco machines are still built by hand. IMG_3833Ida Bleu behind the wheel of a limited edition Harley Davidson GS3 espresso machine.  IMG_3882Piero Bambi is 87 years old, and still goes to his office at the factory every single day.  IMG_3874Skip with Simone, who hand-built all of Stumptown’s La Marzocco mistrals. He was originally going to fly to Portland for our LM Meet the Maker event, but is afraid of flying. Very few people can build these machines — and you can tell Simone’s work by his wiring — he has a signature technique. IMG_3885La Marzocco employee “lounge ” with its custom Strada foosball table. IMG_3884Ida and Ettore Scaglaiola, one of the head sales specialists of LM.               IMG_4010

The Marzocco is the heralded lion, best known in its original rendition sculpted by Donatello in the 15th c. The statue and symbol represent the spirit and protection of Florence and are inspiration for the namesake and emblem of La Marzocco.