The Apotropaic Garden is a new celebration of the magick and mythology of plants reputed to ward off evil and misfortune. This project began long ago as conversations with frequent collaborators The Dark Exact and Laurel Witting. It felt like the right time to cultivate some community strength and joy, and set some intentions around deflecting harm and protecting the vulnerable. So if you’d like to join us in making art to celebrate the protective and healing powers of plants, just post your creations on Instagram with the hashtag #TheOtherLanguageOfFlowers. There are no rules and no deadlines, and all mediums (from paintings to poems to spells) are welcomed. Let’s make a whole (virtual) apotropaic garden of protective flora to ward off evil!
The Dark Exact
The Cimaruta spell papers, Garden Timeline postcard set, and Century Plant tote bag created by Coleman Stevenson are available now. Learn more about each of these pieces in The Dark Exact shop.
The Creeping Museum
The Vigilant Peony brooches, book talismans, and necklaces are available now.
.Each of our Darkness Within bookplates was inspired by a different passage from Shirley Jackson’s novel The Haunting of Hill House. The set features the work of twelve different artists:
All profits from these bookplates will be divided between homelessness-related nonprofit organizations in each artist’s home city:
On Friday, May 25 we’ll be celebrating the opening of Garden of Grief, Rebecca Reeves’ new installation in our Little Free Library Gallery. Her ongoing themes of loss and mourning—intertwined with the compulsion to protect the relics left behind by the dead—resonate with me on a deeply personal level, and it’s such an honor to be hosting her work in our tiny gallery.
Rebecca will be here in person to talk about her work, plus we’ll have two additional guests for a special “Porch Salon” conversation about grief as it relates to the themes of Rebecca’s art: Megan Devine, author of It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture that Doesn’t Understand and Coleman Stevenson, creator of the Dark Exact Tarot and author of Breakfast: 43 Poems. Megan will be talking about the importance of sharing our stories of loss, and Coleman will be reading a poem inspired by Rebecca’s work.
We hope you’ll join us from 7-9pm! Our Little Free Library Gallery may be found near 600 N. Mason St. in Portland, Oregon.
LEPORIPHOBIA: Hutch of Darkness features art by the winners of our 2018 Diabolical Egg Hunt, based on drawing prompts found in each hidden “egg.” These new works by Hanna Morchant (“Rabbit death metal band,” Salt Lake City), Jess Swazey (“Vampire rabbit,” Salem, MA), Nicholas Cordel Orr (“Rabbit in mourning,” Portland), Trista Metz (“Rabbit seance,” Los Angeles), and Syd Bee (“Giant rabbit fighting a giant slug,” Seattle)—are on view through May 23 in our Little Free Library gallery in North Portland.
Thank you to our coast-to-coast diabolical bunny helpers for making our first national egg hunt a success: Albatross Records, Black Veil Tattoo, The Mystic Museum, and Creatura House.
On November 9 in a post-election state of shock, I bought a teeny tiny geode and a zine and sat down with both of them in a favorite coffee shop, because I didn’t know what else to do. Together, they were a small but much-needed band-aid for a broken heart. And ever since, I’ve been carrying the zine - All of Them Brujas by Portland artist Rebecca Artemisa - as a talisman in my bag.
Rebecca has conjured Hope Spirits, a magical new painting especially for the south-facing side of our Little Free Library. This mini-mural will be a beacon for visitors, and serve as a spell for all to find strength and power in the stories contained within the Library’s books.
You can find more of Rebecca’s work in her Etsy shop, on Instagram, or, if you’re lucky enough to be in Portland, her zines can sometimes be found in the magical Venderia machines around town.
"Animating Life" at the Portland Art Museum
In case it wasn’t already evident from the fact that I operate an art gallery out of a birdhouse in my front yard, as a child I spent most of my time in an imaginary world of my own making. And I can say without a doubt that visiting an exhibition like Animating Life: The Art, Science, and Wonder of LAIKA - and seeing firsthand that there are grownups tasked with making imaginary worlds into reality - would have changed my life.
I have worked behind-the-scenes with some incredible museums (including the Walt Disney Family Museum), I’ve seen LAIKA’s puppets and costumes up-close at various exhibitions and events over the years, and I have colleagues, friends, and neighbors who have worked at the LAIKA studio, yet I was still utterly unprepared for the absolute flat-out childlike wonder and awe I felt as I stepped into the gallery. These photos don’t do it justice...this show is a must-see for anyone who’s ever loved an imaginary world.
Animating Life is on view at the Portland Art Museum through May 20, 2018.
Our friends Wyrd War have brought a very special treat to Portland: The Fierce Ghost Eats Human Region is an exhibition of Ghanaian horror movie posters from the collection of @deadlypreygallery. The artists’ unique interpretations of American films (hand-painted on flour sacks) will delight you with their can-do spirit - check out the exhibition this week only! Visit @wyrdwar on Instagram for details.
Frederick Douglass - the most photographed American of the 19th century - was an advocate for photography as a means of establishing African American identity and countering the racist and stereotypical depictions (such as lynching postcards and minstrel imagery) that dominated the popular culture at that time. Representing: Photographs of, by, and for African Americans at the Portland Art Museum brings together vernacular portraits and snapshots from several different collections, including the family albums of a WWII Tuskegee Airman from the Albina neighborhood of Portland.
Representing is on view at the Portland Art Museum through December 3, 2017
In the aftermath of the recent Trimet hate crime murders here in Portland, I felt the need to send a loud and clear message to the girls of my neighborhood, especially girls of color: You belong here. You are powerful. And you have your own magic.
@lorinelsonart posted her 2015 painting “Hell to Pay” earlier this year as a call to arms to fight hate with art. The piece depicts exact sort of fiery heroine I was looking for to grace the walls of our Little Free Library box.
Visit http://www.lorinelson.com/ to see more of her evocative Cryptotweens series, which perfectly captures the monstrousness (and the wonder) of adolescence.
To me, the beautiful yet strange illustrations of @munichartstudio feel as though they’ve slipped from the pages of an old, old storybook written in a language I don’t recognize. The artist herself is an enigma; @liquidnight claims to have once met her in person, but @hircumvetulum and I suspect Becky may actually be a stack of cats in a long coat, masquerading as a person. We’re huge fans of @munichartstudio here at The Creeping Museum, and we’re so excited to have her be part of our very first (tiny) real-world exhibition!
Our next “Ghost Stories” creator is Philadelphia-based poet, artist, curator, and moth Maggie Lily (@thehauntedhawkmoth). Visit her cut-paper fairy tale world at your own risk: it is as dark and dangerous as it is enchanting. Her book Mayflies - a collection of illustrated poems which chronicle a journey of healing from childhood sexual trauma - is intimate, disturbing, and heartbreakingly beautiful.
Just a day or two after I had a harebrained idea to use our Little Free Library as a public exhibition space, a mysterious little parcel arrived from Austria from imaginary friend Claudia Six (@iamyouaresix). Nestled within this unexpected (and auspicious) package was a tiny sculpture that could belong nowhere else but inside a dollhouse-sized imaginary museum, so of course it had to be included in our “Ghost Stories” exhibition. Claudia uses various mediums (including delightfully unexpected public installations) to bring bits and pieces of her fantastical world into ours - join her and she’ll be your imaginary friend, too.
“Unreliable curator” Danielle Schlunegger-Warner (@naturalistandco) makes everything from tiny worlds suspended in time inside tiny bell jars, to immersive walkthrough reimagined natural history installations. As a Glean artist-in-residence, she’s currently turning her wunderkammer eye to Portland’s waste transfer station to make magic from some of the city’s million-plus tons of annual landfill waste!
Layla Sullivan (@hircumvetulum) is one-half of The Creeping Museum, and lives and breathes art in any and every medium she can get her hands on. She’s even innovated a groundbreaking technique for painting with the byproducts of her salon, the Bobby Pin. We love you Layla! #gofortheartstayforthehairpiles