Posted by: facetothewind | July 2, 2009

Quilts and Quirks – a night out in The Pearl

Gallery hopping tonight in Portland we came across the Elizabeth Leach Gallery featuring the fabulous quilts of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. I had the chance to talk with a fabulously-dressed woman named Lucy Mingo who is one of the famous quilters in Gee’s Bend who was attending the exhibit tonight. Gee’s Bend is the isolated little town in rural Alabama that time forgot…but then the art world discovered when they tapped the local talent to national stardom in a touring exhibit of their work.

Lucy Mingo

The show went to the Whitney Museum in New York, the DeYoung in San Francisco and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (among others) and their quilts were hailed as “some of the most miraculous works of art America has produced.” You can read more about their quilting here. Lucy is on the right. She 78 and the mother of 10 children. Her daughter made her jacket. I don’t know the name of the woman on the left – she’s another quilter whose work isn’t exhibited in this show. The quilt behind them is for sale for a cool $14,000. Go girl!

** O N W A R D I N T O T H E P E A R L and the T R U E essence of Portland…

The Pearl is a neighborhood in the NW quadrant of Portland, once a warehouse district. Now it’s expensive high-rise condos, BMWs, trendy shops, galleries, specialty stores featuring Eco Luxuries…
Eco Luxuries

Kids play in a fountain in Portland – wow, where else in America can you play in a fountain without being hauled into the county jail in your wet t-shirt? Here a fountain is an urban swim hole.


Later on we met artist Terence Healy who has a fascination with Barbi dolls, Jesus and Godzilla…and if you have kept up with this blog, you’ve come to know that these three are my personal holy trinity.

Terence Healy

Take a closer look at that Barbi. Now you can see Terence’s wonderfully twisted sense of humor. Give ’em a hand!

Barbi no hand

Then we passed a couple of queens eating cupcakes they had gotten at Cupcake Jones. Portlanders love their cupcakes and are willing to part with $3.25 for one of the tasty little cakes in paper. But eating them with a fork is purely The Pearl.
Jones cupcakes

We ended the evening at the Roxy Diner on Stark. The Roxy is a 24-hour greasy spoon catering to drag queens and drunk people stumbling in from the bars after closing. Needless to say, the Roxy is NOT in the Pearl.

Roxy diner

Jesus with neon halo completed my evening…




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