Internship & Studio: Reflections on 2021

It’s safe to say that 2021 was a better year than 2020. With the vaccine, life this year has become a little less scary. People started to come together, first in small groups, then with larger audiences for theaters and public events. Schools have reopened, offering both in-person and online attendance. We’ve learned to live a hybrid existence of meetings and virtual viewings, and for those with boosters, the actual presence of the audience at movies, shows, or parties.

Twenty-one also marked the year that Stage and Studio found a new home at ArtsWatch, and the year has passed quickly with a mix of artist profiles featuring BIPOC women who are not usually not featured, like costume designer Wanda Walden, visual artist Roberta Wong, and Indigenous artist Lillian Pitt, or arts patron Ronni Lacroute, as well as the most recent audio tour of the Beyond Van Gogh exhibit.


Stage & Studio Host and Producer Dmae Lo Roberts joins ArtsWatch Editor-in-Chief Bob Hicks for an in-depth conversation about 2021 highlights and the trends they see happening in the art landscape for 2022 They also remember the losses the artistic community has endured and the resilience demonstrated by artists and organizations in Oregon and beyond.

Bob Hicks, editor of ArtsWatch, left, and Dmae Lo Roberts, host and producer of Stage & Studio.

We’ll also hear from arts editor Brett Campbell and art contributors Amy Leona Havin and Steph Littlebird talk about their top picks of 2021, a year in which the arts community has taken inspiration from the world around them and shows real creativity in its expression despite the challenges. of COVID-19.

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Listen to past shows on Stage & Studio Site. Musical theme by Clark Salisbury.

Highlights from the podcast include…

Analyzes of art’s response to the pandemic:

Hicks: “Art is a response to what surrounds it. It is a response to its time. And it’s a response to its own culture and, you know, one way or another, the arts always reflect the culture and times they come from.

Roberts: “I think back to… Molière, for example, and all his comedies came out of the plague. I even think back to Shakespeare’s time and the Great Fire (of London), and the art continued and the live performances continued, and it was a way of responding to the horrific circumstances of the world around them. … Personally, I feel changed by this experience, especially in the way I want to live and work.

Hicks: “Streaming something isn’t the same as being in a live space, experiencing something, but it also challenged creators to find new ways to create. And some (the experiences) were very, very good. And I think it’s possible that we see, for example, in the theater world, maybe the aspects of the movie (and) the video that people have learned will be part of new shows as we go along. .

Roberts: “Arts funders have, perhaps because of the clawback money, and also because of great compassion, have been more responsive to what arts groups, organizations and individual artists need to to create now and to the changes that must take place in order for them to create and for organizations to survive. So in many ways there was a great compassion that I would like to see continue. “

How ArtsWatch differs from mainstream journalism and is good at getting an insider’s perspective on the arts:

Hicks: Many of our contributors are themselves artists of one form or another. So you don’t have that “here are the artists and here are the critics” dichotomy setup that is so common in newspapers and magazines. I think it’s really good that the people who do the work also write about the work. Not necessarily their own work, and not necessarily in a critical capacity, but to be able to get artists to write about other artists.

The three best pieces from the Indigenous History and Resilience series by Steph Littlebird, featuring Grand Ronde artist and teacher Greg Archuleta, drag clown artist and performer Anthony Hudson and Oregon Symphony stage manager Lori Trephibio.

Top Live and Streaming Events came from Amy Leona Havin, including Gary Shteyngart at the Portland Book Festival, dancer Linda Austin at Performance Works Northwest, and audio performances here, here and here from Cygnet Radio Hour.

Better in-person and streaming performance by Brett Campbell, such as Bag & Baggage Productions, 45th Parallel, Fear No Music, Oregon Symphony, Portland Baroque Orchestra, to name a few.

Overall, despite the pandemic, art has survived in Oregon in many ways and shows the true power of the arts in overcoming the worst of situations.

Also in “2021: the year in review”

  • The 10 best films of the year by Marc Mohan. ArtsWatch’s chief film columnist chooses and hires them, from The lost girl at Memory at Macbeth’s tragedy.
  • 2021: The people who made art. From Damien Geter and Leapin ‘Louie to Bonnie Meltzer and Willy Vlautin, celebrating nearly 30 Oregon artists whose visions stood out and helped define and rethink a precarious year.

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