Arts News

Victory Gallery Closes; Imago Theatre Moves in New Direction

The wonderful internationally focused gallery closes its doors, and the whimsical theatrical masters hang up their masks.

By Aaron Scott November 7, 2012

Two endings came across the Culturephile desk this afternoon—one final, the other the ending of one chapter and opening of another, but both a rather sad way to end the day.

Venus by Martin Mohr

First, the fantastic Victory Gallery will close its doors at the end of the month. The gallery has made a colorful mark on Portland’s fine art landscape by booking strong shows by international artists, something that was sorely lacking in Portland before Victory opened and will be sorely missed once it is gone. Why close, you ask? The bane of Portland’s art scene, of course: the lack of money. “As a result of the exorbitant cost of international shipping and a challenging economy, we cannot continue to operate the gallery with the current business model,” writes co-owner Jane Wood in the closing email she sent out to thank the artists, friends, and supporters that have made the gallery a thriving nexus for art and ideas. She writes that they hope to continue the gallery’s mission of bringing international art and artists to the city through other avenues. We hope they do.

The gallery is throwing a last hurrah on Thursday, November 29 from 6:30–9pm. 733 NW Everett St. The current show, fittingly, is a retrospective of this last year, giving you a full sampling of what we're going to lose.

Second, Imago Theatre sent out word that this season’s production for ZooZoo will be its final. Over the last 30 years, the company has taken its creative and whimsical mask theater around the world, winning accolades and even charming Broadway with its Frogs, Lizards, Orbs, Slinkies, and any number of other fantastical creatures. But after ZooZoo, it will hang up its masks and strike out in a new direction. Imago co-creators Carol Triffle and Jerry Mouawad plan to launch a new company focused on dance, movement, and comedy that leaves the performers’ faces bare to the audience.

“We’ve had a wonderful run with the exploration and delight we have discovered with our mask forms,” says Mouawad. “But we’re very excited about the possibilities of our new directions. Since we will be laying down the mask and unveiling the performer there will be a side to Imago that is yet to be discovered.”

ZooZoo’s final performances will take place December 7 to January 1, and then Imago will take its menagerie of cats, penguins, anteaters, polar bears, fireflies, giant windbags, acrobatic worms, and animated objects on one last victory parade through 25 cities across North America for a proper send off.  The future after that is anybody's guess, but based off the critical success of Mishima's the Black Lizard, we suspect there's a lot more to come.


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