A True Badass - Let’s be more like Glenda Goldwater, 2020, oil on canvas

Image: Kate O'Neil

 “If she felt comfortable with you, she’d roll up her sleeves or tug a piece of her clothing aside to put one of her many tattoos on display. A VW bug, a chicken, obviously the French flag, a cow, and across her chest in cursive, Je m'en fous translated means, ‘I don't care,’" says Kate O'Neil, one of the organizers of the memorial art exhibition being held in honor of Glenda Goldwater, a grande dame of Portland’s arts scene who died in September at age 85. "When she’d show a tattoo, she’d look each person in the eyes and say, ‘Fias pas chier! Don't fuck with me!”” 

“Bold,” “inspiring,” and “fabulous” are words that come to the forefront when discussing Goldwater, as many of her close friends remember. This month, part of her personal collection will be on display in an exhibition titled Fais Pas Chier, after her tattoo.

O'Neil worked with Charles Froelick from Froelick Gallery, Daniel Peabody of Elizabeth Leach Gallery, and Goldwater’s brother to compile and organize the exhibition. There will be a wide range of pieces on view, from a drawing by legendary Oregon sculptor Lee Kelly to ephemera from Goldwater’s personal estate, such as political posters. 

“There’s probably about 150 artworks that she had acquired over her long, exciting life that we feel represent and honor her,” says Peabody. Peabody and friends have leased the space at Upfor Gallery in the Pearl District for the month of November to display Goldwater’s work salon-style. 

“Glenda was connected to many parts of our community, but this is a way for those who connected to her through the art world to come in and see some of the things she loved and acquired,” says Peabody. 

The exhibition will be available for viewing in November on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Two couples or two individuals can be in the gallery at one time, with others able to wait outside. During the week of November 16–20, viewing is available by appointment only, and masks are required in the space. To schedule an appointment, email [email protected].

Fais Pas Chier: The Art Collection of a Portland Icon

Noon–5 p.m. Sat–Sun in November (by appointment only Nov 16–20), Upfor Gallery, 929 NW Flanders St

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