Portland's rep is growing as a place with nurturing soil for small-house snazzy designers – of clothes, furnishings, jewelry, urban spaces. An item on ULTRA, the city's heard-it-here-first design Web site, notes the latest subtle sign that players far and away from the Northwest are hip to the art-commerce mix of the Rose City.
The prolific and readable Grace Bonney, former design writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer and contributor to the top posh-home mags, is coming to town to run one of a series of national workshop for designistas. (Bonney puts out that excellent procrastination tool, Design*Sponge, from her Brooklyn home base.)
Portlanders learned from writer Lisa Radon's ULTRA of Bonney's February visit, when she's slated to host a free gathering for women running design and art-based businesses in the area. This isn't a night of trading hemline tips–it's a chance for professionals to get hooked up with public relations services, wholesalers and others hip to the boutique design biz.
The number of events for design pros--and those who just dig being around the wearable, useable forms of art--may soon rival Portland's busy music scene.
To wit, the current hot date among those who know of such things: Taking potential sweethearts to "Touching Warms the Art," a show at the Museum of Contemporary Craft, where patrons can drape themselves in the wonderful and occasionally bizarre jewelry on display.