The doors of the Rake Gallery in Portland, OR opened for the first time last Thursday night, December 1st at 7pm. Located in Portland’s Everett Station Lofts, the opening show featured work from members of the Rake art group.

A not for profit organization, the Rake gallery was created with the sole purpose of forming a community for emerging artists voices to be heard. But what this group of artists and friends has accomplished is much more. They have built a comfortable place where those both familiar and unfamiliar with the art world can come and view new and ground-breaking work.

The premier show for the Rake was a success, as many people from all over braved in climate weather to support the Rake community. I talked with artist, professional snowboarder, and friend, Corey Smith to see how it went.

Torrey: You’ve been in many shows, but this is the first time you are actually part of creating a space. How did you feel before the doors opened?

Corey: I felt really relaxed and surprised we had such a good turn out. Jeremy and everyone involved did such a good job in promoting the opening. Co-op galleries are amazing, you don’t have to give 50% of your sales to the gallery owner. Everyone works together to promote our work and create a gallery space show it.

Were there any last minute preparations?

No. We had been planning and working on it a month in advance, so we were prepared a couple days in advance. Just a few details here and there needed to be addressed.

What was the night like? Was it raining? Warm? Windy?

Ha ha! Well, it’s been raining here in Portland for about a week straight. So yeah it was a miserable, windy, cold night. But that’s why we get so much snow in the mountains.

How did you feel once the doors opened?

Well, I showed up fashionably late so it was packed when I got there. I was happy. The space looked amazing, great turn out. There was a constant crowd the entire night. Three or four pieces sold, I’m not sure which ones. Enough to pay the rent, ha ha!

Describe the space.

The gallery is a clean, large space with large front windows, wood floors, and tall ceilings. A separate back room gallery, and a small stage for shows and performance art.

Who came up with the idea for Rake?

Jeremy Tucker pooled together Portland artists to show at various venues around town, now we have our own space to feature our artists.

Who else is part of the Rake group?

Ryan Lydon, Noel Nelson, Michael Wilson, Grace Luebke, Jodi White, Molly Anderson, April Alden, Mario Roberts III, Mack McFarland, Rachel Allen, Jenna Kane, Scott Haselwood,Garret Price, Jeremy Tucker, Kristen Williey, Skyler McCaughey,

And the young lady who’s in the picture with you?

That’s Grace Luebke, she’s the 3D artist that did the installation piece in the front window. She makes these crazy huge sculptures by stretching nylon and creating these shapes. Apparently it’s all the rage, flying back and forth between LA and Portland. I love to look at her work but I don’t understand all the theory behind it. 3D art is crazy, it’s complicated! Ha ha!

Anything else I’m missing that you can tell me about the night and about the Rake that you want the young TW website readers to know…

I think that in Portland and especially within skateboard and snowboard art, there’s such a trendy scene of artists drawing cute little animals and graffiti style stuff, it’s just so fashionable and predictable. Being able to show my work with artists completely detached from that scene in refreshing. Nobody is trying to draw skateboard graphics, to me it’s the true art scene, artists creating work to express themselves. Everyone has a different background, style, and medium. Leave your scenes at home, and come to the Rake and check out a variety of different types of artwork.

The Rake Gallery is open Mon — Fri 2-8pm, Sat 12-8pm and is located at 325 NW 6th Ave,, Portland OR. If you are in the Portland area, be sure to stop by and support the local art community. Or for more info visit:

www.rakeart.org
www.coreysmithart.com