For more than a decade, Mary Topogna had a shop on NE Killingsworth in Portland called Hail Mary. It was a local institution in the neighborhood. A 2011 article in Portland Monthly said:
With her mosaics, Tapogna makes magic of the discarded bits of everyday items that the rest of us would toss in the trash. For instance, broken plates and cups, like the pieces I sweep up in my kitchen periodically, one of my foibles being a propensity to break my favorite china and glassware (not on purpose). I should drop them off at Hail Mary...
As you probably know, each room at the new Art House at Old St. Francis School is named for the title of a painting done by one of the artists who have lent their talents to McMenamins properties.
Artist Damian Zari has a wonderful and distinctly different style from what we are used to seeing at our properties – for example, he uses an air brush to spray the paint onto his canvas (whether the canvas be a wall, a piece of fabric or the human body). Below is the piece he did for the Art House, his summary of his influences for the work, and his bio.
In just a few weeks, we open the Art House at Old St. Francis School, where each room is named for the title of a painting done by one of the artists who have lent their talents to McMenamins properties. Each artist was asked to paint a mural that represents his or her experiences or inspirations from working with McMenamins. Below, read about Olivia Behm's contribution as well as her journey as an artist with the company.
This is an emotionally difficult story to read, but ultimately a positive and rewarding one. McMenamins artist Jonathan Case, whose work is shown below, lost his child several months ago. Otis was just 20 months old when he had an unexpected seizure and passed away in the hospital on January 21, 2016. As a tribute to their son, Otis's mom Sarah Zollner Case launched a powerful movement of generosity in their son's name, a wave of kindness that has since traveled far and wide over social media.
The painting below, called Inside Lyle's Head by McMenamins artist Jenny Joyce, hung for years at Dad Watson's in Seattle, prior to the pub's 2011 closing. Luckily, Lyle's head has found a new home at the Anderson School in Bothell.Read More
You may know Chris Walla as the former multi-instrumentalist and co-founder of the Grammy-nominated indie-rock band Death Cab For Cutie. He is also a music producer, having worked with such bands as The Decemberists and Tegan & Sara.Read More
With the Anderson School grand opening less than two months away, the artists - McMenamins' signature team along with contracted local artists from the greater Seattle area - are working steadily and with great creativity! Here are just a few examples of their work, based on historical photos, interviews and articles that Tim provided that came from the school, the alumni, Bothell Historical Society, local families and others.Read More
Fred Eckhardt, legendary craft beer writer, brewing enthusiast and good friend to McMenamins, passed away on August 10th at the age of 89. He was one of the (if not the) most influential person in Oregon craft brewing. He self-published A Treatise on Lager Beers: A Handbook for Americans and Canadians on Lager Beer in 1969-70, long before anyone else was writing about home brewing and before it was even legal. The book went through several reprints and still remains a bible to those who home brew. One online review said: "When my friends want to know how to understand the beer they are drinking, this is the book I recommend. Note that I do NOT lend them my copy; I would not want to be without it." Fred wrote several other books on brewing into the mid-‘90s, including one on the art of sake brewing.
Below are some quotes from Fred during his tenure as the Dean of Beer Writing, rounding out with a few lines from one of his favorite songs. And this lovely new painting by artist Olivia Behm will grace the Fred Eckhardt room at the Anderson School in Bothell. It is just one of many murals and panels and orbs that have or will have Fred's jovial, waxed-moustached face on them for years to come.
Three sisters have discovered an old trunk in the attic of their family home. The trunk is locked and the sisters can see the key to the trunk hanging just inside the fireplace. Before they can reach it, the ghost of their ancestor, Squire Boone, appears in the form of a hovering flame that settles just below the key, making it too hot to touch.Read More
As we all know, the Anderson School grand opening is less than two months away. The artists have been working since last fall on new artwork for the property, based on Tim's historical research. Below is one of the new pieces that will hang at Anderson School, by local artist Carol Meckling, along with a short biography of a colorful life.Read More
Our McMenamins historians and artists are busy researching and painting new historic-based panels for our next property, McMenamins Anderson School in Bothell, Wash. (opening October 15, 2015). Here, artist Jenny Joyce offers insight into her latest piece, which is an homage to Doctor Hebbel Hoff, a Bothell native who taught at Baylor and pioneered advances in the field of heart and physiology research, including the beginning of pacemakers in the 1950s. Joyce drew inspiration—literally—from Hoff’s studies and findings to create an embodiment of his achievements, and like all who are personified in our artwork, illustrate his personality.Read More
The McMenamins artists have been working for months on new history-based artwork for McMenamins Anderson School, opening October 15, 2015 in Bothell, WA.Read More
Months ago, our McMenamins artists put out a call for painters to help with the extraordinary amount of artwork that will be needed at the Anderson School property in Bothell, Wa. Here's a bit from the call-for-artists letter:Read More
There are so many good people doing cool and interesting things underneath this McMenamins' umbrella, and certainly among the most remarkable are the artists and the wondrous work they do all around us!Read More
Working with the artists has always been a favorite part of my job at McMenamins. They are amazingly creative people who dwell on a different plane than us mere mortals. I don't know if they're always excited about painting characters and scenes steeped (tainted?) in the history that bubbles up about each of the McMenamins' locations, but that's their assignment (most of the time) during work hours.Read More
This piece by artist Joe Cotter hangs on the 2nd floor of Edgefield and depicts one of the original Edgefield "artists" – Racer X – hard at work.
Between 1982 and 1989, the poor-farm-turned-old-folks-home-turned-county-eyesore stood empty. Well, sort of empty – along with the blackberry bushes, the mice, snakes and other invaders came a band of merry pranksters armed with spray paint. One of these (or maybe all of them, who knows?) went by the slightly unoriginal moniker Racer X.Read More
Here's what Jenny has to say about it.....Read More
Here's an excerpt from Frank Delaney's Ireland: A Novel (2005). Have a look... you might need this info on Sunday, St. Patrick's Day...
Note: Local artist and beloved McMenamins contributor Joe Cotter passed away on Saturday, March 31, 2012. This is the second post in honor of his lovely, magical artwork that can be found throughout McMenamins' establishments. We have lost a friend and one of the color masters of the company. Cheers, Joe.
From McMenamins Artist Jenny Joyce:
Losing Joe is still something I am still having trouble believing. He is the reason I started working for McMenamins, and he was also a founding member of Artback, our artists' co-op in Estacada, Ore.
Did you know that he led the fight to reinstate community murals in Portland? That battle lasted almost 10 years, I believe, and Joe, being Joe, would not let it rest until the issue was resolved fairly. He put in untold hours hammering away at the legalities. He was tenacious in that battle. He was also such a hardworking artist. He never took a short cut, always did what needed to be done without compromise. He was also one of the smartest people I have ever met.Read More
Note: Local artist and beloved McMenamins contributor Joe Cotter passed away on Saturday, March 31, 2012. This is the first post in honor of his lovely, magical artwork that can be found throughout McMenamins' establishments. We have lost a friend and one of the color masters of the company. Cheers, Joe.
Joe Cotter has long been at the fore of artistic pursuits in Oregon. And it's been McMenamins' good fortune that, for several decades, Joe and his wife, Kolieha Bush - also an artist of remarkable talents - have done exceptional pieces throughout the McMenamins' Kingdom. This mesmerizing painting by Joe celebrates the Oregon Country Fair, which rises every year outside of Eugene, in the rural town of Veneta.Read More