Portland's Aaron Voronoff Trotter has developed a niche for himself over the past decade, as the artist and maker of Illustrated Playing Cards.
They are not ordinary playing cards, but individually drawn on location and highlighting places that he sees in Portland and cities literally all over the world.
His most recent big trip came before the pandemic: January 2019, he flew west around the world for two months, sketching images in six cities — Taipei, Hong Kong, New Dehli, Jerusalem, Istanbul and Athens.
His previous projects included the Landmarks of Portland, featuring 52 (obviously) cards with images of landmarks and neighborhood places. He also created Secrets of Portland in lush watercolors, focusing on parks, gardens, mountain views and trails. Portland Beer Trail was a self-guided tour of 52 different breweries; Oregon Wineries features tasting rooms between Portland and Salem.
He also made custom sets for Oregon Beer Trail, Oregon Coast, Bend, Eugene, Astoria, Cannon Beach, Northeast Alberta Street, North Mississippi Avenue, the Trail Blazers, Oregon State University and Seaside Promenade.
Oh, and his playing card sales have funded trips across the country to draw cities from Seattle to Washington, D.C. to New Orleans, and internationally from London to Berlin to Moscow to Tokyo, which led to playing card sets.
If you like playing cards and/or cool art, it's worth checking out at http://www.illustratedplayingcards.com. Trotter is also a regular at Portland Saturday Market.
And the winner is …
Part of the recently concluded Portland Film Festival is its Comcast-sponsored Future Filmmakers project, in which industry people work with kids to make movies — in this case, monster movies.
Well, we have the winners. In the high school division, they are two sophomores at Catlin Gabel school, Ima Kennerly and Oscar Goranson, who wrote, filmed and edited a movie they titled "Shadow," which addresses themes of mental health and stress teens face particularly with issues of diversity.
"We wanted to address things that were scary and stressful for us and apply them to our movie," Kennerly said. "I focused on what it felt like to be a student of color in a predominantly white school."
They won $500 in prize money.
Three friends made "Today Humans, Tomorrow Monsters" to win the middle school award; a cohort of K-5 students from Hillsboro won the youngest age group.
The Oregon Poet Laureate Program is accepting nominations for the state's next poet laureate through Jan. 10, 2022. The next poet laureate will serve a two-year term, beginning in May 2022.
The poet laureate fosters the art of poetry, encourages literacy and learning, addresses central issues relating to humanities and heritage and reflects on public life in Oregon. They do a minimum of 10 public readings/events each year.
Anis Mojgani is the outgoing poet laureate and Elizabeth Woody, Kim Stafford, the late Peter Sears and Lawson Inada are previous poet laureates.
It's administered by Oregon Cultural Trust; for more, see http://www.culturaltrust.org.
Here are some upcoming events to consider:
• Imago Theatre is presenting "The Birds" by Conor McPherson and from the original story by Daphne du Maurier, through Nov. 20. McPherson took Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" and transformed it into a tension-filled chamber drama in which four characters struggle to survive an ever-encroaching airborne apocalypse. For more: http://www.imagotheatre.com.
• The first national tour of Broadway's "Mean Girls" stages at Keller Auditorium, Nov. 10-14. It was produced by Lorne Michaels, Stuart Thompson, Sonia Friedman and Paramount Pictures, based on the hit film (and written by Tina Fey). For more: http://www.BroadwayInPortland.com.
• The "One-Man Star Wars Trilogy" features Canadian actor Charles Ross playing 40 roles from three "Star Wars" movies without props, sets or costumes, and it stages Nov. 14 at Newmark Theatre. For more: http://www.portland5.com.
• Boom Arts presents part three of 600 Highwaymen's "A Thousand Ways," in which a community of strangers — the audience — work together to enact a story told on a series of notecards, using prompts, recollections and interactions. It'll be Nov. 16-17 and Nov. 19-20 at Zidell Yards. The first parts were "Phone Call" and "An Encounter." Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone make up 600 Highwaymen. For more: http://www.boomarts.org.
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center has announced that Gloria Chien and Soovin Kin, artistic directors for Chamber Music Northwest, have been named the recipients of the 2021 CMS Award for Extraordinary Service to Chamber Music.
"As the months wore on (during COVID-19 pandemic), Soovin and Gloria mounted project after project in multiple locations, from their home in Boston to their series in Chattanooga, Portland and Vermont," said David Finckel and Wu Han, co-artistic directors of CMS. "As young directors (and stellar performers), they have set an example not only as artists but citizens of the world, and for that, we should all be grateful."
David Shifrin, Chamber Music Northwest artistic director emeritus, won the award in 2019.
It's not too far of a drive from Portland, and The Museum at Warm Springs celebrates National Native American and Alaska Native Heritage Month with its 28th annual Warm Springs Tribal Member Exhibit.
It'll be on display through Jan. 8, 2022. There are 27 Warm Springs artists included in the exhibit, and there'll be more than 50 selections of paintings, drawings, mixed-media pieces, beadwork, video, photography and more on display.
For more on the museum, see http://www.museumatwarmsprings.org.
After cancellation last year and putting on a TV special instead, Michael Allen Harrison returns with his "Christmas at the Old Church," Dec. 10-27. It's the 31st season of the popular concerts. There'll be 23 shows. For more: http://www.michaelallenharrison.com.
'Mother of Color'
A film by Portland filmmaker Dawn Jones Redstone, making her directorial debut, has been chosen as one of six films for the US in Progress program that will be part of the American Film Festival in Poland this week.
US in Progress is an event connecting European buyers and American independent filmmakers to foster trans-Atlantic industry connections. It's a film still in post-production and will be shown at film festivals and be distributed in early 2022.
Redstone and producer Tara Johnson-Medinger attended the festival in Poland.
The movie tells the story of Noelia, a whip-smart, single mother of two who dreams of running for office someday but struggles to get by and find care for her kids. When she's offered the chance to interview for a position that will change everything, she begins receiving messages from her ancestors. Noelia senses that something bigger is at play as she works through a series of obstacles to get to the interview and follow her dreams.
"The film uplifts our mostly women and BIPOC cast/crew while also telling a story that ultimately is about all the ways we love and take care of each other in these fractured times," Redstone said.