Saturday, June 26, 2010

Call to Art: Atomic Tiki

Aloha, all you tiki artists out there, Portland's very own Elroy Artspace is calling for artists to submit work for their Atomic Tiki Show coming this August. Deadline for entries is July 18, which is quickly approaching, which means I too need to get my keister in gear if I'm going to submit something. For all the info just clickity-click-click. Looks like good times whether you submit art or not.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Crown Motel Sign Benefit

 I remember going out to Interstate Avenue in Portland on a chilly March afternoon the day before they took down the sign for Crown Motel. I wanted to get some sketches of the sign and the motel before they were gone, but it was so cold that my fingers quickly numbed, so none of the sketches came out worth a poo. I still have the them in one of my sketchbooks, and some day I will probably do something creative based on those sketches and some vintage post cards of the motel. Sadly, the motel was torn down, but at least the sign was saved. As I recall,  Ramsay Signs did the removal and had agreed to store the sign in a safe place until it could be restored. Now it seems that the Portland Metropolitan Area Mid-Century Modern League will be hosting a fundraiser (sign up here) at the Interstate Lanes, which is a pretty cool looking building in it's own right, to help pay for the restoration. I've got a buggered knee, so I wont be bowling, but it looks like good times and certainly a great cause if you can make it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Retro Preservationists : Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid

Have you heard of Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid? If not, I would like to introduce you, well actually this first clip will do that for me, so I'll just set it up a little bit. Back in the mid-century, many hotel bars had windows that had an underwater view of  the hotel pool, and they would often feature some type of underwater floor show as part of the evening's entertainment. They were called porthole bars and were all the rage for a time, of course, like most cool things from that era, the majority of them are gone now. Enter the lovely Miz Marina (aka MeduSirena) who is doing her part to keep the craft of the choreographed under water performance alive by both performing and teaching others how to do it. In fact, she has a whole pod of lovely mermaid apprentices. Incidentally, Marina  is a multifaceted mermaid and doesn't limit herself to just underwater performances. She's got an impressive list of talents and isn't above shedding her tail and performing on land as well. Among other things: she is a fire eater, a belly dancer, and I believe she even makes her own tails. Although I guess she would have to. It's not like she could go into Wal-Mart and say: give me a blue mermaid tail, size 3. Anyway, I just think it's so cool that she has taken this vintage craft and not only helped keep it alive, but has also breathed new life into it. Indeed, she has built upon it and added enough of her own personality and creativity so that it is truly retro, meaning that it isn't merely a rehashing of something done before, but she has honored the past and at the same time created something unique and ├╝ber special.

Marina is located in Florida, and I'm on the West Coast, so I haven't had a chance to see her live, but someday I do hope to catch one of her shows. Seriously, it's on my bucket list. Anyway, if you want to learn more about her or her shows, you can check out the Medusirena Web Page.

Watch an overview of what Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid is all about.

Marina ~ The Fire-Eating Mermaid newscast from Dawn Dubriel on Vimeo.

Watch this a little clip from 1961, which gives a quick look at Marina's predecessors.