Gallery 49, the rotating art wall at Oxbow Blending & Bottling at 49 Washington Ave. in Portland, is showing the art of four international beer designers, including Oxbow’s art director, Will Sears.
He invited a few of his colleagues to bring their personal artwork to Portland for an exhibition in the tasting room. Oxbow dedicates one of its walls in the tasting room to rotating art shows. Sears, a Portland artist, curates the space and has put together a dozen shows. He’s trying to infuse the tasting room with the original art of local, regional and, in this instance, international artists.
In addition to Sears, the show features art by Karl Grandin of the Swedish-based beer brand Omnipolo, Keith Shore of Danish-based Mikkeller and Mike Van Hall, a beer label designer for many brands, including Stillwater, DC Brau and others. They met at a beer convention and began talking about their common interest in art and beer.
“Because we’re a beer company and I’m the art director, I’ve got good rapport with other art directors from other breweries,” Sears said. “We thought this was a cool opportunity to take our conversation and do a show.”
They’re calling their exhibition “Artistic Directions.” It features collages, assemblages, drawings, prints and a variety of other kinds of art. After they hung their show, the four traveled to Oxbow’s brewing facility in Newcastle to concoct a collaborative beer – and create a collaborative label for it. The beer, still unnamed, will be available in about six months, Sears said, offering no promises about the outcome.
“This was an excuse to do the beer,” Sears said. “We just really wanted to do the label.”
WHERE: Gallery 49, Oxbow Blending & Bottling, 49 Washington Ave., Portland
WHEN: Noon to 9 p.m. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, noon to 11 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday; through March
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