Bug Toast to perform “Picture This: A Blackfish Oratorio”

BLACKFISH GALLERY:  For immediate Release

 PICTURE THIS: A Blackfish Oratorio in honor of the 40th Anniversary

Funded by a generous grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC)

Blackfish Gallery: 420 NW 9th Ave., Portland, OR 97209 | 503-224-2634 | director@blackfish.com  |  http://www.blackfish.com

Two Free Public Performances:  Ticket Reservations are Advised

Saturday, April 13, 7 pm 

Sunday, April 14, 3 pm

Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am-5 pm 

Blackfish artists Christopher Shotola-Hardt and Merridawn Duckler, in conjunction with Shotola-Hardt’s progressive folk ensemble Bug Toast, present an evening-length musical work blending original folk, blues, jazz, and classical motifs. The oratorio invites listeners into a day in the life of the iconic Portland gallery. Incorporating everything from First Thursday field recordings to ukulele soliloquies, and based on a libretto from 40 years of gallery logs, PICTURE THIS combines a fauvist, impressionistic score with the realpolitik of artists’ lives to produce an unforgettable event. Funded in part by a grant from Regional Arts and Culture Council. No charge to the public.

Bug Toast defies categorization, playing genre-bending, world-influenced, progressive folk on accordion, bouzouki, guitar, bass, and violin, with textured instrumentation, vocal harmonies, interesting time signatures, and unusual modes. Bug Toast is Dave Andrews, Mark Andrews, Christopher Shotola-Hardt, Susanne Shotola-Hardt, and for the performance of PICTURE THIS, Adrian Hardt.

Christopher Shotola-Hardt is a painter, art educator, and musician, and has been at Blackfish Gallery since 2004. His most recent exhibit in October 2018, Elegy for the Birds, reflected his life-long passion for ornithology — birds have played a dominant role in his painting shows over the past twenty years.  A life-long musician and composer, Christopher has collaborated with the core members of Bug Toast for the past twenty-seven years. He sang with the Oregon Repertory Singers for eight seasons and played cello in the Portland Youth Philharmonic for five years; he has been a member of numerous chamber orchestras, pit orchestras, and chamber ensembles, and has played in various rock and folk groups, prior to Bug Toast.

Merridawn Duckler is a poet and text-based installation artist. She was librettist for C’Opera, an opera at LAPD reviewed in the New York Times. She’ll be a playwright in residence at the Horned Dorset Colony in September. Her recent play IN SPIRIT, on Oregon artist Rick Bartow, had a sold-out run at the Newport Performing Arts Center. Exhibitions at Blackfish Gallery include works on  T.S. Eliot, Walter Benjamin, Omar Khayyam and Bertolt Brecht. In November 2019, the collaborative team of Geordie and Merridawn Duckler present  X LIBRIS, a forest of books, where the public, after being admonished to shhh, can check out objects with an artist-issued library card.

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