(Note: This interview was first published in the Spring 2009 Oldtown China Town Crier. Anka Gallery is open First Thursdays. )
By Julianna Paradisi
Anka Gallery stands in the heart of the Old Town Chinatown arts neighborhood, both physically and metaphorically speaking. Anka’s curator, Anna Solcaniova King and her husband Graylan, share a vision of adding to Portland’s arts community “A visual voice of the unexpected… a more penetrating exchange between artist and audience.” Herself an artist, Anna’s love of process is evident in Anka’s shows: Last fall, John Wiley Howington’s chromatic photographs included the recorded ambient sounds of the locations he photographed, using cameras he makes himself.
Anna and Graylan are the creators of PDXartscene.org, an art portal utilizing advanced web-based tools. They are launching a similar portal for Los Angeles to create a conduit of exchange benefitting artists in both cities.
Anna brings unique credentials to Portland: born in Slovakia, she studied art history in Italy. Immigrating to New York, she developed her aesthetic sensibility by designing sets for fashion photo shoots with notable stars of the industry, and after 9/11, she moved to Los Angeles, designing sets for movies and working with Pop artist Steve Kaufman.
Anka Gallery, at 325 NW 6th Avenue, is open for First Thursdays 6 pm- 9 pm.