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Saturday, January 03, 2015

All-Things-80s & Arnold

Have you ever had a wild hair to curate and design an 80s themed pop-up art show with Arnold Schwarzenegger as part of the subject matter?

No? Well, I did.

It was called, “All-Things-80s & Arnold” and was hosted at the Calico Room. I folded the show into a birthday celebration for myself and Dominic, a buddy of mine.

At first we wanted to have a private screening of Predator at the Academy Theater with a large group of friends. But instead of a singular movie showing I decided to create an event where all our friends and family could interact a bit more. It was a milestone birthday for both of us so we just went for it.

I asked twenty-one local and international artists to help fill the modest event space with 80s wonder, beauty, and strange Schwarzenegger curiosities. It was a mad rush to get everything done in our short timeline. The initial four week work period was very short for these artists. Readers who have done their fair share of creative projects 4 weeks isn't much time to create high level work with a busy winter season. Many artists had their own holiday projects, full-time jobs and art shows to take care of but, in the end all were willing to give their precious time and unique perspective to "A.T.80s.A.A.".

Schedules were tight but the physical space in the Calico Room was even tighter. Another consideration was that we couldn't hang anything from the walls. Therefore, we came up with simple wood structures to display many art pieces. Framing systems, ladders and small platforms were built out of plywood. In addition to the simple structures an audio/visual system played an animated video loop. We also had to set up and tear down quickly because the Calico event space was booked before and after our event.

All in all it was overwhelming, absurd and fun. For those who weren't able to attend, here's a quick summary:


Erik Blad blasted a quick audio/visual T-800 assault to the eye and ear holes. Even after staring at it for hours I could always see something new. Erik is a designer and illustrator currently residing in New York.

Dancin' Terminator
Motion Design

Self-proclaimed fake artist Jim Riswold brought a few dictators to the party. I felt this one was an interesting connection because Arnold Schwarzenegger's father was loosely associated with the Nazi party.

3 Dictators in a Tub
18" x 12" Digital Archival Print

Illustrator Mike Weihs showed the Arnold love with showing three iconic character facets of one amazing Arnold with this RISO print. Mike is a designer/illustrator currently living in Portland, OR.

Arnold is Número Uno
11" x 17" Risograph Print

The multi-talented Curtis Pachunka and Karen Koch created an edible Kuato from Total Recall. It wasn't enough that they made the mythical resistance leader out of rice crispy treat with matching cupcakes, but they also helped build wooden structures.

Start the Reactor
18" x 24" Rice Crispy Treat

Business-artist-woman Amber Clark brought her hand-stitched needle point A-game and made our art house a home.

Warrior's Sampler
20" x 16" Embroidery

Ascetic digital artist Mark Shepherd made some weird terminator stuff and literally walked it to my house from his house. His motto, "No car? No problem." definitely applied in this case.

Terminate Me
22" x 28" Digital and Mixed Media

Writer Jed A. took the reigns of both writing and art. After finishing the masterpiece he hand delivered the final print hours before the show.

Combat Zone
Digital Print

Jet-setting artist P. Bjork jumped off a plane from a business trip with stacks of silkscreened posters and "Got to the Church on Time" (like the song said). A merciless West Coast flying machine he is.

What is Best in Life
18" x 24" Print

Sculpture artist Katie McHugh brought in a multitude of disturbing sculptures, which rocked little kids' minds. We're talking minutes before the art reception started. She spends her free time organizing and designing agency Christmas parties.

Scene 2: Twins
12" x 12" Sculpture

Plasma Rifle in the 40 Watt Range
18" x 12" Sculpture

Kate Bingaman-Burt, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Portland State University and illustrator took another 80s direction and drew upon her man-muse, Anthony Michael Hall.

I Can't Believe I Gave My Panties to a Geek
8" x 8" Mixed Media Print

Model builder and designer Angie M. secured museum quality pedestals. But more importantly, she put together a Secret-Compartment-Johnny-Cab-Sculpture while working on a huge simultaneous art show.

Johnny Cab with Hydrocodone
8" x 8" Sculpture

Conceptual artist and art director Chris Thurman hand painted these minimal canvases to have them arrive perfectly like clock work before the show. Chris lives in sunny California with his family.

24" x 36" Painting

24" x 36" Painting

24" x 36" Painting

Artist Andy Prince designed this photo collage in the midst of looming work deadlines. This man can multi-task.

Stay Pumped
16" x 14"

Kevin Shaw, a master of many trades silkscreen/designed this shirt. Kevin was also overloaded with prior commitments but came through in the clutch.

Mens Small

We couldn't get a hold of the real Arnold Schwarzenegger in time so photographer Aaron Lee brought the Govenator's likeness to the show.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
36" x 48" Digital Archival Print

Creative writer/illustrator Casey Hall pushed his art through China's Great Firewall and had it literally appear blocks from my house. Casey is currently working and traveling abroad in Asia.

20" x 30" Digital Archival Print

Art Director and illustrator Graham Barey brought the power of the Conan, the Destroyer to the Calico room in this simple but effective silkscreen poster printed by another local artist, Walker.

Grant Me Revenge
17" x 11" Silkscreen Print

Digital Art Director Duane King went fully analog and put Schwarzenegger's soul and voice in a machine. Clearly a case of life imitating art and art imitating life.

8" x 8" Mixed Media

Painter Sam Tudyk poured out ink quickly ink and created this study before heading out on her art retreat.

Muscle Flex
10" x 8" Ink Painting

Typographer and illustrator Alex Barrett brought the goods after long radio silence while trapped in Asia.

8" x 10" Digital Print

Last certainly not least, Josh and Jeff brought their muscle and minds to do final finish work for the show.

A video posted by peteryue (@peteryue) on

It was a true honor to design, curate, collaborate and engineer a pop-up art show with many incredibly talented people I call friends. Buffonery happened. Art was sold. Plus, I personally had a great time celebrating and fun time visiting. Hopefully we can do it again.

Open Your Mind to All-Things-80s & Arnold
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