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I just returned to Portland after a fun couple days opening a show and doing some teaching in Astoria, Oregon. Many thanks to the faculty, students, and art department staff at Clatsop Community College for your hospitality, your attentiveness during the workshop, and your work hanging and lighting this group of sixteen life-sized paintings. What a great space up there in the hills! Click here for more info on the show, open until November 7.

Athletic MeasuresSep. 30 to Nov. 7

As winner of the Au Naturel Solo Show and Workshop award, I’ll be showing 14 paintings, doing a talk about those pieces and leading a workshop in Astoria October 10-11. The opening should be fun. Free food and so on. I’ve attended a couple of these shows in the past at Clatsop Community College’s gallery. The students, faculty and citizens of Astoria really tend to come out for these evenings, and they bring some great conversation.

For those of you in the Portland area interested in coming to the reception—especially the many excellent athletes who repeatedly lifted, pressed, stretched and sweated for these pictures—please contact me if you’d like to get some carpools going.

Opening Reception and Talk: Thursday, Oct. 10, 6:00 pm
Workshop: “Embracing Messy Beginnings (With a Live Model)”: Friday, Oct. 11, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm (Includes lunch break)

Art Center Gallery at Clatsop Community College
1799 Lexington Ave, Astoria, OR

Portland Open StudiosOct. 12-13, 19-20

Now in its 15th year, Portland Open Studios presents a two-weekend self-guided tour of 96 studios. Visitors get to see every visual arts discipline from sculpture to porcelain to fabric to photography demonstrated and dissected in the very places throughout Portland where the practitioners work. It’s a lovely education and a fun opportunity to see the city in a new way. Tour guides are available here and in several area stores, including New Seasons markets.

Each ticket—whether you purchase the calendar, the iPhone/Droid app, or the map-only ticket—is good for both weekends. Children visit for free. Proceeds go toward a mentoring program that’s expanding this year to include not only high school art students but also college students in the Portland area.

Guardino GalleryOct. 31 to Nov. 24

At this Halloween opening we’ll wear costumes. Sculptor Christopher Wagner and I will be showing new work that looks like this and this at one of Portland’s best known and most eclectic galleries, right in the middle of the Alberta Arts District.

Many thanks to Donna Guardino for pairing us together. I’ve been working with Chris for months to iron out this show. We’re both very excited to see it come together and looking forward to a more formal collaboration in 2014.

More info to come as this opening gets closer.

Opening Reception: Thursday, Oct. 31
Lecture: Saturday, Nov. 9

Guardino Gallery
2939 NE Alberta St. Portland, OR

While I’m not showing much this summer, I’ll be working overtime to get ready for a whole mess of visual goodness this fall.

Solo Show: October

Clatsop Community College, Astoria

As of now the show has no title and no locked-down opening date, but here’s what we know:

I’ve been awarded CCC’s annual “Solo Show and Workshop Award,” which means I’m already painting away during regular appointments watching naked athletes doing difficult stuff. Near the opening in October I’ll also give a lecture and lead a workshop related to this work.

Portland Open Studios: Oct. 12-13, 19-20

Along with 95 other painters, sculptors, fabric makers, photographers and multimedia-collage-ists, I will open my studio and demonstrate my practice to the public. This is one of Portland’s best arts education opportunities: the chance to look at a tour guide, choose a route to see what interests you, and watch people make more of that beautiful stuff. It’s also a great opportunity for high school and college art students to take on a formal internship for a hands-on lesson in this studio life.

I have a special interest in the internship/mentoring program this year since I’m running it.

Two-Person Show: Oct. 31 to Nov. 25

Guardino Gallery, Portland

This one will open on Halloween at Donna Guardino’s multi-roomed gallery on 30th and Alberta, Northeast, a well respected showcase of the Northwest’s beautiful and quirky since 1997. After you walk through the main monthly show, you can keep going through another gallery, a gift shop of small works and jewelry, and more rooms of goodness. For every show in the Main Gallery, Donna pairs two complementary bodies of work, usually one in 2-D and one in 3-D. I’m thrilled to be paired with sculptor Christopher Wagner, an excellent woodworker whose long-limbed, organic figures I love enough to own one already.

In an effort to prevent HIV infection, support people affected and infected with AIDS, and fight AIDS-related stigma, the Cascade AIDS Project has held an art auction each year since 1990. The auction’s reputation has grown over the years, and it now attracts a serious group of supporters from local restaurants, galleries and other businesses. It’s no exaggeration to say Portland’s finest foods will be ready for the sampling… and the visual art, I’m told, ain’t bad. It’s an honor to have a piece juried into this show and a privilege to be eating there this Saturday.

Tickets to the main event run $100 each, with proceeds going to benefit the CAP, and they’re still available. (There’s also a swank dinner with different pricing and rules.)

The piece I donated is listed here.

Date: April 27, 2013

Silent Auction: 7:30 to 10:30pm

Dancing: until Midnight

Location: Portland Memorial Coliseum

I’ve been invited to give a talk along with the other members of the Portland Accord: novelist Jessica Anthony, poet Brian Brodeur, writer Ben Chadwick and multimedia craftsman Max Stinson (who will be represented in absentia by a sock monkey). As part of George Mason University’s New Leaves writers’ conference, we’ll be discussing how our group has used years of biweekly check-ins, critiques, multimedia arguments and annual goals to push each other to make better work.

More info here. Scroll down to see us listed at the close of the program, right between the free Friday drinks and the cash bar.

We’ll take the stage Friday, Apr. 5, at 7:45pm. George Mason Inn, Fairfax, Va.

Athletes take a break in the kitchen at Crossfit X-Factor, a cross training gym in northwest Portland, Oregon, that now sports a life-size diptych. Two strong members of the gym lifted weights overhead countless times during two months of posing for me. The gym’s owner, Chris McDonald, commissioned these paintings as pedagogical tools to teach his clients how to correctly use their shoulders with a lot of weight overhead.

Clatsop Community College’s annual show, Au Naturel: The Nude in the 21st Century, surveys the state of that historically rich tendency for people to paint and draw and etch and photograph our species without clothes on. This year the jury of this well-regarded show has added my painting Recovery to their group of works by 47 picture makers mainly from across North America.

A reception the evening of March 7 will offer us all a great chance to talk through what we see. If past years are any guide, the range of depiction and depth of skill in this show will impress.

CCC Art Center Gallery: 1799 Lexington Avenue, Astoria, Oregon

Gallery Hours: M-F 8am to 6pm; Sat 11am to 4pm; and by appointment

Instead of a photo of the 13 paintings, I’m posting this one to invite you to see for yourself the beautiful job Sam Morgan and the crew at Cascade Gallery did hanging the show. (Besides… we didn’t take many photos of the actual event yesterday. Thanks to everyone who came!) If you get the chance, it’s worth seeing the space and the lighting and the goodness. Click here for more info on the show, open until January 10, 2013.

After two weekends and well over two hundred visitors, we at Rutz are happy to call our first Portland Open Studios tour a success. Thanks to the friends who worked the door and to the many Portland area visitors who came up our winding staircase gallery to see paintings, eat snacks and talk about visual arts issues big and small. I look forward to continuing those conversations when next we meet.

Beginning mid-November, I’ll be showing about a dozen paintings at Portland Community College’s Cascade Gallery, with an opening reception in the late afternoon of Nov. 15th. Please see the press release below:


Paul X. Rutz: The Measure of a Body

Dates: November 15, 2012 to January 10, 2013

Artist Talk: Thursday, November 15, 6:10-7pm, location yet to be determined

Opening Reception: Thursday, November 15, 4-6pm, Cascade Gallery, Terrell Hall Room 102

Gallery Hours: 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday

Cascade Gallery presents an exhibition of life-sized oil paintings by Portland artist Paul X. Rutz. A former Naval Officer, ballet dancer and newswire reporter, Rutz paints from live people with a method that invites viewers to renegotiate the rules by which we picture each other. His disdain for the use of the reclining nude has fueled his interest in depicting empowered subjects. He writes, “We’re so used to photographs, and a photo’s split-second sample of light through a single lens does a great job recording a suggestion of what we see, but it is far from the whole picture. Through painting, I aim to remind viewers about the unstable, unfolding ways we see each other. We are whole-body viewers. Our hearts beat, lungs expand, and our eyes make continuous saccades, seeing not in single points of view, but in paths of attention.”

For more information about the artist and other images of his artwork, go to:

For more information about the exhibition or questions about the Cascade Gallery, call 971-722-5326 or email