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8th Annual Living Mark OPENS with Exuberance, Fanfare, and Breadth

This past Saturday afternoon in the quaint Northeast Portland neighborhood of Concordia, Verum Ultimum celebrated the exquisite selections of juror, Richard Speer for the 8th edition of the Living Mark.

Photos & Video by Beth Kerschen

Bright eyes betrayed smiles (behind masked faces) as folks diligently lined up to take a number. They seemed drawn like moths to a flame with so many magical and sensory elements at play. The aroma of Kiss Coffee alone is a draw any day and is a beloved neighborhood fixture.

And the magnetic charisma of Portland's art rock star, Richard Speer had everyone wishing on a star. While the melodic chords (played by the Stephanie & Johny Duo) seemed to float from a canopy of cherry blossoms and spread to surrounding city blocks (having a pied piper effect of the happily ever after variety).


the 8th Annual Living Mark captivated visitors (and personal pod groupings) begging them to stay longer than the allotted time, and many opted to grab a new number for a second glance. The breadth required for socially distancing seemed to mirror the space created by this beautiful exhibition.

"The mark is alive and well. I’m positively convinced of that after having had the privilege and challenge of jurying The Living Mark at Verum Ultimum. It was incredibly difficult and even painful to whittle down a field of hundreds of extraordinary artists to the final thirty. What we have arrived at is a panoply of abstraction and representation, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, textile, encaustic, metalwork, wood, dyes, porcelain, diverse expressions of rectilinearity and curvilinearity, muscularity and delicacy, adamance and enigma. It points toward a vital reimagining of what a mark can convey when deployed in the minds and hands of inspired makers. I’m heartened and so invigorated by the lineup in this exhibition, and I hope you are, too."

—Richard Speer

The 8th Annual Living Mark will be up through June 12th and you may elect to see it 4 ways:

  1. Stop by during WALK-IN WEDNESDAYS between 10 and 4 (no appointment needed on Wednesdays

  2. BOOK ONLINE- book a viewing appointment online for the other days of the week

  3. Follow social media Instagram at Facebook at Twitter at

  4. Or viewing through the verum website (exhibition pages, blogs, and shop):

Photo of the man of the golden hour, Richard Speer (by Jennifer Gillia Cutshall)



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