Pammela Springfield of Cannibals

We’ve seen her all over town, at plenty of openings. She’s not the kind of person you forget. PDXart had the occasional photo of her posted, yet when I searched through its pages, I could no longer find her.

Pammela Springfield opened a place called Cannibals awhile back, but I think it began to make a dent in the art world when it delivered work to the CAP Auction. That’s when I started walking into galleries and overheard conversations about that wild place on NW 21st and the woman who runs it. But I’ve known Pammela for years – maybe I met her when she hosted a party for the Ramones in ’77, maybe a little earlier.

She’s known for maintaining Keep ‘Em Flying on NW 21st, the oldest vintage clothing shop in Portland. I used to do windows for the shop before she ever owned it, back in 79 – 80. Keep ‘Em Flying has a long history of supporting artists – not just in dressing them, but in also hanging their work. There are artists who have moved on to bigger galleries but they got their start at KEF.

Cannibals has all work made out of something else, it’s all recycled. So as you can imagine it is heavy on the assemblage, but it has paintings too, hats and clothing, strange adventures in taxidermy, cards, toys and collages. I would not call it a gallery, but to call it a shop doesn’t feel quite right either. Pammela Springfield will be my guest this Tuesday (July 28th) on Art Focus.


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