I had never been inside Portfolio Inc., the antique and curio shop on Jersey Avenue. On the June 1st edition of Fridays, the store hosted an art show featuring paintings and photography.
As I walked south on the western sidewalk of Jersey Avenue, I heard a competent, unplugged version of Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On; no piano, just guitar. The most familiar version of this golden age Rock & Roll anthem if by Jerry Lee Lewis, essentially a showcase for boogie woogie piano evolving into Rock & Roll before your ears, but with just acoustic guitar, it had a stripped down let’s have a party everybody’s here impromtu feel. I dug it. Karen and Jo were the Duo act, with Jo played mainly lead and Karen handled rhythm and vocals. Their set touched on a few other well known classics, concluding with Down by the River, Neil Young’s rocker.
The art on exhibit was on one wall of the long but narrow store, the rest of the space was an entrancing clutter of furniture and objects. A typewriter caught my eye. The old school music and the antiques added a interesting if unintended context to the art displayed.
The artists featured included: Clair Arthur, Lynda D’Amico,Aura Highsmith and Jim Legge. I spoke with D’Amico, whose painting “Skies and Kisses,”in dreamy shades of pastel blues, featured the a bird on a branch as well as the title on the panting. It was part of a series she started, with words incorporated into painting that has a revelatory purpose. “I want them to capture simple moments that make life worth living.”