Staff at AVA Gallery are excited to present "Lament for the Whale-A-Go-Go," a new exhibit of art installations by Portland artist Bruce Conkle.

"The Whale-A-Go-Go is a place where the dispirited ghosts of sea captains, sea snowmen and sea monsters go to imbibe whale oil grog, only to remain forever swirling among the relics of sunken ships in their salty lament," Conkle said. "Who knows what other denizens of the deep might be conjured up in this shimmery aberration?"

Conkle's installations have been garnering praise, bewilderment and recognition all over Portland and in various solo and group exhibits around the country. He also regularly exhibits in Iceland. "Lament" is an exhibit of new conceptual work that will be unveiled at AVA Gallery before heading off to the Living Art Museum in Reykjavik, Iceland next year.

Conkle received his bachelor of art degree at the University of Oregon and his Master of Fine Arts at Rutgers. He has received numerous grants and awards, and in 1994 was commissioned by MTV Music Awards to provide a mixed media sculpture for the show.

"Lament for the Whale-A-Go-Go" opens at AVA Gallery with an artist's reception at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 14 and runs through June 4. AVA Gallery is located at 160 10th St. in Astoria. Gallery hours are 1 to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday and by appointment. AVA Gallery is a nonprofit exhibition space that is free and open to the public.

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