Feb. 25: Virtual Reality Art, Last Artful Dodgr, National Museum of African American History

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The crocuses are popping up, and this week's show blossoms with new music, new technology, dazzling comics, and so much more! Artists Will Transform Your World with Virtual Reality - 1:20 Imagine a gallery where you can step into a painting, fly through the ceiling to the heaven’s above, or learn a dance from a virtual flamingo. It’s not a world far off. Virtual and augmented reality stand to transform the art world, and the tech incubator Oregon Story Board is on the front lines. We scoped out a new artists residency they jump-started to give artists a chance to play with the newest cutting-edge technology. The Last Artful Dodgr Cranks Up the Volume on Portland Hip-Hop - 8:34 The Last Artful Dodgr (nee Alana Chenevert) initially planned to be an anthropologist, perhaps unearthing fossils instead of rhymes. Instead she found her voice in singing and rapping about the realities of life as millennial, and left Los Angeles for Portland. Newly signed to startup local label Eyrst (a project of former Trail Blazer Martell Webster), The Last Artful, Dodgr has just released her debut record, "Bone Music," and joined us in the studio with producer Neill Von Tally to perform a trio of spare, artful song. Leila Del Duca and the Ultimate Adventurer - 21:34 Portland artist Leila Del Duca has been drawing an Image Comics series called “Shutter” since 2014. It’s the story of a hard-charging young adventurer named Kate Christopher whose travelers take her around the world and into space. Her companions include talking animals, mid-century knick-knacks sprung to life, and a most genteel undead butler. In March, Image will publish a new graphic novel by Del Duca called "AFAR" that's a YA fantasy set in an Afro-futurist society. Former Portlander Steps Up as the First Film Curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture - 29:21 The National Museum of African American History and Culture is like the "Hamilton" of museums: telling a story that goes back centuries, it's a ticket you have to get months in advance, if you can get them at all. Rhea Combs, the museum’s curator of film and photography and a former Portlander, was in town recently to participate in talks on housing issues and equity, and she stopped by Think Out Loud to talk about life at the museum and how Portland has changed. Sandow Birk Brings the Quran into Daily American Life - 38:37 Eugene’s Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum is exhibiting a colossal series by LA-based painter Sandow Birk designed to reset mainstream American’s misconceptions about Islam’s holy book. Birk spent nine years transcribing every page of the Quran onto illustrations of daily American life. Called "American Quran,” the show is on view at through March 19. opbmusic Session with Balto - 45:41 Portland band Balto took a long road to get where they are. Frontman and songwriter Daniel Sheron wrote most of his first record while living in Siberia, inspired by the people and remote landscapes he encountered there. Fleshed out with mandolin, banjo and piano, those songs were recorded back in New York, and released as October Road in 2011. After relocating to the Pacific Northwest, and now plugged in, Balto released a series of increasingly soulful rock EPs and singles, and since last summer Sheron and the group have teased their upcoming full-length release, Strangers.