To our friends, neighbors, and community,
We finished the spring season on an incredibly high note as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Mexican Modernism closed with record levels of attendance. More than 300,000 visitors experienced this popular exhibition and its related programming that included live mural painting by local artists, a dual-language family guide, and a number of talks and discussions. We are grateful for our community’s enthusiasm for this important work. On view now, Perspectives, is a powerful exhibition honoring the work of six BIPOC artists who photographed the Black Lives Matter protests in our city in 2020. We opened this exhibition with a public Miller Family Free Day and joined with the Portland Parks Foundation’s Paseo festival in the South Park Blocks for a beautiful day.
Summer has also seen the return of PAM CUT (formerly Northwest Film Center) favorites like day camps for kids and adults, and the Cinema Unbound Outdoor Movie series at the OMSI Bridge Lot. I hope that you will read on for more community and partnership updates.
Program Highlights & News
Perspectives is an exhibition featuring more than 60 works by local BIPOC photographers made during Portland’s Black Lives Matter protests in 2020. Artists Emery Barnes, Joseph Blake, Linneas Boland-Godbey, Daveed Jacobo, Mariah Harris, and Byron Merritt express their perspectives saying in part,
“Captured here are various moments during the 2020 Black Lives Matter Protests through the eyes of local BIPOC Artists in Portland, Oregon. We ask that you follow along this journey, relive these moments, listen to the stories shared, and open yourself up to the perspectives represented.” Read their full statement.
- Opening weekend activities included a Miller Family Free Day and a collaboration with Paseo, a festival that celebrated Portland’s diverse community of artists and community organizations. Portlanders were encouraged to walk the (closed off) streets together, enjoy music, food, and learn from one another.
- A panel discussion with the artists and Don’t Shoot PDX founder Teressa Raiford on opening day drew dozens of people to hear about the artists’ work and process.
In May, the Museum repatriated nine objects of cultural patrimony to the Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. The objects are now back home in the hands of the Naanya.aayí clan after being removed from Wrangell, Alaska, in the 1930s and 1940s and subsequently acquired by the Museum via a private dealer.
“We are so grateful for all of the work that was done to return the Naanya.aayí clan’s atóow. As a caretaker of these clan items, it is an honor. Receiving them back, one by one, brings back the spirit of the person who wore them. We are so happy to have them returned to Wrangell’s Naanya.aayí.” — Luella Knapp of the Naanya.aayí clan, member of the Wrangell Cooperative Association, and caretaker of some clan objects. Read more.
Summer education partnerships
It is thrilling and inspiring to see the transformative experience of a Museum visit for students of all ages and backgrounds, whether a 20-year-old from Libya or a 10-year-old from Lyle, WA.
This summer has seen the in-person return of established summer partner programs, including Portland Public Schools Summer Arts Academy, Portland State University’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Student Leaders Program, and World Oregon’s Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program. We’ve also welcomed more recent “pandemic partners” like Centro Cultural de Washington County and Wishram and Lyle School Districts in rural Washington who had previously experienced the Museum only through remote programs such as the Miller Family Foundation art kits.
- Summer Camp — With vibrant new window coverings signaling a new day and a new brand for PAM CUT (formerly the Northwest Film Center), PAM CUT // Center for an Untold Tomorrow welcomed kids back downtown for summer camps after COVID put them on pause for the last two years. New this year were fashion filmmaking and a podcasting camp. Plus adults had a DJ camp under the instruction of the one and only DJ Ambush from Museum partner The Numberz FM.
- Cinema Unbound Outdoor Movies — Continuing a popular pre-and-post pandemic activity, PAM CUT was back at the OMSI campus in July screening movies under the stars. Complete with music, thematic experiences, food, and drink, this series brings people together for the fun and joy of movies on the inner East side.
- VR to GO — This unique virtual reality rental experience, now in its second session continues to attract Portlanders looking for a new, fun, different, and immersive new media activity.
AUX/MUTE – Album Intro 07:22
The latest AUX/MUTE gallery rotation, a partnership with The Numberz FM, features a showcase of works by artists represented in The Numberz FM’s growing art collection focused on Black and Brown artists. Artists on view include Alice Price, Michelle Lepe, Oluwafemi, Ivan McClellan, Nick Jones, Alicia Pickney, Ben Boutros and Willie Little. The show is the culmination of the station’s journey in the development of not just its collection but also the artists, with some exhibiting for the first time.
- Incorporated in the AUX/MUTE gallery space, The Numz Bodega continues to offer an authentic shopping exhibition experience, honoring the cultural impact and history of the neighborhood staples in underrepresented communities across the country. Visitors have been loving the opportunity to shop new merchandise every few weeks while also often enjoying live DJ sets and more.