To our friends, neighbors, and community,
With 2022 coming to a close, we have much to reflect on and to celebrate, including the Museum’s 130th anniversary, which we marked with a Miller Family Free Day on December 11th. These last months of the year have been full of activity in our galleries and spaces. The powerful combination of works by Native American artists Oscar Howe and Jeffrey Gibson is sparking conversations and introducing our community to new art as well as to our important Native American Art collection.
I am also so pleased to see the great success of Symbiosis at PAM CUT. It’s an honor to be the U.S. premiere presenter of such a dynamic, creative, and immersive experience. And to see it sold out so quickly lets us know that there is an appetite for boundary-pushing projects. Read on for more details about ways that we’ve been connecting with each other through art.
P.S. Enjoy this short, uplifting year-in-review video. More than 45,000 youth and students visited the Museum for free!
Program Highlights & News
Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe introduces new generations to one of the twentieth century’s most innovative Native American painters. Howe (1915–1983) committed his artistic career to the preservation, relevance, and ongoing expression of his Yanktonai Dakota culture.
An immersive, site-responsive installation by multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson, They Come From Fire transforms the exterior windows on the facade of the museum’s main building as well as our two-story interior Schnitzer Sculpture Court. This dynamic work celebrates Portland’s Indigenous history, presence, and vitality through the use of suspended glass panels, text, and photographic imagery. A companion installation of Gibson’s performance-based work To Name An Other is another vibrant expression of Gibson’s inclusive focus on community, empowerment, and visibility.
Programs to expand knowledge around these artists’ work and to celebrate our local Native community include:
- Team Howe: Panel Discussion, held on October 30, was a lively discussion between the curators and colleagues who worked on the exhibition and book.
- Symposium: Oscar Howe. On April 14 and 15, 2023, scholars, curators, writers, and artists will share their research and thinking about the life and work of Oscar Howe, in honor of his contributions to the contemporary Native American art field. This event includes a public keynote lecture by contemporary artist and curator Dyani White Hawk.
- Dakota Modern activity guide: PAM staff collaborated with Native American educators to create a guide for youth and students (who always visit for free) to spark conversation and encourage further learning.
- Community photo shoot: The photographic imagery in They Come From Fire was developed in partnership with local Indigenous, BIPOC, LGBTQ+ artists, and other community members on and around the empty monument pedestals in the Park blocks in front of the museum.
- Voices Like Thunder: An Afternoon of Poetry with the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, held on November 6, was an event to celebrate the release of NACF’s first published anthology The Larger Voice – Celebrating Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Literature Fellows.
- NAYA (Native American Youth and Family Center) Many Nations Academy visited the Oscar Howe and Jeffrey Gibson exhibitions with Erin Grant (Colorado River Indian Tribes), IMLS Curatorial and Community Partnerships Fellow, on November 10. The students created collage panels inspired by important people and places in their lives and by They Come From Fire.
U.S. Premiere of Symbiosis: One of the first multi-sensory XR (extended reality) storytelling experiences, this SOLD OUT, award-winning performative, multi-user installation is taking the art of immersive storytelling to a whole new level.
- Related: PAM CUT’s Intro to 360/VR Filmmaking class taught the skills needed for local creators to dive into this immersive medium.
PAM CUT began its first fiscal sponsorship program as part of its professional development offerings for artists. Fiscal sponsorships provide an avenue for tax-deductible fundraising that is often not available or feasible for individual creators and small production teams in our community.
In the News
- Willamette Week honored Director Brian Ferriso in its cover story “The Arts List: 25 People Shaping the Arts in Portland”. Both Brian and Board Chair Alix Meier Goodman were interviewed for the article, and their quotes illuminate the human facets of leading a key cultural institution through more than one challenging time.
- Portland Monthly: Preview: Jeffrey Gibson’s ‘They Come From Fire’ at Portland Art Museum — “The artist’s photography project is a sprawling celebration of Oregon’s Indigenous communities, past and present.”
- OPB News: At this Portland art exhibit, you explore virtual worlds to save our real planet — “A new high-tech immersive installation [Symbiosis] takes on climate change in its U.S. premiere at the Portland Art Museum.”
- Perspectives artists Daveed Jacobo and Linneas Boland-Godbey were interviewed on OPB’s Think Out Loud.