Presented by The Numberz FM
The AUX/MUTE Gallery presented by The Numberz FM and the Portland Art Museum is an endeavor designed to reduce the barrier for BIPOC practicing artists to be represented within an institution of high art. The name is derived from the history of marginalized groups being MUTED in their ability to tell their own stories and share their work within the art world. This space gives them the AUX, the open pathway or signal into conveying their truths, their passions, and their art. In this ongoing partnership between The Numberz FM and PAM, AUX/MUTE will seek to engage the community in conversation around artists who have historically been underrepresented within institutions of art and provide physical space for their stories to be told.
August 7 – November 14, 2021
This exhibition is a cumulation of work created by Portland based artist Sa’rah Melinda Sabino, a.k.a. “Rah.” The title of the show is a double entendre that can be read AWAY|HOME as reference to sport teams, and A Way Home in reference to a journey. Rah hopes to create space for stories of underrepresented people and inspire conversations around what it means to be a mixed-race person in America. Growing up as a Moroccan-American in the U.S., she was stuck in between two different identities, never fully fitting into either. The works displayed are designed to convey the human experience of being put in a box and the limitations of racial identity. This show is a peek into the intimate journey of finding home in oneself, and an example of how representation, community and collaboration are pivotal when creating more inclusive spaces.
—Curated by Sa’rah Melinda Sabino for The Numberz FM AUX/MUTE Gallery.
For more information on Sa’rah and her work, visit rahrahsworld.com
In My Skin
November 24, 2021 – February 27, 2022
AFRICAN & BLACK DIASPORA: The African Diaspora is the voluntary and involuntary movement of Africans and their descendants to various parts of the world during the modern and pre-modern periods.
— From the Center for Black Diaspora at DePaul University
“This body of work titled In My Skin celebrates Black cultural identity, African ancestry, and the contemporary lived experience of the community in Portland, through dynamic lighting, saturated color, and portraiture. I wanted to keep things spontaneous and lively but also be very precise with my lighting to show depth in the image as well as in the person.
In the fall of 2020, local Afro-Pop recording artist, I$$A contacted me about creating artwork for his new song, “Pigments in My Skin.” I wanted to create something distinct and cohesive to show the unique diversity of the Black Diaspora. In the span of six months, I$$a and I invited local community members to come collaborate with us in this project, which celebrates the African Diaspora residing here in Portland. “
Jason Hill (born 1976) is an artist and educator currently living in Portland, Oregon. Born in the Midwest to a father in the military, he moved constantly with his family until settling down in Southern California. His relationship with photographic imagery began with his love of record album covers. He started working with a camera during adolescence and is largely self-trained. His practice today is focused on portraiture with an emphasis in the mechanics of light, vibrant color, emotion, and natural beauty.
A Day in Eugene
“I work with all types of athletes and performers, but I am most amazed by the discipline, momentum, and grace of dancers. In the winter of 2019 I was invited by a few members of the off-Broadway cast of The Lion King to collaborate. I knew when I saw them warming up that this was a once-in-a-lifetime shoot. These images are a testament to the power and beauty that these artists possess. It was a magical day, to say the least.”
Presented by The Numberz FM. The Numberz FM’s Community Partner-in-Residence is supported in part by the Oregon Cultural Trust, the Regional Arts and Culture Council, the Portland Art Museum’s Artist Fund, and The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Endowments for Northwest Art.
For more information on Jason Hill, visit jasonhillphoto.com
Syrup on Watermelon
March 19 – June 19, 2022
Syrup on Watermelon is Christine Miller’s new exhibition in the AUX/MUTE Gallery. It contains two bodies of work that address and reframe specific narratives of American culture created upon African American people—the stereotypes and its commercialization exploiting Black people and culture using the images of the watermelon and Aunt Jemima as markers. Miller’s installation uses these objects as a vehicle to address this digestion and consumption with an emphasis on Black women.
“Appropriation is not admiration, and exploitation is not love,” Miller says. “Syrup on Watermelon aims to hold up mirrors to false imposed identities and challenges the audience to look at the unsettling nature of these narratives.”
Syrup on Watermelon visually points to layers of marginalization of African American people. Taking the painful associations connected to innocuous objects like watermelons tainted through America’s racist history and furthering the abject consumption of syrup through the Aunt Jemima character, Miller points to our culture’s deeply subtle but indoctrinated identity ingrained with race, commodity, and commerce.
About the Artist
Christine Miller (b. 1990, New York, NY, she/her) is a conceptual artist currently based in Portland. Her work centers around racial imagery, products, and histories while simultaneously reframing her own cultural identity. Miller holds BA from Hunter College and AA in Textile Surface Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She has been the recipient of various artist grants along with participating in select artist talks and grant panels. Miller is currently working on her curated magazine Black Playground and closed her first solo show, MULTIPLY, at One Grand Gallery in November 2021. Miller is co-curator with Sa’Rah Sabino for the AUX/MUTE Gallery presented by The Numberz FM, and she will take part in the next exhibition showcasing the Numberz collection of work from BIPOC artists.
Album Intro 07:22
July 2 – October 30, 2022
This summer, the AUX/MUTE Gallery concludes a yearlong exhibition series with Album Intro 07:22, 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.
Designed to evoke rooftop and urban life vibes, the Air Streaming Rooftop has served as a performance area for local and touring acts. On deck this summer are Robert McCullum, Ben Boutros, Kaylin Balogun, Cayl Austin, DJ Ambush, Hasaan Thomasand Sissy Moon.
Also coming soon is The Stay the Course Project, developed in response to the repeated vandalism of the Black Lives Matter banners in the Museum courtyard. Ten of these vinyl banners were sliced apart, ripped, and torn down—one by one, each quietly replaced by the Museum only to be vandalized again—in protest of the Museum’s expression of solidarity with the Black community. Looking to capture the moment and create a discussion around these attacks, DJ Ambush and designer Robert McCallum collaborated on the idea to turn the vandalized banners into functional, beautiful accessories. The accessories will be available in The Numz Bodega as part of a limited release.
With new merchandise dropping every few weeks in The Numz Bodega, visitors can purchase T-shirts, candles, hats, jewelry, bags, and more from local BIPOC creators. Expanding the bodega culture love, the AUX/ MUTE gallery space is sporting new photo murals depicting bodega scenes from around the country. Photographers include Koren Martin (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Michelle Lepe (Portland, Oregon), Clarence Pearsall (Chester, Pennsylvania), Darnell McAdams (Cleveland, Ohio), Victoria Ford (Washington, DC), Andreas Branch (Los Angeles, California), and Lo Braden (Detroit, Michigan).
“As our work becomes more expansive, we hope to continue to create ripples in areas of art and entertainment,” said DJ Ambush. “Areas where the Black community is normally relegated to exploitative relationships with their art. Now we’re beginning to see the fruits of our labor and the community at large is reflecting an understanding of the importance of our work. Alas, the mission remains the same…#LIBERATEDBLACKMEDIA.”
The Numz Bodega Pop Up Shop
The AUX/MUTE Gallery, in partnership with The Numberz FM, brings you The Numz Bodega. An authentic shopping exhibition, honoring the cultural impact and history of the neighborhood staples in underrepresented communities across the country. The mission is to highlight visual artists through the design of the shop itself, creating a unique retail experience that will be a home to products from local emerging artists. The Bodega will include works from The Nine Brand, Mister OK’s Essentials, Zero8one5, and more. This exhibition will be open daily, Wed-Sun, from 12-5 p.m.
The Numberz FM
The Numberz FM is Portland, Oregon’s only Black-led radio station focusing on the entire Black music experience. Music is such an important part of Black culture, and we’ve been given the opportunity to represent and share a myriad of moods, expressions, and ideas through this medium. Our programming is a combination of music and talk, and in both cases we’ve seized the opportunity to uplift Black and Brown voices that may have faced obstacles in the past to share their experiences with their own community. Through our partnership with the Portland Art Museum, creatives of color are behind these doors making good on a promise we’ve made to the community. We’re cooking up and delivering LIBERATED BLACK MEDIA.
The Numberz FM’s Community-in-Residence is supported in part by the Oregon Cultural Trust, the Regional Arts and Culture Council, the Portland Art Museum’s Artist Fund, and The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Endowments for Northwest Art.
Sightz & Soundz
Sightz & Soundz, The Numberz youth content creation camp, aims to highlight the diverse stories of young Black and Brown Portlanders by elevating their voices and amplifying their experiences to strengthen our community through dialog sparked by creative content. Getting youth in front of the camera and behind the mic, students will gain valuable skills in audio and video production, as well as insight and civic engagement in issues most pressing in our community.
In Sightz & Soundz, our youth participants learn about audio and video storytelling and produce their own content through podcast and video projects. At the end of the program, we stream these projects on The Numberz FM and host them on our website, thenumberz.fm. The Summer 2021 Sightz & Soundz camp took place through two two-week sessions, 5 days a week, in the month of August.
Funding for Sightz & Soundz provided by the Oregon Community Foundation.