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Free First Thursday

Feb 1, 2024
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR
General Accessibility


Thanks to generous support provided by the Art Bridges Foundation’s Access for All Program, Museum admission is free on the first Thursday of every month from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and programs at the newly opened PAM CUT Tomorrow Theater in Southeast Portland are also free. 

Free First Thursdays at the Museum and PAM CUT’s Tomorrow Theater aligns with the revitalization of the long-standing Portland art galleries’ tradition of opening their doors for openings, receptions, and events on the first Thursday of each month. In recent months art and culture organizations have joined to bring back this popular activity, including the Pacific Northwest College of Art and the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education in the North Park Blocks.


Free First Thursday tickets can be reserved online one week in advance and are also available at the door. Tickets to Free First Thursday programs at the Tomorrow Theater are available online.

Generous support provided by Art Bridges Foundation’s Access for All program.

Artists Gallery Conversation: Arvie Smith, Christine Miller and Julian Gaines

1-2 p.m.
Talk takes place in Black Artists of Oregon exhibition 

The works of Arvie Smith, Christine Miller, and Julian Gaines are displayed alongside each other in Black Artists of Oregon. Utilizing a strong, visual language in their works tied to US history and racial stereotypes, the artists will discuss the importance of their individual visual languages, their influences, and discuss why these difficult subject matters are important in the context of exhibition.

Arvie Smith’s (he/him) career spans over 40-years and he has never shied away from pointing out the history of oppression and use of stereotypes of African American people in his often large-scale, bright and bold paintings. Smith’s paintings often speak to the legacy of African Americans, pointing to history while confronting the present. Smith is represented by Monique Meloche in Chicago. His work was shown in the 2022 Venice Biennale part of the “Afro-Futurist Manifesto” exhibition organized by the European Cultural Centre.

Christine Miller (she/her) is a conceptual artist based in Portland. With a background in product development and an extensive understanding of manufacturing processes, Miller’s work focuses on the design intentionally of physical products, literature, and advertisements that have been used to dehumanize African Americans. Her art centers around racial stereotypes and histories, while simultaneously reframing cultural narratives. 

Julian Gaines (he/him) addresses activism, education, and addresses historical events in his paintings. In Gaines’s powerful diptych in the exhibition, American flags conceal partial images of a lynching. However, the artist points to the essential necessity of remaining positive as a Black individual in his daily life. Gaines is represented by Russo Lee Gallery.

Note: This program replaces the regularly scheduled “Meet A Curator” program.  

Fabric and Meaning in Africa Fashion

4-5  p.m.

Guest artist Bukola Koiki shares her thoughts on some of the textiles and fibers in Africa Fashion.

Bukola Koiki is a Nigerian-American conceptual fiber artist and educator known for the depth of material curiosity and technical research in her practice. A first-generation immigrant with several intersecting identities, she interprets the world and the complexities of the contemporary Black experience through the lens of a trained designer-turned-craftsperson and from a liminal existence between nations, gender, and culture. Her multidimensional fiber works include, amongst other innovations — hand-pulled prints rendered with embroidered collagraph plates, giant handmade and hand-dyed paper beads employing Nigerian hair threading techniques, and indigo-dyed and hand-printed Tyvek head ties.

Bukola Koiki will also participate in programming as part of the upcoming Miller Family Free Day on February 4, 2024.  Learn more here.

Black Artists of Oregon: Works from Black Film Artists (SOLD OUT)

7 p.m. Screening, Doors at 6:30 p.m.
Tomorrow Theater

This screening brings together short films by eight Black artists and filmmakers connected to Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Curated by Intisar Abioto, this event is in conjunction with the Black Artists of Oregon exhibition at the Portland Art Museum. This event is supported by Black Art/ists Gathering, a Black arts family reunion and community-in-residence program founded by Abioto in 2022.

After the presentation there will be time to grab a drink, mingle, and discuss the work with presenting artists. Artists include: Rob Lewis, Elijah Hasan, Sika Stanton, ariella tai, Vaughn Kimmons, Albina Mural Project, elijah jamal asani, Kalimah Abioto, and Zubriri (more commonly known as Princess Bouton).

For full program information visit the Tomorrow Theater website.

Generous support provided by Art Bridges Foundation’s Access for All program.

Logo with text Art Bridges Foundation, Access for All