Enveloped within its artworks and history, this program invites visitors to engage with the exhibition Black Artists of Oregon through talks and interdisciplinary activations. Join us for artist talks with Portland based artist and illustrator Eatcho and Black Artists of Oregon exhibiting artist Tammy Jo Wilson as they engage audiences in their practice through works in the exhibition.
In the afternoon, we welcome visitors to One Drop to Victory: Works by David Ornette Cherry, a performance by Naima Karlsson and Roman Norfleet. David Ornette Cherry (1958-2022) was a Portland-based musician, artist, composer, painter, and educator from Watts, California. Cherry was an ingenious composer and multi-instrumentalist, having mastered the acoustic piano, electronic keyboards, melodica, wood flute and donso ngoni. He won the ASCAP – Chamber Music America Award for adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music in 2003, created film soundtracks and music scores for theatre productions, poetry, and dance, and taught many young musicians in world music, theory, and piano.
In One Drop to Victory, Karlsson, a multi-disciplinary artist, musician, and niece of the artist, will perform compositions by the late artist in improvisation with artist Norfleet. Alongside performing compositions within Cherry’s exhibited mixed media piece, “One Drop To Victory”, Karlsson will also share about her ongoing work caretaking and stewarding the Cherry Archive.
Program events included with general admissions.
11 AM – 12 PM – Artist Talk with Eatcho
1 PM – 2 PM- One Drop to Victory: Works by David Ornette Cherry with Naima Karlsson and Roman Norfleet
3 PM – 4 PM Artist Talk with Tammy Jo Wilson
Eatcho, the prolific freelance creative hailing from Fresno, California, has been a prominent figure in the art world since 1998. With a diverse body of work, Eatcho has left an indelible mark on the West Coast’s art scene, gracing numerous fine and contemporary art galleries as well as public art events with their unique vision. Eatcho’s artistic journey took a decisive turn in 2004 when they embarked on their inaugural large-scale mural project. Over the ensuing decade, this venture led them to paint both domestically and abroad, including notable mural works in Japan and Panama. Their talent extends beyond muralism; Eatcho has made significant contributions to the world of freelance illustration. They’ve lent their creative prowess to projects spanning album covers, logos, advertisements, and wine labels, collaborating with esteemed brands such as Nike, Gerber Knives, and Wieden Kennedy.
Eatcho also shares their knowledge and passion for the arts as an educator at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA). Beyond the classroom, they actively participate in gallery curation, creative direction, and event organization, contributing to the dynamic art scene in Portland and beyond. Anticipating 2024, Eatcho is poised to self-publish an independent comic, a testament to their unwavering dedication to storytelling.
Naima Karlsson (b. 1982) is a multi-disciplinary artist and musician based in London and Sweden. Her practice interweaves sonic and visual forms led by interests in repetition, improvisation, and relationships between language, image, symbol and sound. Naima’s main instrument is the piano, as well as percussion, vibraphone, and organ. Improvisation is at the core of the artist’s musical process, combined with minimalist uses of tone, arrangement, and an inherently organic approach to playing. Naima has studied her grandfather’s, Don Cherry, compositions and approach to piano with her uncles Eagle-Eye and David Ornette Cherry, and with Ana Ruíz in Mexico. Naima is part of the duo Exotic Sin with Kenichi Iwasa, and she is an archivist and coordinator for the Estate of Moki Cherry and Cherry archive.
Roman Norfleet (1988 n. American born) is an interdisciplinary cultural producer, healer and mystic that uses sculpture, music composition, performance and social organizing as instruments in exploring his committed interest in spiritual and social development. Originally hailing from Lockport, Illinois, Roman’s formative years were spent immersed in the vernacular traditions of the Baptist Church where his parents Mose Ella and Rev. Robert Norfleet attended and provided Roman the foundation to seek spiritual enlightenment on his own. His development journey led him to Los Angeles where he lived in an Gaudiya Vaishnava Ashram and studied Hindu/ Vedic Philosophies of Swamini Turiyasangitanada (Alice Coltrane) with her students.
Norfleet has been surrounded by and involved in music and the arts since a child in his hometown, but has been further artistically cultivated by the visual art and music scenes of Chicago, IL, Los Angeles, CA, the DMV area and Portland, OR. As Founder and creative director of “Be Present Art Group” Norfleet believes deeply in the power perception and persistence has on elevating one’s consciousness. He is currently devising a curriculum workbook that translates these teachings into practical applications and preparing to release an album with BPAG as bandleader.
Tammy Jo Wilson is a black artist, curator, and arts organizer residing in Portland, Oregon. Wilson received her BFA from the Pacific Northwest College of Art and her MFA from San Jose State University. In 2016 Wilson co-founded the arts organization Art in Oregon with artist Owen Premore; a statewide visual arts non-profit working to foster culturally rich regional communities through partnerships, advocacy, and investment in artists, businesses, educational spaces, and community spaces. In recent years Wilson co-curated the exhibit An Artistic Heritage in 2019, Art Makes History and You are Not a Robot in 2020. Wilson curated six iterations of the traveling exhibition Black Matter from 2021-2022, featuring all Oregon-based black artists. Currently, she is co-curator of the traveling exhibition The Stone Path alongside Owen Premore and Selena Jones; showcasing eight Oregon-based indigenous artists. Additionally, Wilson serves as Director of Exhibits and Programming for Bush House Museum. She also continues to work in the art department at Lewis & Clark College as the Visual Arts & Technology Program Manager. In her own art practice, Wilson has exhibited her work nationally and was awarded the Leland Ironworks Golden Spot Artist Residency, performed in the SALT: Above a Whisper at Shaking the Tree Theatre, and was featured in the two women exhibit Biological Dissonance at the Parrish Gallery in Newberg, Oregon in 2019. In 2022 she had solo exhibitions of her artwork in Salem at the Gretchen Schuette Gallery and Roger Hall Gallery at Willamette University. In 2023 she had a retrospective of her work at Truckenbrod Gallery in Corvallis, Oregon. Her next full exhibition will be at Souvenir Gallery here in Portland in March of 2024.