The Alan Ostrow Memorial Lecture
They Come From Fire is an artist and community driven exhibition that celebrates Portland’s Indigenous history and diverse, multi-cultural presence and vitality through a multi-media installation on the front facade of the Museum’s main building and Schnitzer Sculpture Courtyard. Join this conversation between the artist, Jeffrey Gibson and the curator, Kathleen Ash-Milby, as they reflect on the genesis of this project and the community collaboration that went into the making of this site-responsive exhibition.
Jeffrey Gibson, a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and of Cherokee descent, is forging a multifarious practice that redresses the exclusion and erasure of Indigenous art traditions from the history of Western art as it explores the complexity and fluidity of identity. His artworks foreground affinities between patterns, colors, and materials long used in Native American art and those characteristic of contemporary Western and global art traditions.
Kathleen Ash-Milby is the Curator of Native American Art at the Portland Art Museum. Her responsibilities include the research, documentation, exhibition and care of both historic and contemporary collections. Previously Ash-Milby was an Associate Curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in New York, where she organized numerous exhibitions.