Jeffrey Gibson in Conversation with Kathleen Ash-Milby

January 21, 2023 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Whitsell Auditorium

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.

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This event is supported in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and by the Bank of America Foundation.

About the Alan Ostrow Memorial Lecture Series: Established in 1983 to honor the memory of Alan Ostrow, today this Portland Art Museum endowed biennial lecture series highlights artists and other creative thinkers working in or exploring photography based practices.


The Portland Art Museum is pleased to offer accommodations to ensure that our programs are accessible and inclusive. All spaces for this program are accessible by wheelchair. Assistive listening devices are also available for lectures. All restrooms have accessible stalls but no power doors. There are single-stall all-gender bathrooms available. Please ask staff for directions.

We will do our best to accommodate your needs when you arrive, however, we need 2-3 weeks advance notice for some specific requests. Please email requests to, or call 503-226-2811.

Jeffrey Gibson, They Come From Fire (detail), 2022, site-specific installation, Portland Art Museum. Photo courtesy of Bullseye Glass Co.
Jeffrey Gibson, They Come From Fire (detail), 2022, site-specific installation, Portland Art Museum. Photo courtesy of Bullseye Glass Co.