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Jeffrey Gibson: They Come From Fire

Oct 15, 2022 - Apr 30, 2023
1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR
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An immersive, site-responsive installation by multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson, They Come From Fire transforms the exterior windows on the facade of the museum’s main building as well as its two-story interior Schnitzer Sculpture Court. This dynamic work will celebrate Portland’s Indigenous history, presence and vitality through the use of suspended glass panels, text, and photographic imagery created with Indigenous, BIPOC, LGBTQ+ artists, and other community members on and around the empty monument pedestals in the Park blocks in front of the museum. Coinciding with a survey of Dakota modernist Oscar Howe, the installation will serve as a bridge between the museum’s contemporary and Native American art collections.

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. 

“The artist’s photography project is a sprawling celebration of Oregon’s Indigenous communities, past and present.”

Rebecca Jacobson, Portland Monthly

As a fundraiser to support the production of Jeffrey Gibson’s multimedia installation, the artist produced a limited edition print with Mullowney Printing Company in Portland. The edition of 50 prints, titled They Come From Fire, is a multilayered offset relief print on several layers of handmade Japanese colored gampi paper. The final layer is screen printed gold ink flocked with metallic mica to add shimmer to the text. A limited number of prints is available for sale now.

Organized by the Portland Art Museum and curated by Kathleen Ash-Milby, Curator of Native American Art. Support provided by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, grant MA-249741-OMS-21 and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Presented in conjunction with Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe, opening October 29, 2022, at the Portland Art Museum.


A wall of black and white portraits overlaid with a red, yellow, and blue half circle of lights
Jeffrey Gibson, They Come From Fire (detail), 2022, site-specific installation, Portland Art Museum. Photo by Dale Peterson.
Reflection and Learning Guide
Black and white portrait of a group of Native people on a pedestal with the back row people standing holding a flag and a star quilt in front of them
Jeffrey Gibson, They Come From Fire, 2022, site-specific installation, Portland Art Museum. Detail: Two Spirit Canoe Paddlers; Top Row: Scars In Bloom, Shalaya Williams, Dezarey Atwana Marie Francisco, Silas Hoffer, Cerise Mary Palmanteer (Sabodi), Mick Rose, Isabel LaCourse; Bottom Row: A.C. Ramírez de Arellaño, Bird Cardona, Peggy Sue Angus. Photo by Brian Barlow.
Jeffrey Gibson Educator Resources
Suspended glass panels with hand painted text such as "Speak to your Ancestors", "They Rewrite Their Story", and "They Choose Love"
Jeffrey Gibson, They Come From Fire (detail), 2022, site-specific installation, Portland Art Museum. Photo courtesy of Bullseye Glass Co.
Jeffrey Gibson Image Slideshow
Exterior of Portland Art Museum with Jeffrey Gibson's "TImeline" artwork, consisting of colorful triangular panels of text
Jeffrey Gibson, TIMELINE, 2022, site-specific installation, Portland Art Museum. Photo by Dale Peterson.
TIMELINE by Jeffrey Gibson


Lead Sponsors

  • The Broad Art Foundation

Lead Corporate Sponsor

  • Bank of America

Major Sponsors

  • Ameriprise Financial 
  • The Standard
  • Greg and Cathy Tibbles


  • The Boeing Company


  • Lani McGregor and Daniel Schwoerer
  • Wells Fargo Foundation


  • Bullseye Studio
  • Mullowney Print Shop
  • Regional Arts & Culture Council
  • Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation
  • Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Support for this exhibition is also provided by the Miller Meigs Endowment for Contemporary Art, the OCAC Visiting Artist Fund, and the Museum’s Artist Fund. Glass fabrication by Bullseye Studio.