Midday Art Break: Arvie Smith
Take a break from your workday on the second Wednesday of the month and join a curator, museum educator, artist, or local scholar for a 45-minute talk in the galleries.
This month, artist Arvie Smith will discuss pieces from his exhibition, APEX: Arvie Smith, currently on view at the Museum. Using glowing color and fluid brushwork, Smith’s large, ambitious canvases reveal a baroque sensibility. His adept use of flowing line and animated figurative compositions appear to draw inspiration from artists like Jean-Antoine Watteau and Jean-Honoré Fragonard. Less romantic and more stridently political, Smith’s subject matter is drawn directly from his African American roots.
The artist was born in 1938—when he was growing up he was colored, not black; Aunt Jemima was proudly emblazoned on pancake packages; and Shirley Temple was tap-dancing with Bojangles (Bill Robinson). In the 1960s there were riots in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles where he had lived, and when he lived in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury there were hippies and the dawning of “diversity.” Smith’s paintings mine a lifetime of change to debunk negative stereotypes. Join Smith for a deeper look at his work.
Space is limited. Advance tickets recommended.Purchase tickets
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 503-226-2811.