Willem Volkersz, Silent City
Willem Volkersz, Silent City, 2002/14, Neon, wood, and acrylic and latex paint, 73 x 99 x 6 inches
Victoria Haven, Jump Cuts, 2014, Ink on Bristol vellum, vinyl text on wall, 67 x 222 inches
Lead Pencil Studio, Afforest, 2015, Charcoal, graphite, ink and paint on paper, 73 ½ x 96 ½ inches
Dana Lynn Louis, Clearing (installation view), 2014, Mixed media, Photo: Dana Lynn Louis
Helen O’Toole, Mary Larkin’s Bottom, 2013, 100 x 156 inches, Oil on canvas (diptych)
Akio Takamori, Yellow Mountain 2015, Stoneware with underglazes, 17 1/2 x 25 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches
Samantha Wall, Flayed, 2011, Conté crayon, charcoal, and graphite on paper, 84 x 72 inches

2016 Contemporary Northwest Art Awards

Feb 13, 2016 – May 8, 2016

The Museum’s fourth biennial awards exhibition, 2016 Contemporary Northwest Art Awards features eight outstanding artists including a two-person artist’s collaborative. Four of the eight artists are immigrants, coming to the Northwest from Asia and Europe and contributing to the exhibition’s conceptual strength with a fresh view of America. Works in the exhibition address global and regional humanist issues —prejudice, belonging, war, the evolution of power, omnipresent technology, and the environment. Ranging from large-scale installations to intimate ceramic portraits, the multimedia exhibition showcases works in combinations of neon, video, glass, drawing, painting, and clay with innovative approaches to both new and traditional media.At the opening reception one artist will receive the $10,000 Arlene Schnitzer prize selected by the Museum’s curatorial staff. From nomination to final prize, the biennial awards process delivers a two-fold benefit: It allows the Portland Art Museum to identify a number of the Northwest’s exceptional talents, and it provides the museum with a far deeper understanding of the new work taking place in the region by both established and emerging artists. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog, artists’ lectures and other exhibit related programs.Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson, The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art, and invited curatorial advisor Jessica Hunter-Larsen, curator of IDEA Space, Interdisciplinary Experimental Arts, at Colorado College, received over 200 nominations from respected regional arts professionals of outstanding contemporary artists from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. Nominees were selected on the basis of quality, innovation, relevance to community or global issues, continuity of vision and dedication to studio practice. Hunter-Larsen and Laing-Malcolmson reviewed the applications to select 24 four finalists, from which the group of seven award winners was chosen.

Organized by the Portland Art Museum and curated by Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson, The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art.

Victoria Haven, Seattle, Washington
Using drawing and video, Haven employs words and geometric spatial relationships to illustrate the fragmented bombardment of technology on the human psyche in the new millennium. With language and mixed media, she binds together two- and three-dimensional imagery to create elegant modernist objects that suggest unanswered questions.

Haven received a BFA degree from the University of Washington, Seattle and an MFA from Goldsmith College, University of London, United Kingdom. Her work has been exhibited at Seattle Art Museum; Drawing Room, London; Planthouse, New York; Frye Art Museum, Seattle; and Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Oregon, among other venues. She has been included in numerous group exhibitions nationally and internationally. Haven has won many awards and her work is included in numerous public and private collections.


Lead Pencil Studio, Seattle, Washington
Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo use video, sculpture, drawing, installation and photography to reveal spatial qualities of the built environment that influence human behavior. This combination of styles expands the understanding of the constructed surface, which scripts a large portion of human movement and perception.

Lead Pencil Studio is a collaborative between Seattle architects Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo,both graduates of the University of Oregon College of Architecture and Allied Arts. Lead Pencil Studio has been included in exhibitions nationally and internationally and has received awards, grants, and residencies including: Year in Review, Americans for the Arts, Washington D.C.; John Michael Kohler Arts Center Residency; New York Prize Fellowship, Van Alen Institute; MacDowell Colony Artists Residency, New Hampshire; Rome Prize, American Academy, Italy; and a Creative Capital Foundation Visual Arts grant, New York.


Dana Lynn Louis, Portland, Oregon
Louis is inspired by the human body and its connection to timeless and fascinating systems of the natural and constructed worlds—linking time, space, and energy through dynamic multimedia installations. Creating spaces with intimate and large-scale drawings, light projections, and sculptural objects, she uses glass, light, and shadow to achieve a glitteringly magical environment.

Louis earned a BS in Studio Art and Education, University of Wisconsin, Madison and an MFA from Ohio State University, Columbus. Her solo exhibitions include: Hoffman Gallery, Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon; Kuhl Gallery, Oakland, California; Gallery 111, Sausalito; The Art Gym at Marylhurst University, Oregon; and Hopkins Hall Gallery, Ohio State University, Columbus. Louis has executed commissioned projects including: Oregon State Hospital, Junction; TriMet Light Rail, Portland; Ann Sacks, New York; Northgate Library, Seattle; Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, Tacoma and Oregon Convention Center, Portland.


Helen O’Toole, Seattle, Washington
O’Toole creates a prolonged moment where the painting’s vast space evokes an image with a resonating emotional depth. Metaphorically employing the moody landscape of rural Ireland, she channels a deep-seated pain and misery resulting from a past lived amidst a compilation of grudges, suspicion, and violence.

O’Toole lives is a professor at the University of Washington. She earned a BA from National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Ireland and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited at The Hamilton Gallery, Sligo, Ireland; Linehall Art Center, Castlebar, Ireland; The Cultural Center, Chicago; Hudson D. Walker Gallery, Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, Massachusetts; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Awards and honors received include: a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Fellowship; a Jack and Grace Pruzan Endowed Faculty Fellowship (2013-2015), University of Washington; and The Bemis Foundation Residency, Omaha.


Akio Takamori, Seattle, Washington
Takamori’s new, 40-foot-long, lyrically painted clay installation addresses the war torn world through the faces of its threatened children. In our contemporary society of a great mix of people, these diverse faces remind us that life begins unblemished by clashing ideologies. Additionally, a series of serene ceramic landscapes quoted from historic Japanese and European paintings provide a hopeful and contemplative view of the natural environment.

Takamori received a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University. His exhibitions include: The Ariana Museum, Switzerland; Galerie Collection, Paris, France; Sint-Lucas Beeldende Kunst, Gent, Belgium; International Ceramic Studio, Kecskemet, Hungary; and Barry Friedman LTD, New York. His work is represented in collections including: Ariana Museum, Geneva, Switzerland; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; The Mint Museum of Craft and Design, North Carolina; Los Angeles County Art Museum, California; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art, Shigaraki, Japan; Museum of Art and Design, New York; Seattle Art Museum; and Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.


Willem Volkersz, Bozeman, Montana
Volkersz has an immigrant’s fascination with America. Arriving in Seattle from Amsterdam shortly after World War II, he began photographing a newly discovered landscape of billboards, vernacular architecture, and neon signs. Over time, he became fascinated with roadside art and pop culture: larger-than-life advertising figures, postcards, and travel souvenirs. Volkersz creates a charmingly critical narrative around his Dutch heritage and American citizenship.

Volkersz was awarded a BA from the University of Washington, Seattle and an MFA from Mills College, Oakland, California. He has had 45 solo exhibitions and has received numerous grants and fellowships, including The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, Individual Artist Grant, New York; George Sugarman Foundation Grant, Novato, California; Individual Artists Fellowship, Helena, Montana; and a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, Washington, D.C. His work is found in collections including: Seattle Art Museum; University of the Arts, Osaka, Japan; Kansas City Art Institute; Northwest Museum of Arts And Culture, La Conner, Washington; Nanjing College of the Arts, China; Museum of Neon Art, California.


Samantha Wall, Portland, Oregon
Wall seeks to communicate the interior emotional state that separates one’s sense of self from their body. Growing up as an ethnically diverse child in South Korea and the American South, she learned to navigate between social and cultural boundaries. Her quietly powerful work utilizes modest materials, such as graphite or charcoal, to build a supple, interlaced texture of marks which are suspended on the surface of paper.

Wall received her BFA from University of Southern Carolina, Columbia, and an MFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland. She has had solo exhibitions at Fairbanks Gallery, Oregon State University, Corvallis; The Art Gym, Marylhurst University, Oregon; Worksound, Portland, Oregon; McMaster Gallery, University of South Carolina, Columbia; and Olive Hyde Art Center, Fremont, California. She has received grants, awards and residencies including an Individual Artist Fellowship from Oregon Arts Commission; Joan Mitchell Center Residency, New Orleans; and a Hallie Ford Fellowship in the Visual Arts, Roseburg, Oregon.


This Land: A Screening and Q&A with Faith E. Briggs
Jul 28 @ 9:30 pm – 10:30 pm
This Land: A Screening and Q&A with Faith E. Briggs @ Museum Courtyard

As a closing program to Ansel Adams In Our Time, join us for a screening and audience Q&A of two films by filmmaker, Faith E. Briggs that open conversations around the lack of representation of BIPOC communities in outdoor spaces.  Working in collaboration with Mobile Projection Unit, Briggs will be showing This Land, a short film committed to changing the conservation conversation as it follows Briggs on her run of 150 miles through three U.S. National Monuments that lay in the thick of the controversy around public lands.  Following This Land, Briggs will also be premiering a recent short documentary film made in collaboration with REI about outdoor adventure company Camp Yoshi, founded by local chef Rashad Frazier.

We encourage guests to bring their own chairs for the screening.

Faith E. Briggs is a creative producer, filmmaker and podcast host passionate about sharing contemporary stories that widen the spectrum of representation and help us all see our own possibilities. Her favorite feelings are a tie between sun on skin and warm mud oozing between bare toes. She is grateful for the life changing knowledge of literary grandmothers such as Audre Lorde, bell hooks, Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Cade Bambara and many more. She is a partner and director at Camp 4 Collective.

See Me. iAm. HEAR: A Creative Activation of Youth Voices of Color
Jul 31 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Free and open to the public. All ages welcome.

The Portland Art Museum is collaborating with the City of Portland’s “Supporting Community Healing with Art” initiative and many partners to transform the Madison Plaza into a vibrant creative space activated by and for youth. We are honored to center the ways in which community healing can be realized when youth are empowered to lead, create, dream, and express themselves through their artistic expressions. Poetry, open mic, print-making, journaling, art-installations, DJ workshops, free ice cream, and more! Join us to celebrate our youth in their artistry, resilience, and power. Featured partners include: The Numberz.fmI AM M.O.R.E.IPRC, and NAYA Many Nations Academy.

Sign language interpreters will be present.

Schedule for the day will be posted on July 26th.

Partner logos

Stop Motion for Teens & High Schoolers
Aug 2 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Stop Motion for Teens & High Schoolers @ Online

August 2, 4, 6 | 10am – Noon & August 9 | 10am – 11am

This short course will cover the basic principles of stop motion animation and will provide participants the essential skills needed to create their own animated films using a simple (and mobile!) setup. We will discuss how to create different kinds of animated movement, experiment with some different materials (objects, drawings, our homes, ourselves!), and watch plenty of films. Participants are encouraged to think creatively about what we choose to animate. How can we experiment with our materials and methods to tell different stories? What can a coffee mug say that a cookie jar cannot? The course is designed for participants with little-to-no animation experience, but those who do have some experience will be prompted to create more complex works. More than anything, we’ll have fun watching films, discussing animation techniques, and making films!

Materials Participants will need to have available/acquire:

  • An Android or iOS smartphone
  • The Stop Motion Studio app by Cateater (this is free). Available on Google Play or Apple
  • A phone tripod with Bluetooth remote control (~$20 on Amazon. Here’s a good example)
  • A clear work surface (a sturdy table or desk — preferably not carpet)
  • For the first day, a pile of beans! (These could be jellied or dried — you’re welcome to bring something similar, like dried pasta or coins. We’re looking for a small pile of similarly-sized objects.)
  • A Google Drive account (for sharing our films!)
  • Access to additional materials of your choice (clay, paper, charcoal are great options — we’ll discuss this further in class)
  • A roll of blue painter’s tape.

Instructor: John Summerson

Ages: 14 – 19 years of age
Tuition: $185

Register now
Montavilla Jazz Film Project: Call & Response Screening
Aug 20 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Please join us in partnership with Montavilla Jazz, for an inspiring night of live music activation in the Madison Plaza at 8:00 PM, followed by a film screening in the Museum Courtyard at 9:00 PM.

Montavilla Jazz presents Call + Response, a collaborative effort of three local jazz artists paired with three local filmmakers. In the first few months of 2021 project participants Noah Simpson, Micah Hummel each composed, performed, and recorded seven to ten minutes of original music. Filmmakers Shilpa Sunthakar, Jeff Oliver, and DeeJuliano Scott responded with visual “scores” with access to production facilities and the Independent Filmmaker Kit provided by our project partner Open Signal.

Each artist had total creative freedom within the Call + Response framework. The result: three entirely original collaboratively conceived short works of art-music-film. The shorts are compiled as one longer film which will premiere at an outdoor “screening”, projected by Mobile Projection Unit at the Portland Art Museum courtyard in downtown Portland on Friday, August 20. In addition to the mobile projection premier, the film will be shown both days of the 8th Annual Montavilla Jazz Festival live-streamed from Portland Metro Arts on both August 21 and 22.

Supported in part by The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Endowments for Northwest Art, The Ford Family Foundation, Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust, Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason Foundation, Mark and Christi Goodman / The Goodman Family, Winderlea Vineyard & Winery, Greg Kucera and Larry Yocom, Jim and Susan Winkler, and Laura Russo Gallery**Gifts made in honor of Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson,
The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art

Victoria Haven

Lead Pencil Studio

Dana Lynn Louis

Helen O’Toole

Akio Takamori

Willem Volkersz

Samantha Wall