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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We welcome you to the 2022 Arnold Newman Distinguished Lecturer in Photography program with Harvard Art Museums Curator of Photography, Makeda Best, presented in conjunction with the exhibition Perspectives. This talk will explore how the photography of the movement for Black lives has encouraged new forms of photo-based documentation – rupturing conventional media communication, tropes of witnessing, traditions of photojournalism, and the notion of the public sphere.
Makeda Best is a curator, writer and historian of photography. She currently serves as the Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography at the Harvard Art Museums. Her exhibitions include: Time is Now – Photography and Social Change in James Baldwin’s America (2018), Crossing Lines, Constructing Home: Displacement and Belonging in Contemporary Art (2019) and Devour the Land: War and American Landscape Photography Since 1970 (2021). Along with Kevin Moore, she is co-curator of the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial exhibition, On the Line – Documents of Risk and Faith. In addition to publishing numerous catalog essays and journal articles, she published the book Elevate the Masses – Alexander Gardner, Photography and Democracy in Nineteenth Century America in 2020. She was also co-editor of Conflict, Identity and Protest in American Art (2016). Her current book projects explore the intersection between photography, gender, race, labor, and ecological issues. She holds an MFA in studio photography from the California Institute of the Arts and a PhD from Harvard University.Reserve tickets
$35 FOR THE ENTIRE EVENT
($30 for Members, Students, and Seniors)
PAM CUT and YACHT are teaming up for a night you won’t forget – YACHT will perform their GRAMMY-nominated album Chain Tripping LIVE after a screening of the documentary that breaks down how the Portland-born band teamed up with artificial intelligence to create it. The Computer Accent (directed by Sebastian Pardo and Riel Roch-Decter) documents the writing and recording of Chain Tripping, as well as the group’s storied history. The film also serves as a broader look at the role of artificial intelligence and its potential impact on the creative process, raising questions about the future of art and its intersection with technology.
The program will begin at 7 p.m. with a discussion with the band and filmmakers, followed by a screening of The Computer Accent. After the film ends, YACHT will perform Chain Tripping in its entirety.Purchase tickets
This fall marks the return of the Portland Art Museum fall Gala for the first time since 2019!
The evening will celebrate the opening of two exhibitions; Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe and Jeffrey Gibson: They Come from Fire. This mid-century-inspired Gala will also honor Howe and Gibson’s creative excellence and the indelible role artists play in fostering innovation, creating vital communities, and generating connections.
Attendees will enjoy a private viewing of the exhibition, signature cocktails, special performances, and indulge in delicious seasonal fare. The evening benefits the Museum’s mission to engage diverse communities through exhibitions, public programs, and the collection.Purchase tickets
Or contact Harper Brokaw-Falbo, firstname.lastname@example.org | 503-276-4297
In the opening weekend of Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe, join exhibition curator Kathleen Ash-Milby, in conversation with colleagues Bill Anthes (Pitzer College), John Lukavic (Denver Art Museum) and Christina Burke (Philbook Museum of Art) for a lively discussion about their contributions to the exhibition and publication, as well as the overall development of this project.
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 including Transformer: Native Art in Light and Sound, with David Garneau (2017), and Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist (2015) with David Penney. Ash-Milby is a recipient of two Secretary of the Smithsonian’s Excellence in Research Awards, and she was a fellow in the 2015 Center for Curatorial Leadership Program in New York and served on the boards of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective (2007-2012) and the American Indian Community House (2005-2007), as well as president of the Native American Art Studies Association (2011-2015). Ash-Milby was the curator and co-director of the American Indian Community House Gallery in New York City from 2000 to 2005. A member of the Navajo Nation, she earned her master of arts from the University of New Mexico in Native American art history and her bachelor of arts from the University of Washington.
Bill Anthes is the author of the books Native Moderns: American Indian Painting, 1940–1960, and Edgar Heap of Birds, both published by Duke University Press, and the co-editor, with Kathleen Ash-Milby, of the catalog for the exhibition, Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe, published by the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian. He has received fellowships and awards from the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center, the Center for the Arts in Society at Carnegie Mellon University, the Rockefeller Foundation/Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and the Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program. He teaches at Pitzer College in Claremont, California.
John P. Lukavic serves as the Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Native Arts at the Denver Art Museum where he specializes in Indigenous arts of North America. He is the organizing curator for such exhibitions as Each/Other: Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger (2021), Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer (2018), and Super Indian: Fritz Scholder, 1967-1980 (2015), as well as lead curator for DAM’s recent reinstallation of their Indigenous Arts of North America galleries (2021). He serves as Vice President for the Native American Art Studies Association as well as a Board member for the Denver Indian Center, Inc.
Christina E. Burke is Curator of Native American Art at Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she has helped acquire three major collections of Native art, and curated temporary exhibitions and long-term installations drawing from the museum’s extensive and diverse Native American object and archival collections and archival. She has also helped organize such traveling exhibitions as Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists (2019-2021) and Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe (2022-2023). Christina is particularly interested in Native stories from Indigenous perspectives as told through art, language, and material culture. Her museum experience spans over 30 years working at the Smithsonian Institution and the Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota as well as at Philbrook.Purchase tickets
dir. Alysa NahmiasNot Rated – 1 hr. 25 mins.
PORTLAND PREMIEREFeatures post-film discussion with author Mitchell S. Jackson as part of the Portland Book Festival’s Cover to Cover series
While locked up for six years in federal prison, artist Jesse Krimes secretly creates monumental works of art—including an astonishing 40-foot mural made with prison bed sheets, hair gel, and newspaper. He smuggles out each panel piece-by-piece with the help of fellow artists, only seeing the mural in totality upon coming home. As Jesse’s work captures the art world’s attention, he struggles to adjust to life outside, living with the threat that any misstep will trigger a life sentence.
Jesse Krimes is a past fellow of the Art For Justice FundPurchase tickets
Join us for an educator program on two exciting new exhibitions! Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe introduces new generations to one of the twentieth century’s most innovative Native American painters. Howe (1915–1983) committed his artistic career to the preservation, relevance, and ongoing expression of his Yanktonai Dakota culture. He proved that art could be simultaneously modern and embedded in customary Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Sioux) culture and aesthetics—to him there was no contradiction. In conversation with Dakota Modern, the Museum presents an immersive, site-responsive installation They Come From Fire by multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson, a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and of Cherokee descent. This dynamic work celebrates 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.
- 5:15 – 5:55 PM Open time, reserved for educators, in the exhibitions with Learning and Community Partnerships staff
- 6:00 – 6:45 PM Presentations by Native American Art Curator Kathleen Ash-Milby and IMLS Curatorial and Community Partnerships Fellow Erin Grant in the Miller
- 6:45 – 7:30 PM Teaching Workshops in the Miller
Admission is free. Registration requested.
Light refreshments will be served.
PDU credits available.
Educator Programs are supported in part by the Ed Cauduro Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, FRAME, Robert Lehman Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation, The Reser Family Foundation, Joseph E. Weston Public Foundation of the Oregon Community Foundation, and the Citizens of Portland through the Arts and Education Access Fund.
The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art