Portland loses artist/curator Rhoda London to cancer

Rhoda London

Editor’s Note: ArtsWatch was sad to hear about the passing of artist Rhoda London, and we received this obituary from Gavin Shettler.

The installation artist, painter, and curator, Rhoda London (1934-2012) passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 12, 2012, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Along with being an accomplished artist, Rhoda was a teacher, mentor and friend to many in the Portland art community. London was a truly modern woman, who embodied the feminist movement. She was born in Manhattan, New York, and grew up in a traditional Jewish family in the Bronx.  After receiving her bachelor’s degree from NYU, Rhoda rose to prominence in the publishing industry, working at the executive level in New York City, Brussels, and Montreal.

At age 45, she moved to the Bay Area and began her life as a practicing artist. She received her master’s degree in fine art from California College of Art in 1988. London moved to Portland, Oregon in 2001 where she quickly became an active community member. She has exhibited work extensively, both locally and nationally. Her most recent exhibitions were in the fall of 2011 at Milepost 5’s Gallery 5 and at Place in Portland, OR. London’s work was awarded grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, California Arts Council, and Portland’s Regional Arts and Culture Council. Her work about immigration is in the private collections of the Ellis Island Museum and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City.

 Rhoda London also curated many exhibitions, including the exhibition and conference “The Other Portland: Art & Ecology in the 5th Quadrant” at Portland Art Center, Portland, OR.  She was an active member of Art on the Peninsula, a group that promoted art and artists by producing art exhibits at local businesses in the St. Johns neighborhood. London was an adjunct professor at both Pacific Northwest College of Art and Washington State University. 

Her complete CV, including examples of her work, can be found on her website.

Rhoda leaves behind a large body of work. She planned a post-mortem installation piece with local curator and artist, Gabe Flores, to be exhibited at Place in 2013. A retrospective is also in the early planning stages. Rhoda London will be sorely missed throughout the Portland community, as well as the Bay Area.

3 Responses.

  1. Serena says:

    Do you have any information on her funeral? Please message me if/when you do. She was a beloved mentor and friend.

    • Barry Johnson says:

      There was a private ceremony on Friday… not sure about a more public event, though maybe around the time of the retrospective.

  2. Jeannette says:

    Friends will be celebrating Rhoda London’s life this Sunday, May 6th at the Historic Kenton Firehouse, 8105 N. Brandon from 2-4:00.

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