Cascadia Composers Music Concert Portland State University Lincoln Hall Portland Oregon

VizArts Monthly: Here on Earth

Summer is here! Time for graduations, picnics, and quality outdoor time. Lindsay Costello rounds up June's art offerings.

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As always, artists are here to tell us what we need to hear, whether we like it or not. They stay rooted in the ground this month: taking us on picnics, redefining environmental activism, inviting us into their experiences of loss and societal pressures, and challenging hierarchies. Prepare to reframe your thinking in ways that feel unexpected and good.

If you need a little extra encouragement this month, do what I love to do—check out what the art students are busy creating. If I know one thing for certain, it’s that art students are powerful and resourceful in the most surprising ways, and they give me hope. Maybe you’ll feel the same way. Find a list of student shows wrapping up the 2021-22 school year at the end of this article.

Work by Alison Heryer, image courtesy Oregon Contemporary

Culinaria: Alison Heryer’s Picnic
June 4, 12-8 pm
Oregon Contemporary
8371 N Interstate Ave, Portland

If year three of COVID has you feeling a little socially displaced, Alison Heryer’s Picnic might help. The artist will lay out an abstracted gingham blanket for community connection as part of an ongoing (and oh-so-timely) social engagement project, first begun in 2012. Orders for custom picnic baskets have ended, but visitors are welcome to bring their own snacks or purchase them from the on-site café.

Work by Padma Rajendran, image courtesy SE Cooper Contemporary

Padma Rajendran: Unfamiliar Thresholds
May 21 – June 25
SE Cooper Contemporary
6901 SE 110th Ave, Portland (Sat 11 am – 5 pm and by appointment)

With consideration toward cultural and universal markers of fruitfulness and abundance, Padma Rajendran’s Unfamiliar Thresholds uses pattern, symbolism, and decoration to foster, at first, a feeling of welcoming, followed by much more complex threads of contradiction and internal strife. Grappling with the role of “success” in our lives, Rajendran constructs a view of the home as a site of solace and removal from seemingly omnipresent outside pressures.

Image courtesy HOLDING Contemporary

Jodie Cavalier: Fool’s Gold
June 3 – July 30
HOLDING Contemporary
916 NW Flanders St, Portland (by appointment)

Jodie Cavalier’s new exhibition serves to honor and remember her late grandfather through a series of ceramic objects and works on paper that recreate his belongings, as recalled from memory and past storytelling. Cavalier’s meditative, resourceful use of natural materials from her home and the Mojave Desert landscape creates an interplay of subtly profound earnestness and humor. As might be expected, the artist’s ceramic objects are embedded with a longing that comes with the complex territory of coping with loss.

Work by Lisa Jarrett, image courtesy Russo Lee Gallery

Lisa Jarrett: Heart Condition
June 2 – July 2
Russo Lee Gallery
805 NW 21st Ave, Portland (Tue-Fri 11 am – 5:30 pm, Sat 11 am – 5 pm)

Pulled from her ongoing Migration Studies series, artist and educator Lisa Jarrett explores beauty routines and hair care in Black culture in this tactile exhibition of sculptures, drawings, and installation. A lover of questions, the KSMoCA cofounder’s intersectional practice is far-reaching and explores politics of difference through many different socially engaged projects within the African diaspora.

Work by Jessica Jackson Hutchins, image courtesy Adams and Ollman

Jessica Jackson Hutchins: No Relief
May 14 – June 11
Adams and Ollman
418 NW 8th Ave, Portland (Wed-Sat 11 am – 4 pm)

In No Relief, Jessica Jackson Hutchins continues to shapeshift materials into reverent, evocative sculptural forms. The artist’s new mixed media works call on an earthy color palette and subtle art historical references to reflect on implied hierarchies of all kinds. Objects like cushions and sweaters are included, perhaps in a nod to the familiar or mundane. Also found in this exhibition, Hutchins’ series of relief papier-mâché works which mark a return to early-career considerations of care, comfort, pain, and healing.

Rehearsals, Takahiro Yamamoto and cast, image courtesy Portland Art Museum

Opacity of Performance: Takahiro Yamamoto
Performances June 16-19 and June 23-26
Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Ave, Portland (Wed-Sun 10 am – 5 pm, Fri 10 am – 8 pm)

Portland-based choreographer Takahiro Yamamoto’s Opacity of Performance transforms PAM’s European art wing into a site of collaborative dance. Dancers will conceal and reveal their performances within designated areas divided by curtains, creating an ever-shifting viewer experience. In this way, the work grapples with the seen and unseen, using the tensions of visibility and vulnerability to consider wider themes of cultural othering and control.

Sponsor
Bag & Baggage Danny and the Deep Blue Sea The Vault Theatre Hillsboro Oregon
Work by Judy Chicago, image courtesy Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education

Judy Chicago: Turning Inward
June 2 – September 23
Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education
724 NW Davis St, Portland (Wed-Sat 11 am – 4 pm)

Spanning six decades of the groundbreaking artist’s oeuvre, Turning Inward reasserts Judy Chicago as a foundational artist-activist. The exhibition traces Chicago’s aesthetic shifts over a prolific career as a Jewish woman artist, sharing works on paper, glass works, and large-scale photographic prints that showcase her longstanding commitment to explorations of identity and gender. (Don’t miss the preliminary works on display here that Chicago created in preparation for her seminal work, The Dinner Party.)

Work by Sari Carel, image courtesy Melanie Flood Projects

Sari Carel: The Sun is a Mouth of Blue
May 13 – June 11
Melanie Flood Projects
420 SW Washington St #301, Portland (Fri-Sat 12-5 pm and by appointment)

Brooklyn-based artist and environmental activist Sari Carel presents a cerulean-tinted series of cameraless photographic prints in solo exhibition The Sun is a Mouth of Blue. The exhibition questions how to thrive within a city, pulling together municipal data in analog prints that reflect a long lineage of cyanotype documentation of the natural world. With human refuse as a central theme, the exhibition also includes sculptures made from ceramic and plastic waste as references to the composition of landfills. Carel merges synthetic and natural worlds in abstraction—if trash circulates on the planet forever, why not engage with it directly, with intention?

Work by Jessie Rose Vala, image courtesy Well Well Projects

Jessie Rose Vala: // This little spot of Earth \ //\ that with the Sea //\ // Embraced is \
June 4-26
Well Well Projects
8371 N Interstate Ave #1, Portland (Sat-Sun 12-5 pm)

Jessie Rose Vala’s totemic, otherworldly objects take center stage in this exhibition. While little has been revealed about the works in the solo show, Vala’s artist statement evokes a sense of terrestrial storytelling, with references to materiality, fossilization, stone, terra cotta, and petrogenesis.

Ryan Mitchell Boyle: Collect Call
June 4-22
SATOR Projects
1607 SE 3rd Ave, Portland (Sat-Sun 12-5 pm and by appointment)

Merging sculpture and street fashion, Ryan Mitchell Boyle’s cyber-tinged Collect Call creates an interactive space where viewers can engage with digital collages, mannequins, and an experimental video while shopping clothing racks. Boyle’s experiences as a dancer and performance artist inform his avant-garde, sculptural approach to one-of-a-kind garments, which he sells all over the world.

Work by Dan Attoe, image courtesy Helen’s Costume

Bananas
June 25 – July 23
Helen’s Costume
7706 SE Yamhill St, Portland (Sat 1-4 pm and by appointment)

For almost two years, Helen’s Costume has paired Portland artists with creators from other states as part of a dynamic curatorial practice. The forward-thinking gallery continues with Bananas, exploring the present moment through the eyes of West Coasters. Washington artist Dan Attoe and California-based painter Keith Boadwee’s works will be shown alongside local faves Ralph Pugay, Rainen Knecht, and Shelley Turley.

Image courtesy Caldera Arts

Hearth Festival
June 10-12
Caldera Arts Center
31500 Blue Lake Drive, Sisters

Heart Festival is shaped around the final performances of Constant State of Otherness, taiko ensemble Unit Souzou’s immersive, identity-exploring journey shared through taiko, Japanese folk dance, song, and storytelling. The weekend’s programming also includes opportunities for meditative land engagement and family-friendly fun. On Saturday, Unit Souzou will facilitate a drum workshop and sacred rhythmic hike, and visitors will find video art installations, tours, games, and more.


Plus, end-of-year college art exhibitions:

Lewis and Clark seniors in the art department will present Don’t Blink at Hoffman Art Gallery.

PNCA’s BFA and MFA candidates will present thesis exhibitions at several locations in downtown Portland.

PSU’s BFA and MFA candidates will present Epilogue at Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

Just across the Columbia River, Archer Gallery will present ASA2022, a juried exhibition of works by Clark College art students.

Lindsay Costello is an experimental artist and writer in Portland, Oregon, with an academic background in textile research at the Oregon College of Art and Craft. Her critical writing can also be read at Hyperallergic, Art Papers, Art Practical, 60 Inch Center, this is tomorrow, and Textile: Cloth and Culture, among other places. She is the founder of plant poetics, an herbalism project, and soft surface, a digital poetry journal/residency. She is the co-founder of Critical Viewing, an aggregate of art community happenings in the Pacific NorthwestHer artistic practice centers magic, ecology, and folkways in social practice, writing, sculpture, and installation.

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