Cascadia Composers A Ligeti Odyssey The Old Madeleine Church Portland Oregon

VizArts Monthly: In or out?

April's art offerings provide an opportunity to reflect on quotidian existence, the notion of home, and our relationship with the natural world.


This month’s art offerings bring some ease to the season. Artists are centering the body at rest with exhibitions that stretch out, explore bodily functions, and grapple with interiority and domesticity. The focus makes sense, given how many of us have drastically shifted our relationships to home over the last two years. (I’ve prioritized in-person shows this month, but if you’re looking for a virtual art-viewing opportunity that touches on these themes, I recommend Owen Grossman’s The House Series on North Pole Studio’s website.)

The natural world is another throughline in April’s art events. With investigations of plant-human interactions, Oregon ecology, and Indigenous perspectives on the natural world, you can opt to explore either interior or exterior realms—or both—this month.

Image courtesy ANTI-AESTHETIC

It’s About Time: Films & Videos by Julie Perini
April 8, 7 pm
245 W 8th Ave, Eugene, OR

Film diarist, documentarian, and all-around visionary-with-a-camera Julie Perini heralds the start of ANTI-AESTHETIC’s new time/space programming, a series of art film and video screenings planned throughout 2022. This screening centers a collection of Perini’s experiments in time-based, personal film, and will include intro remarks and a Q&A session with the filmmaker.

Work by Shelley Turley, image courtesy Helen’s Costume

Elliott Jamal Robbins and Shelley Turley: Sleepy
March 12 – April 17
Helen’s Costume
7706 SE Yamhill Street (Sat 1-4 pm and by appointment)

Artists Elliott Jamal Robbins and Shelley Turley slog past the ultra-intentional, rational demands of daily life to land somewhere more liminal and indeterminate. The two painters rejoice in the murky underbelly of the day-to-day, pairing imagery of bulbous bugs with blurry compositions of voyeuristic sexuality.

Image courtesy PICA

100 Keyboards, by ASUNA
April 22 and 23, 6 pm
15 NE Hancock St, Portland

Trailblazing Japanese sound artist ASUNA prods the possibilities of “interference sound” in this performance. As the name implies, ASUNA uses 100 keyboards to build a “moiré of sound,” weaving a complex web of notes that will shift as the audience moves throughout PICA’s cavernous space.

Work by Lucia Monge, image courtesy Stelo

Lucia Monge Residency Event
April 10, 2:30 – 5 pm
412 NW 8th Ave, Portland

Fans of “green time” will love Lucia Monge’s verdant work. In this interactive event, Stelo resident Monge presents Plantón Móvil, a participatory plant-based project and publication she’s been developing since 2010. Attendees are invited to make seeded paper and engage in a collaborative writing project, which will be followed by a panel conversation between Monge and Plantón Móvil contributors Ellie Irons and Patricia C Phillips.

Work by D’Angelo Lovell Williams, image courtesy lumber room

Diedrick Brackens & D’Angelo Lovell Williams: The Quick
April 2 – June 18
lumber room
419 NW 9th Ave, Portland (Fri-Sat 12 – 6 pm)

Curated by Ashley Stull Meyers, this exhibition calls upon weaving and sketching as frameworks for exploration of interiority, companionship, and domesticity in Black life. Artists Diedrick Brackens and D’Angelo Lovell Williams compile photographs, sculptures, and weavings as portraits of their own inner worlds, nodding toward “the home” as a formative inspirational space for Black artists.

Work by Carey Wong, image courtesy Portland Chinatown Museum

Carey Wong: The World Transformed
Opening April 2
Portland Chinatown Museum
127 NW Third Avenue, Portland (Fri-Sun 11 am – 3 pm)

Boasting sixteen scenic designs and set models, The World Transformed provides a stunning glimpse into the four-decade career of Northwest-based exhibition designer Carey Wong. Featured designs include Wong’s work for Portland Center Stage’s inaugural season, as well as six designs for shows in Asian or Asian American settings. Texts, compiled research, photographs, and video clips bolster the viewer’s understanding of the concept-to-stage scenic design process.

High Desert Museum Creations of Spirit Bend Oregon
Work by Dana Robinson, image courtesy Fuller Rosen Gallery

Dana Robinson: Second Honeymoon
April 2 – May 8
Fuller Rosen Gallery
1928 NW Lovejoy, Portland (Thur-Sun 12 – 5 pm)

In Second Honeymoon, Dana Robinson pairs blurred compositions on dyed silk with a looping audio piece to reflect on Black middle-class life with idiosyncratic humor and organic, mutable color. Pulling inspiration from vintage Ebony magazines and product advertising, Robinson’s ethereal figures float on sheer textiles. Audio recordings of her grandmother’s bell collection resound at regular intervals, punctuating time while drawing attention to the present moment.

Work by Jane Schoenbrun, image courtesy PAM CUT

We’re All Going to the World’s Fair
April 22 at 7 pm; April 23 at 3 pm
Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Ave, Portland

Regardless of your feelings about their polarizing new name (is it polarizing if no one likes it?), PAM CUT will screen a buzzy Sundance horror later this month. We’re All Going to the World’s Fair is the first feature-length flick from non-binary filmmaker Jane Schoenbrun, a previous instructor in PAM CUT’s Co:Laboratory.

Image courtesy Performance Works NW

Linda Austin & Allie Hankins: /ə ˈsɪŋgəl pɪŋk klɑʊd/
April 8-10 and 14-17, 8 pm
Performance Works NW
4625 SE 67th Ave, Portland

Dancers Austin and Hankins, inspired by visionary surrealists Gertrude Abercrombie and Leonora Carrington, contend with the wobbly, unbalanced world by braiding movement, object, and song. Expect the unlikely in this playful performance.

Work by Carissa Potter Carlson, image courtesy Archer Gallery

Carissa Potter Carlson and Kate Pruitt: Wallowing
April 19 – May 12
Archer Gallery
1933 Fort Vancouver Way Vancouver (Fri-Sat 11 am – 4 pm)

Wading through the muddy murk of grief, Carissa Potter Carlson and Kate Pruitt make the uneasy choice to sit in discomfort rather than turn away from it. The artists explore their desires for comfort and safety in the sculptures and paintings seen in Wallowing. Through this practice, they continue to reach for a profound transformation within the height of despair.

Work by Naeemeh Naeemaei, image courtesy Schneider Museum of Art

The Presence of Nature
April 8 – May 21
Schneider Museum of Art
555 Indiana St, Ashland (Tue-Sat 10 am – 4 pm)

What happens when a group of artists from diverse backgrounds are wholly immersed in Oregon landscapes? Independent curator Jill Hartz digs into this question through The Presence of Nature, a collection of works by Oregon-based immigrant artists Claire Burbridge, Naeemeh Naeemaei, and Olga Volchkova, as well as Ho-Chunk Nation artist Sky Hopinka and filmmakers Kurtis Hough and Vanessa Renwick. Each artist brings a unique sensibility and background to the topic, informed by botany, wildness, Indigeneity, abstraction, and more.

Image courtesy Portland State University

Corporeal Gestures: Fragmentary Explorations in the Cultivation of the Human Body
April 4-29
Portland State University School of Architecture
Shattuck Hall, 1914 SW Park Avenue, Portland (daily)

Orchestrated by PSU professor Clive Knights, this exhibition invited participating artists to respond to nine “muses”—or bodily necessities—via collage. The 120+ collages included in Corporeal Gestures reflect on the inescapably mortal experiences of breathing, nourishing, sleeping, discharging waste, procreating, resisting the earth’s pull, communicating, aging, and dying.

Image courtesy One Thousand Ways

April 15 – May 8
The Factor Building
228 SE Madison, Portland (various times)

Whether or not you’re a fan of the elusive artist, Banksy’s cultural impact is undeniable. This international touring exhibit envelops viewers in Banksy’s mystique, showcasing over 100 artworks that range from familiar salvaged street art to never-before-seen installations.

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.

Blueprint Choirs Gala and Grand Concert Lloyd Center Portland Oregon
Hallie Ford Museum of Art Willamette University Tom Prochaska Music for Ghosts Salem Oregon
Portland State University College of the Arts
Cascadia Composers A Ligeti Odyssey The Old Madeleine Church Portland Oregon
Lincoln County Historical Society Pacific Maritime Heritage Center The Curious World of Seaweed Newport Oregon
Portland Playhouse The sounds of Afrolitical Movement Portland Oregon
Oregon Bach Festival Musical Wanderlust Eugene Oregon
High Desert Museum Creations of Spirit Bend Oregon
Triangle Productions The Inheritance Part 2 Portland Oregon
Profile Theatre How To Make An American Son Imago Theatre Portland Oregon
Portland Piano International Alexander Korsantia Portland Oregon
Portland Revels Rancho Trinidad Portland Oregon
Maryhill Museum of Art Columbia Gorge Washington
Oregon Bach Festival Musical Wanderlust Eugene Oregon
Northwest Dance Project Stravinsky Newmark Theatre Portland Oregon
Oregon Cultural Trust tax credit donate
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