As I type this, I’m gazing out the window at a gray parking lot, where a rumpled crow is lazily assailing a damp peanut shell. Fall is here, people! The days are getting briefer, wetter, and gloomier. Whether you’re thrilled for six months of darkness or the prospect leaves you sadder than…well…a damp peanut shell, slap on a windbreaker and head to the art events below to put a spring in your step. Read on for more information, but just to get you excited, Ann Hamilton(!) is heading to town, and Portland Art Museum’s new VR experience, Symbiosis, will have you donning a robotic suit faster than you can say “ecofeminist Chthulucene.”
Ann Hamilton: Sense
November 3 – December 30
Elizabeth Leach Gallery
417 NW 9th Avenue, Portland (Tues-Sat 10:30 am – 5:30 pm)
Ann Hamilton is an artist who needs no introduction, but here’s one, anyway: the textile artist/sculptor/performer/videographer/photographer, widely known for her large-scale tactile installations, has developed a singular, internationally acclaimed voice since her career kicked off in the ’80s. Working less monumentally—but no less impactfully—in this exhibition, Hamilton shares the print results of her unique flatbed scanning process, which she uses to create ethereal imagery of organic forms.
Jeffrey Gibson: To Name An Other
November 4, 2022 – February 26, 2023
Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Ave, Portland (Weds-Sun 10 am – 5 pm)
Displayed in tandem with his “immersive, site-responsive installation” They Come From Fire, Jeffrey Gibson’s To Name An Other presents artifacts from the Choctaw/Cherokee artist’s ongoing performance work. The installation includes fifty matching tunics and drums adorned with thought-provoking phrases related to race and gender, as well as video documentation of past performances.
November 12, 2022 – February 12, 2023
934 SW Salmon St, Portland
Dutch collective Polymorf’s Symbiosis has truly thought of everything—the “performative, multiuser, and multisensory” VR experience (which requires participants to strap into a soft robotic suit) engages every sense, and even includes vegetarian snacks designed by master chefs. The experience was inspired by ecofeminist scholar Donna Haraway’s book Staying with the Trouble, and allows participants to place themselves within a visionary future realm where humans have merged with flora and fauna.
Kenji Ide: A Poem of Perception
October 2, 2022 – February 19, 2023
Portland Japanese Garden
611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland (Weds-Mon 10 am – 4 pm)
Kanagawa-based artist Kenji Ide’s A Poem of Perception compiles “material poetry”: found objects like postcards are arranged alongside natural ephemera and Ide’s wood, paper, and concrete sculptures. The meditative, site-specific exhibition aims to mirror the aesthetic vision of a traditional Japanese garden. (Since nature is art, too, scope out the burgeoning fall colors in the garden before heading to Tanabe Gallery.)
i gently place my brain in cold rice
November 4, 2022 – January 8, 2023
8371 North Interstate Ave, Portland (Fri-Sun 12-5 pm)
Victoria Anne Reis and manuel arturo abreu (AKA home school) commence their curatorial residency at Oregon Contemporary with this group exhibition, which compiles works by eight artists working in transmedia to investigate connections and fractures in “the tactile, the textile, the virtual, and the ritual.” Among the exhibiting artists are Ibisazi Designers Nyabyo, a Rwanda-raised creative duo, and Oregon-based artist and doula Ansar El Muhammad. As part of the exhibition’s programming, Ibisazi Designers Nyabyo and El Muhammad will host a BIPOC-only reproductive justice conversation and workshop.
Chris Burnett: Colibri
October 15 – December 4
3613 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland (Thurs-Sun 12-6 pm, Sun 11 am – 4 pm)
Tastemaker Chris Burnett, who has designed for buzzy luminaries like Kendrick Lamar, Odd Future, and Baby Keem, presents a series of slick mixed-media collages for this exhibition. Colibri‘s glossy sense of cool draws from an inspiration you might not expect—hummingbirds. They flutter around as a recurring motif throughout the show, emerging from Burnett’s emotional connection with the avian eyecatcher.
October 29 – December 3
7706 SE Yamhill St, Portland (Sat-Sun 1-4 pm and by appointment)
Continuing its curation of shows featuring both Pacific Northwest and out-of-state/country artists, Helen’s Costume presents Hob Gob, featuring Edinburgh-based painter and ceramicist Erica Eyres, New York-based painter Joshua Abelow, and local faves Lena Lutz and Elmeater Morton. The show grapples with the concept of a “household spirit,” with each artist approaching the trickster energy differently—think soft sculpture, found objects, and uncanny ceramics.
Red Thread: Green Earth
November 2, 2022 – January 7, 2023
The Gallery at The Reser
12625 SW Crescent St, Beaverton (Weds-Sat 12-6 pm)
Red Thread: Green Earth presents works by Studio Abioto, an arts studio and family of six Black women (Midnight Seed, Intisar, Dr. Wood Chopper, Ni, Amenta Yawa, and Medina Abioto) with an eye toward cultural transformation. The exhibition locates the “evolving primordial connection” between ecology and art through a diverse range of mediums, including photography, film, music, dance, written/spoken word, and food.
November 10, 2022 – January 2023
Portland Chinatown Museum
127 NW 3rd Ave, Portland (Fri-Sun 11 am – 3 pm)
Compiling the work of Portland Chinatown Museum’s 2022 artists-in-residence and reflecting on historical and contemporary Chinese communities, Illuminating Time includes new work by painter and book artist Shu-Ju Wang, as well as Chinese-American painter Alex Chiu’s “visual storytelling” and transracial/transcultural poet and calligrapher Sam Roxas-Chua 姚 (Yao)’s multimedia diaspora dialogues.
Commonly Uncommon: Selections from the Museum of Contemporary Craft Collection
November 3 – December 10
Pacific Northwest College of Art
511 W Broadway, Portland (Mon-Sat 10 am – 4 pm)
Honoring the memory of the Museum of Contemporary Craft, which sadly shuttered in 2016, this exhibition of artifacts and archives offers a rare peek into the city’s craft and maker ecology. Programming from Commonly Uncommon includes a panel discussion on the exhibition, craft, and community-building on November 17, featuring former Museum of Contemporary Craft curator Namita Gupta Wiggers and exhibiting artists Hilary Pfiefer, Joe Feddersen, Charissa Brock, and others. There will also be a free screening of exhibiting artist Faythe Levine’s film Handmade Nation: The Rise of D.I.Y. Craft, Art and Design on November 10.
Emma Gerigscott: For The Love Of Duck
October 11 – November 26
714 Northwest Davis St, Portland (Tues-Sat 11 am – 5:30 pm)
Emma Gerigscott is no stranger to animals as subject matter, but the painter builds on her past affinity for canine subjects with this more earnest, emotive show. (Maybe I’m just a sucker for ducks.) Either way, Gerigscott’s For The Love Of Duck feels both imbued with secret narratives and delightfully free of pretense. Lovingly rendered in oil, the exhibition also includes dreamy images of horses, goats, limbs, foliage, and a pup or two.