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VizArts Monthly: Personal reflections, collective inquiries, and space rocks

Lindsay Costello discovers a state of wonder in her roundup of art to see in May.


Dogwoods and breezy days have set the stage for a month of sunlit art-viewing, with precautions continuing in place—be sure to check the visiting guidelines for each gallery! This month’s round-up centers exhibitions that fuse the personal and the collective. Some artists are looking inward, reflecting on their past year’s experiences, while others are focusing on wider topics of colonialism and racism toward AAPI communities. In true PNW fashion, references to the natural world are woven throughout this month’s art offerings, too. Standouts in this group include petrographic photography at the High Desert Museum and Emily Counts’ botanical sculptures at Nationale. Many galleries are offering viewings by appointment, and there are still plenty of ways to engage without leaving the house. Keep up with the digital programming offered by Eugene-based Tropical Contemporary’s 2021 Transformation Residents on their Instagram page, or tune in for performance and visual artist Baseera Khan’s Zoom talk as part of Converge 45 programming.

Work by Emily Counts, image courtesy Nationale
Work by Yuyang Zhang, image courtesy Fuller Rosen Gallery

umm no: Yuyang Zhang
April 15 – May 27, 2021 (Zoom-based artist talk on May 15 at 5 PM)
Fuller Rosen Gallery
1928 NW Lovejoy St (Thurs-Sun 12-5 PM or by appointment; limited entry, distancing and masks required)

Yuyang Zhang’s solo exhibition at Fuller Rosen includes digital collages and paintings, all created during quarantine in 2020-21. Zhang combines Western pop imagery, iPhone emojis, and Chinese communist propaganda to consider the multiplicities of Chinese and American cultural identities through humor. Zhang’s work also touches on the racism and xenophobia that Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities have faced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside Zhang’s solo work, Fuller Rosen will exhibit a textile banner designed by the artist in collaboration with artist Brittany Vega. 

Work by Neil H. Buckland and Dr. Tony Irving, image courtesy High Desert Museum

Cosmic Microscapes: Seeing Into Rocks From Oregon and Space
March 6 – July 18, 2021
High Desert Museum
59800 US-97, Bend, OR (open daily 9 AM – 5 PM; limited entry, reserving tickets is recommended)

Who says igneous rocks aren’t art? The High Desert Museum’s new exhibition Cosmic Microscapes features high-resolution photography of small pieces of rocks from the Moon, Mars and asteroids, sliced paper-thin (to about 30 microns, a third of the width of human hair). This ongoing collaboration between Seattle photographer Neil H. Buckland and University of Washington geochemist and meteoricist Dr. Tony Irving has resulted in the largest prints ever made from petrographic slices.

Along These Lines
April 8 – May 27, 2021
Alberta Abbey
126 NE Alberta St #108 (open daily 9 AM – 10 PM)

Curated by PNCA’s Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies Curatorial Fellow Ilsa Payne and Creative Writing Fellow Justin Duyao, Along These Lines features the work of twenty artists investigating the line as a uniting theme. The line’s varying capacities for connection, division, fragmentation, and delineation are explored through poetry, painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, installation, and more.


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Work by garima thakur and Sharita Towne, image courtesy Well Well Projects

we’re out of control: garima thakur & Sharita Towne
May 8 – 30, 2021
Well Well Projects
8371 N Interstate Ave #1 (open Sat-Sun 12 PM – 5 PM)

we’re out of control reflects on the continuing impact and legacy of colonialism. The topic is explored in several ways including close readings and activations of the work of poet and activist Jayne Cortez; the utilization of the gallery’s location to prompt reflection on positions within colonialist structures; and through a morning chai chat with the featured artists, garima thakur and Sharita Towne, on May 26. This exhibition and dialogue are organized as part of Dismantling the House, curated by Yaelle S. Amir, Center for Art Research’s 2020-21 Curator-in-Residence.

Work by Wade Schuster, image courtesy Hanson Howard Gallery

Laura Foster and Wade Schuster
April 1 – May 8, 2021
Hanson Howard Gallery
89 Oak St., Ashland, OR (Tues-Sat 11 AM – 5 PM)

This two-person exhibition features Laura Foster’s reclaimed material sculptures and Wade Schuster’s bright, abstract oil paintings, inspired by walks and public space. Foster sources materials from the Rebuilding Center and curbsides, creating sculptures that reference fragmentation and scattering, while Schuster explores perception and memory alongside the “everyday life of public space” through colorful, bold forms.

Work by Emily Counts, image courtesy Nationale

Emily Counts: Souvenir
April 22 – May 30, 2021
15 SE 22nd Ave (Mon and Thurs-Sat 11 AM – 6 PM, Sun 12-5 PM, limited entry, distancing and masks required)

Emily Counts’ new series of sculptures are textural and personal, melding childhood memories with references to the natural world to find new pathways of connection. Vessels interlock, and various mushroom sculptures could reference mycelial networks. Counts hints at her own memories through her objects, while also creating space for the viewer to forage for their own visual associations.

devynn emory: deadbird and can anybody help me hold this body
May 27 – 30, 2021
Varied events


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devynn emory’s upcoming offerings at PICA include something for everyone. A public grief altar, titled can anybody help me hold this body will be tended by Maya Vivas and open at PICA from May 28-30. emory’s film, deadbird, described as “grief space for devynn’s body as a hospice / COVID-19 nurse and spirit medium,” will be on view online May 27-30. Engagement with emory’s work is encouraged through contribution to a digital altar archive. Learn more about this multifaceted exhibit here.

Work by Jeannine Shinoda, image courtesy AGENDA

Towards space + wonder: Jeannine Shinoda
April 10 – May 8, 2021
4505 SE Belmont St Suite A (by appointment only, reserve here)

Jeannine Shinoda, artist, architect, chef, and owner of food project Omakase-Ya, has developed this solo exhibition around the idea of creative process, emphasizing exploration, curiosity, and gesture. True to her interests, the works feature food as a central metaphor, too. Catch Towards space + wonder by setting an appointment before its closing date on May 8.

Work by Georgina Reskala, image courtesy PDX Contemporary Art

Inventing the Truth: Georgina Reskala
May 5 – 29, 2021
PDX Contemporary Art
925 NW Flanders St (Wed-Sat 10 AM – 5 PM)

In Inventing the Truth, artist Georgina Reskala pairs photography with linen and thread to consider the nature of truth and its tendency to be rewritten and transformed. Reskala references both personal memory and collective experience in these visual investigations. Her photography is dark and dream-like, while her use of thread alters each image to shift its meaning, resulting in moody, mysterious compositions.

Work by Anna Fidler, image courtesy Newport Visual Arts Center

Incessant Pulse of the Future: Anna Fidler
April 10 – May 29, 2021
Newport Visual Arts Center
777 NW Beach Dr, Newport, OR (Wednesdays and Saturdays 12-4 PM)

Corvallis-based artist Anna Fidler created large-scale geometric works on paper for this series, which she describes as “painted spells.” Fidler develops a sense of energy in her works through the use of symbols and mirrored, repeated forms on handmade grid paper. The results are hypnotic and challenging. View the works in person, or check them out online. Fidler’s artist’s talk on this exhibition is available on YouTube.


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Work by Paul Lee, image courtesy Adams and Ollman

Paul Lee: Tambourine Heart
April 24 – May 22, 2021
Adams and Ollman
418 NW 8th Ave (by appointment only)

Tambourine Heart showcases artist Paul Lee’s newest collages, part of an experimental practice he’s cultivated since the 1990s. Lee expertly combines textures of paper, towels, canvas, and more with an aesthetic of play, marvel, and metaphor. Accompanying Lee’s works on paper are a series of tambourine sculptures, emphasizing his confidence with a wide range of materials.

Work by Dawn Cerny, image courtesy Melanie Flood Projects

Dawn Cerny: Weeping Willow Folding Chair
April 23 – May 29, 2021
Melanie Flood Projects
420 SW Washington St #301 (by appointment only, reserve here)

Seattle-based artist Dawn Cerny’s tabletop sculptures evoke appendages or furniture—objects of the everyday that occupy meaningful, often overlooked roles. Her mobiles are childlike yet precarious, seeming to represent both balancing acts and grander technologies. This relationship feels poignant in pandemic times. Alongside drawings featuring hand mirrors and hints of reflection, Cerny’s works are both comedic and melancholy.

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Photo Joe Cantrell

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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