Selections from Portland2012: A Biennial of Contemporary Art

Artist: Susan Seubert

Artist: Susan Seubert

The Schneider Museum of Art (SMA) at Southern Oregon University is excited to present an inspiring exhibition that is a major survey of work by Oregon visual artists who are defining and advancing the contemporary arts landscape. The exhibition will be showing from Friday, September 28 – Saturday, December 8, 2012 with an opening reception on Thursday,September 27, 5:00 TO 7:00 PM. Patrons are encouraged to visit frequently this fall as artwork will be rotating during the exhibition.

Portland2012: A Biennial of Contemporary Art was conceived of and produced by Disjecta Contemporary Art Center in Portland,Oregon and curated by Prudence F. Roberts. It is the second installment of the biennial-following Portland2010,curated by Cris Moss-in an ongoing survey of contemporary art practice in Oregon. SMA Acting Director Erika Leppmann worked with curator, Prudence Roberts, and Disjecta Director, Bryan Seurath, to select a group of artists from the Biennial for the fall exhibition at the Schneider Museum of Art.

Prudence F. Roberts, currently an instructor of art history at Portland Community College, served as curator of American Art at the Portland Art Museum from 1987 to 2000. Curator Roberts reviewed 280 applications and made roughly 50 studio visits in her process for selecting art works for the Portland2012 exhibition. The participating artists represent a broad range of contemporary practice including emerging and mid-career artists with varying approaches from craft traditions to social practice, installation, photography, painting and film/video. A majority of the selected artists created new works specifically for the Biennial.

Says Roberts, “It has been an equal challenge and pleasure to select the artists for Portland2012 because of the rigor of artistic practice… Many of the artists I visited are working with a deep awareness of art history, even though they are questioning the canon, as it were. I am fascinated by how much work questions the act of perception and the veracity of image, sound, or text. Another theme that emerged for me is that of history and narrative, both personal and political: several pieces in Portland2012 draw upon material from extended and ongoing scholarly research.”

The artists participating in the Portland2012 exhibition include:

Akihiko Miyoshi
Anna Gray & Ryan Wilson Paulsen
Ariana Jacob
Arnold J.Kemp
Ben Buswell
Ben Rosenberg
Chris Knight
Cynthia Lahti
Daniel Duford
Dustin Zemel
Erik Geschke
Mack McFarland
Marie Sivak
Matt McCormick
Sang-Ah Choi
Susan Seubert
Vanessa Calvert

The exhibition and accompanying programs are made possible through the generous support of the Ford Family Foundation. Requesting support for this exhibition,SMA Acting Director Erika Leppmann wrote of the need to cultivate artistic exchange and dialogue between the Portland and Medford/Ashland areas. “Too often those of us in Southern Oregon look to the Bay Area when vital activities are happening in Portland. And Portlanders tend to overlook the critical work being produced here.”

The opening reception on Thursday, September 27, 5:00 to 7:00 PM will feature a courtyard performance by the Modern Prometheus Jazz Company. The band explores artistic boundaries and engages in instrumental experimentation while paying homage to obscure compositions and jazz legends such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Their improvisational style makes every performance a unique experience for both the musicians and the audience. RoxyAnn Winery is generously donating and pouring wine at the reception.

As a response to the polarizing political divide in our country, participating artist Ariana Jacob has toured the United States to gather a better understanding of both their beliefs and her own, as an idealist with socialist leanings and a penchant for questioning herself. As part of the Portland2012 exhibition, Jacob will host public conversation sessions inviting conservative and libertarian people to talk with her about their own political perspectives. These conversations, which will take place in an American flag pop-up tent on the SOU campus, in downtown Ashland, and Medford. More details about Jacob’s conversations will be released at a later date.

Artist: AkihoMiyoshi

Artist: AkihoMiyoshi