Selections from PORTLAND2014: A Biennial of Contemporary Art

Modou Dieng & Devon A. VanHouten-Maldonado, Tranquillo, 2014, Mixed media, partial view

Modou Dieng & Devon A. VanHouten-Maldonado, Tranquillo, 2014, Mixed media, partial view

The Schneider Museum of Art Announces New Exhibition: Selections from PORTLAND2014: A Biennial of Contemporary Art

The Schneider Museum of Art (SMA) is celebrating its participation in Southern Oregon University’s new Oregon Center for the Arts by presenting a year of Oregon artists.  As part of this celebration, the Museum is excited to show Selections from PORTLAND2014: A Biennial of Contemporary Art, a major exhibition that surveys the work of Oregon visual artists who are defining and advancing the contemporary arts landscape.  The exhibition will be showing from Friday, October 3 through Saturday, December 6, 2014 with an opening reception on Thursday, October 2 from 5:00 TO 7:00 PM.

PORTLAND2014: A Biennial of Contemporary Art was conceived of and produced by Disjecta Contemporary Art Center in Portland, Oregon and curated by Amanda Hunt.  Founded in 2000, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center builds ambitious programs that promote artists and engage communities. (To learn more, visit ) SMA Director Erika Leppmann worked with curator, Amanda Hunt, and Disjecta Director, Bryan Suereth, to organize the Biennial for the fall exhibition at the Schneider Museum of Art.

Curator Hunt visited nearly 50 studios and reviewed over 300 entries before selecting fifteen Oregon artists and their collaborators to participate in PORTLAND2014.  These artists include up-and-coming as well as established professionals who work in a variety of media.  The participating artists are primarily based in Portland, but others work in Salem, Eugene, and Dayton.  For Hunt, several themes emerged as she reviewed the artists’ work: “dialogue and collaboration, the presence of the hand, of not outsourcing production; a connection to the landscape; and overarching sense of intergenerational dialogue.”

The artists participating in the PORTLAND2014 exhibition include:

Evan Lalonde, Untitled, 2014, silver gelatin print, 20 x 16 inches, unique

Evan Lalonde, Untitled, 2014, silver gelatin print, 20 x 16 inches, unique

Zachary Davis
Modou Dieng and Devon A. VanHouten-Maldonado
Alex Mackin Dolan
Travis Fitzgerald
Jessica Jackson Hutchins
Evan La Londe
Ellen Lesperance
D.E. May
Christopher Michlig and John Zerzan
Personal Libraries Library
Publication Studio
Ralph Pugay
Kelly Rauer
Blair Saxon-Hill
Richard Thompson

PORTLAND2014 continues the tradition of the Oregon Biennial inaugurated by the Portland Art Museum in 1949. Oregon artists lost a longstanding platform for career advancement following the final iteration of the Museum’s Biennial in 2006.  In 2010, Disjecta introduced a reimagined Biennial, with the work of 19 Oregon artists, that spanned nine venues, curated by Linfield College Gallery Director Cris Moss. Portland2012, curated by Prudence F. Roberts, former curator of American Art at the Portland Art Museum, presented the work of 24 artists, and was shown at five venues in Portland. Leppmann, Roberts and Suereth edited a Selections from Portland2012 exhibition that was shown at the Schneider Museum of Art.

The curator’s vision is a key component of the exhibition, and as the first non-regional curator of the Biennial, Amanda Hunt’s perspective engaged artists and audiences in new ways.

According to Director Bryan Suereth, Disjecta brought in a “dynamic curator from Los Angeles to facilitate a broader dialog. With Amanda’s diligence and perspective, the Portland bubble is broken; its not just us talking about ourselves to ourselves anymore – we’re holding our artists up for critique and response on the national stage.”  PORTLAND2014 Curator Amanda Hunt, newly appointed Curator at The Studio Museum of Harlem, was Curator at Large for LA><ART in Los Angeles. She has worked at various galleries and institutions including Whitechapel Gallery, London; Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York; the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Hunt worked on two major arts initiatives in Los Angeles in 2012, including the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival, co-produced by LA><ART and the Getty Research Institute, and Made in L.A. 2012, the first Los Angeles biennial organized by the Hammer Museum in collaboration with LA><ART. Hunt is a graduate of the Curatorial Practice program at California College of the Arts, San Francisco.

The exhibition and accompanying programs are made possible through the generous support of The Ford Family Foundation, Roseburg.  Requesting support for this exhibition, SMA 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 around the state.  And, Willamette Valley residents tend to overlook the critical work being produced here.”

The Ford Family Foundation is also funding an artist-in-residence initiative. The Museum will select artists from around the state to create new works during month-long artist residencies on the Southern Oregon University campus.  A culminating exhibition will allow for a deeper exploration into the works of these artists and will promote creative cross-pollination with local artists, university students, as well from visiting K-12 students.

Selections from PORTLAND2014: A Biennial of Contemporary Art will be augmented by docent tours for all ages, hands-on activities, and special events, such as artist lectures, concerts, and performances.  The Museum will hold a weekly docent-led tour for the public on Tuesdays at noon.  Please join us on Thursday, October 2, 2014, from 5:00 to 7:00 PM for the opening reception for PORTLAND2014.  Folin Cellars wine generously donated by Kevin and Susan Walsh will be served at the reception.  The exhibition runs from Friday, October 3 through Saturday, December 6.  Fall Hours for the Museum are Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM.