On Tuesday February 8, 2022, Joseph Gallivan interviews Maryanna Ramirez and Edmund Holmes about Black Lives Matter Artist Grant Exhibition, which is on now through April 30 at Portland State University. Gallery Director Remirez and artist and Nike designer Holmes talk about select works in the show, about decoding Black imagery, how traditional oil painting and installation sculpture can stand together, and whether woke white people expect a certain kind of content from Black artists.
This show was recorded on Zoom video conferencing software on Feb 2, 2022.
Edmund Holmes email@example.com
From the press release:
Black Lives Matter Artist Grant Exhibition
January 18 – April 30, 2022
AnAkA, Annabelle Araya, Julia Bond, J’reyesha Brannon, Amirah Chatman, Steven Christian, Baba Wagué Diakité, Sadé DuBoise, Austin Gardner, Leila Haile, Elijah Hasan, Edmund Holmes, Willie Little, Latoya Lovely, Aiyana Monae McClinton, Jessica Mehta, Christine Miller, Annie Schutz, Sharita Towne, and Kyra Watkins
The Black Lives Matter Artist Grant Program is a multi-university granting project established by Jordan Schnitzer that has awarded funding to 60 emerging, mid-career, and established artists whose practices demonstrate a commitment to social justice. This granting initiative, which categorically references the Black Lives Matter movement(s), gestures towards the germinating financial and intellectual investment in artwork borne out of a continuing, centuries-long fight for Black autonomy, freedom, and most notably, life.
The 20 artists selected for the Portland State University Black Lives Matter Artist Grant Exhibition stretch the notion of ‘socially engaged artwork’ beyond its cursory definition, resulting in a collection of objects which require multiple shifts in perspective. Through installation, photography, video, painting, performance, textiles, sculpture, poetry, and printmaking, this exhibition is a microcosm of allied and conflicting political, social, and aesthetic approaches.
Some awardees find it imperative to use art as a vehicle to depict the horrors of white supremacy by swelling the effects to an unignorable size, asking their audience not to turn away. The artwork of other awardees tends to the intricacies of their individual craft, or the richness of material culture. To joy and pleasure, illustrating and narrating a better world than this, to the intersections of Blackness, indigeneity, and queerness, to secrecy, and to abstraction.
This exhibition is not only in the wake of a global pandemic, nor the two years of increased global uprisings and protests in defense of Black life, or even centuries of enslavement and imprisonment, but also; in the spirit of Black creativity, ingenuity, and collectivity.
“Black Lives Matter – we have all heard these words many, many times – but what do they mean? How do they affect you? How do we gain knowledge and understanding of each other? Like all of us, I struggle to know how to deal with my own thoughts (around) prejudice and (it needed the) community coming together to deal with issues of supremacy, privilege and racism. So I turned to a group – artists – who from time immemorial have helped us deal with issues affecting society. The 20 artists in the exhibition force us, in different ways, to reach into our hearts, mind and souls to help find answers,” said Jordan D. Schnitzer.
The Black Lives Matter Artist Grant Program was established by Jordan Schnitzer in partnership with the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at PSU. The program is funded through a generous grant from the Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation/Jordan Schnitzer.
The Black Lives Matter Artist Grant Exhibition was organized by the JSMA at PSU. Additional funding for this exhibition is provided by Portland State University President's Office and the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Content for the exhibition written by Ella Ray, a Portland-based art historian, cultural worker, and curator. Editorial support by Nia Pipkin-Glover.
About Black Lives Matter Artist Grant Program
In the wake of social unrest and national reflection that followed the murder of George Floyd in 2020, Jordan Schnitzer, president of The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, established the Black Lives Matter Artist Grant program. The grant awarded 20 artists from Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington, and Columbia counties with $2,500 to support new or recent artwork reflecting on social justice efforts in response to systemic racism.
The JSMA at PSU would like to thank the jurors including:
Leroy E. Bynum, Jr., Dean of the College of the Arts, PSU
Lisa Jarrett, Assistant Professor, Art Practices, PSU
Ethan Johnson, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Black Studies, PSU
Arvie Smith, Portland-based Artist
Master Artist Michael Bernard Stevenson Jr., MFA in Art and Social Practice, PSU
About the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation
At age 14, Jordan D. Schnitzer bought his first work of art from his mother’s Portland, Oregon contemporary art gallery, evolving into a lifelong avocation as collector. He began collecting contemporary prints and multiples in earnest in 1988. Today, the collection exceeds 19,000 works and includes many of today’s most important contemporary artists. It has grown to be one of the country’s largest private print collections. He generously lends work from his collection to qualified institutions. The Foundation has organized over 110 exhibitions and has had art exhibited at over 160 museums. Mr. Schnitzer is also President of Harsch Investment Properties, a privately owned real estate investment company based in Portland, Oregon, owning and managing office, multi-tenant industrial, multi-family and retail properties in six western states. For more information about the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, please visit jordanschnitzer.org.
About JSMA at PSU
Located in downtown Portland on the South Park Blocks, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Portland State University opened in November 2019. By providing free access to rich, inclusive, and interdisciplinary programming, JSMA at PSU creates space for new audiences and seasoned supporters to engage with art and artists while re-imagining the potential for university museums. The museum provides free admission year-round to all visitors.
Tuesday: 11 am – 5 pm
Wednesday: 11 am – 5 pm
Thursday: 11 am – 7 pm
Friday: 11 am – 5 pm
Saturday: 11 am – 5 pm
Please check the website for updates.
Edmund Holmes firstname.lastname@example.org
THE BIG ASK
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Joseph Gallivan has been a reporter since 1990. He has covered music for the London Independent, Technology for the New York Post, and arts and culture for the Portland Tribune, where he is currently a Feature Writer. He is the author of two novels, "Oi, Ref!" and "England All Over" which are available on Amazon.com