Don't Shoot Portland: Art as a Vessel for Social Change

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Contributor Tai C at Compose Yourself Magazine wrote about Don't Shoot Portland's art and activism as protest, community healing, and a platform for families affected by police brutality.

"Naturally, art and protest are one in the same, as they both draw communities from all backgrounds to inspect and immerse themselves in one another’s cultures, lifestyles and personal obstacles."

The whole article can be found here.

Sheida Soleimani: Interview with Candid Magazine

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"I think a lot about the cultural difference as a motivation for my practice – having been raised as an Iranian in the West, I became aware of the differences between cultures as well as the West’s viewing and Orientalizing of the East at a young age.  Through portraying the stereotypes of Middle Eastern culture by the West, I aim to re-condition how we have been taught to view the ‘other’." -Sheida Soleimani

Read the full interview here.

Rhizome: Sheida Soleimani's Downloadable Memorial

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"The latest Download commission, by Sheida Soleimani, laments the death of Reyhaneh Jabbari, who was convicted and hanged in Iran on October 25, 2014 for the alleged murder of her rapist. to oblivion.zip, a dirge-like work that eulogizes Jabbari’s untimely death, consists almost entirely of Jabbari’s own written and spoken words. Once expanded, the ZIP file presents a multi-layered work of nested folders that contain execution records, letters, photographs, and voice recordings. Soleimani has been creating photographic and sculptural works focused on human rights violations in Iran since 2015. This is the first time that she has used a digital download to publish her work."

Check out the full article here.

Artforum : Critics' Picks

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Derek Franklin's To Leave No Trace is Artforum's Critics' Picks (Portland).

"Like the body, Derek Franklin’s newest sculptures have a shelf life, combining food and inorganic materials in arrangements that feel simultaneously solemn and funny. In Being Mediocre Is a Virtue of Survival (all works 2017), for instance, shiny new crayfish traps rise in a modernist stack with occasional slices of bacon inserted into their mesh exteriors. Catching crayfish with bacon is a common childhood activity in the Northwest, but dry-docked in the gallery and emitting the acrid scent of pork, the work feels forlorn: We’ve got traps and bait but no ecology, no quarry." -Stephanie Snyder, Artforum

Check out the full review here.

Portland Artists Make Space for Galleries

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"Williamson Knight has taken over the Pearl District space formerly occupied by Hap Gallery with ambitions to bring radical and marginalized voices to one of the city’s most monied neighborhoods. Co-director Iris Williamson became a significant part of the operations at Hap during its successful run, and when owner Judy Jacobson wanted to retire the gallery, she offered to subsidize the space for Williamson and John Knight’s vision. Even with help, running a Pearl district gallery without funds on hand isn’t economically feasible. So they’ve designed an equitable model of distributed ownership that puts the artists first. This dovetails with their curatorial vision to provide a platform to voices and radical themes that are rarely seen in their neighboring galleries.

Their hope is to provide space to artists they consider politically and socially relevant while creating a platform for social and economic capital when needed. The 2017 curatorial program includes exhibitions and projects by: angélica maria millán lozano & Laura Medina (also known as rolas in pdx), Sheida Soleimani, Alisa Bones, Don’t Shoot Portland, Derek Franklin, Raque Ford, Dru Donovan, and Hayley Barker.

The inaugural show, Social Learning Theory by Sheida Soleimani, was one of the more visually and conceptually complex shows of the year. The small gallery was dominated by large, blobby fabric sculptures and complex photographs of similar sculptures in constructed spaces. These used a variety of visual techniques to thoroughly confuse the spatial reading of what was being photographed. That complexity and their vivid colors led many viewers to assume the images were photoshopped rather than constructed entirely by hand. Similarly, there’s an engineered confusion to the reading of the goofy, colorful fabric sculptures. Once you understand that the images that are digitally printed on the fabric are some of the only extant images of Arabic women imprisoned, tortured and executed for political or religious views, the cognitive dissonance becomes an important, disquieting feature of the show. The material is quite heavy, and you’re compelled to look deeper. 

In addition to their ambitious and intense roster of shows for 2017, W|K hopes to test their business structure in the real world this year. They’re developing a stockholder model that will allow anyone to buy dividend-paying shares in the gallery, the proceeds of which will all go directly into the day-to-day operations of the gallery and support the artist-centric business model. Contact the gallery if you’re interested in becoming a shareholder."

- article by Ním Wunnan for Oregon Arts Watch

The Oregonian names the 10 must-see Fall art exhibits

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Derek Franklin's To Leave No Trace makes the Oregonian's list of "10 Portland art exhibits you won't want to miss: Fall 2017"

" “To Leave No Trace”: Derek Franklin’s work encompasses spare pieces of found-object sculpture and confident abstract painting. This solo show of new work by an artist who goes a thoughtfully long time between shows happily includes both. "

Check out the full list of exhibits here.

Williamson | Knight Gallery Announces Inaugural Year of Programming

Williamson | Knight
916 NW Flanders St
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 444-7101
williamsonknight@gmail.com
www.williamsonknight.com

Williamson | Knight Gallery Announces Inaugural Year of Programming

March 28, 2017 PORTLAND, ORE – Williamson | Knight, a collaboration between Iris Williamson (former Associate Director of Hap Gallery) and John Knight (former Co-Director of Cherry + Lucic), is pleased to announce its inaugural year. To introduce the space, angélica maria millán lozano & Laura Medina will be presenting rolas in pdx on April 6, 2017.
The gallery’s exhibition program launches on May 4 with a solo exhibition by artist Sheida Soleimani. Williamson | Knight’s first year of programming includes artists Sheida Soleimani, Alisa Bones, Derek Franklin, Raque Ford, and Hayley Barker.

Gallery hours starting in May 2017

Thursday–Saturday 12:00pm–5:00pm & by private appointment

rolas in pdx
angélica maria millán lozano & Laura Medina
April 6, 2017
5:15pm parade at PNCA entrance (511 NW Broadway)
6:00pm performance at Williamson | Knight (916 NW Flanders St.)

we are rolas in pdx, claiming our colOmbian identities through the honoring of nuestrxs madres, hermanxs, y tías. marcharemos y cocinaremos para nosotrxs o for ellxs?

angélica maria millán lozano is a fibers and performance artist de bogotá, colOmbia who moved to portland in pursuit of her mfa in visual studies at pacific northwest college of art. her work questions the ethical implications of social injustices that affect latinas in the home. she creates abstract and figurative compositions on distressed fabrics where she juxtaposes different remnants symbolizing experiences affected by her colOmbian and united statesian culture. she is also a co-founder at cvllejerx, a poc focused fashion collaboration.

Laura Camila Medina is an artist from Bogota, Colombia. Through different mediums such as painting, printmaking, and animation she focuses on work that is informative and educational through the use of appropriated historical imagery. The pieces usually live amongst each other as installations; pieces of a fragmented history. Her work emphasizes the questions arising from the experience living as an immigrant in the US and an outsider at home. This contrast in environment is a driving force to explore current social issues in Colombia and the US involvement in Colombian politics, through the perspective of a multi-cultural individual. She bases her practice around uprooting and migration as a response to extensive cultural, socio-political, and historical research.