This weekend, I travelled to Portland with two colleagues to attend a few events during the PICA Time-Based Art Festival and tour contemporary art spaces around the city. I knew little of the Portland art scene and was astounded by the number of nonprofit spaces sustaining experimental programming. Truly impressive what is happening down there! Is it time for Seattle to step up to the plate?
Current Exhibition: Park McArthur
YU Contemporary is a contemporary art center located in the Yale Union Laundry building in the Central Eastside Industrial District of Portland, Oregon. Founded in September 2009, YU’s mission is to bring about the most challenging national and international contemporary art—to empower the artistic imagination and cultural life of the Northwest. The center is artist-driven and was conceived to engage artists in experimental ways that raise questions and catalyze new dialogue. Its vision is to produce and present thought-provoking work, while simultaneously forming a community of ideas that contribute to the cultural, intellectual, and artistic life of Portland. YU connects artists and ideas through the production and presentation of exhibitions, new work, public programs, publishing, and residencies.
Forthcoming Exhibition: Anthony McCall
Zena Zezza is a contemporary art project that supports and presents the work of artists—their ideas, influences and the questions they raise. Each Artist Project Season produces an exhibition and an integrated series of discursive and performative events to stimulate new ways of thinking about art and contemporary culture. Zena encourages critical thinking through collaborating with academic and cultural institutions and presents unusual opportunities for conviviality and public conversation.
The forthcoming Artist Project Season will take place in the Hallock–McMillan Building, the first and oldest commercial brick building in Portland. It was designed by Absalom Hallock and completed in 1857.
Current Exhibition: Ryan Trecartin
Founded in 2013, Upfor is a commercial gallery that presents contemporary art with an emphasis on new and digital media. Located in the heart of Portland’s gallery district, their exhibitions include sculpture, painting, video, installations and performance.
Forthcoming Exhibition: Intimate Horizons
Disjecta Contemporary Art Center builds ambitious programs that promote artists and engage communities. Now housed in a former bowling alley, Disjecta’s 12,000-square-foot space provides ample room for the realization of large-scale installations, with additional space for smaller projects and performances.
Disjecta Contemporary Art Center aspires to present forward-thinking work from visual and performing artists. Disjecta provides a professional platform in which artists can realize their best work and engage new audiences. Dynamic programs showcase new work and fuel collaborations between artists, curators, and viewers that impact and intervene in the larger contemporary arts dialogue. Disjecta exacts equal rigor from local and national artists, while keenly recognizing and supporting the talent of the region.