Explore The Black Artists Who Crafted The Portland Creative Landscape


red artwork featuring two people in center

Mandiani by artist Penda Diakité. (Photo: Penda Diakité)

photograph of mother and daughter over a table at Portland Art Museum

Carrie Mae Weems, untitled (woman with daughter), from the series Kitchen Table. A gift of the contemporary art council, © Carrie Mae Weems, Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

This fall, the Portland Art Museum marks a historic occasion with Black Artists of Oregon, the first exhibition ever to treat the work of Black artists collectively in the state. Featuring works from the 1920s through today, the show offers a rich visual record of the African American experience in the Pacific Northwest.

Curated by local Portland artist Intisar Abioto, whose own work documents people of African descent across various media, the exhibition features works from nationally recognized Oregon artists, such as Carrie Mae Weems, alongside artists who have long been overlooked.

“This exhibition is grounded in a celebration of Black arts elders and ancestors who, through will and dedication, helped create the creative landscape we celebrate here in Portland today,” Abioto reflects. “In collectivity, our art is a powerful testament to our presence, creativity, love, dedication and continuance in this region through generations.”