April showers make art flower on campus and around town

April 1, 2019 - 5:00am

Goodbye snow, hello sunshine, warm days, frisbees, tulips and the arts on campus.

Not only is April the month we celebrate Earth Day — the Student Sustainability Center and sponsors at the EMU will be observing the entire week with speakers, workshops, documentary screenings and service events — but it’s hopping with exciting arts-related events as well. Kick up your heels and learn a new dance at Global Scholars Hall, reflect on Earth Day through music and poetry at Beall Hall or catch a lecture or two from any number of noteworthy guest speakers.


In addition to prodigious exhibitions, collections and events, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art also curates an array of art on loan that you may not otherwise get a chance to ever see up close. View these works that are leaving in April: In the MacKinnon Gallery, Pablo Picasso’s “Tête d’Homme,” 1965, oil on canvas (4/21); in the south upper hallway, Irwin Robert’s untitled oil on canvas (4/7) and Kenneth Noland’s “Green Shadow,” 1965, acrylic on canvas; in the Focus Gallery, Anish Kapoor’s “Untitled (Void),” 1989 and “Untitled, 1993,” limestone and pigment (4/21); and in the MacKinnon Gallery through 4/28, Claude Monet’s “Portrait d'André Lauvray,” 1880, oil on canvas.


Peg Lynch A new exhibit coming to the Knight Library Special Collections and University Archives the first week of April celebrates the life and work of Peg Lynch, the first woman to create, write, star in and exclusively own a sitcom series, “Ethel and Albert.” “Comedy of the Commonplace: The Sitcom Genius of Peg Lynch” explores Lynch’s long and successful career as a pioneer in radio. The exhibit runs through September.

All month long, the Co-op Family Center, the Vivian Olum Child Development Center and the Moss Street Children’s Center will be showcasing artwork made by children at the HEDCO Education Building, Commons for the seventh annual Art of Childhood exhibit.

On April 18, drop by the Museum of Natural and Cultural History for their monthly Museum After Hours, 21+ evening event and enjoy a cocktail or two, do some crafting and explore mushroom-based building blocks and cardboard origami shelters in the “Survival Architecture and the Art of Resilience” exhibit. Curated and organized by Art Works for Change, the exhibit addresses and explores housing implications and solutions for a climate-changing world.

Art from Inside, an exhibition that will be on view through spring term in the Erb Memorial Union Adell McMillan Gallery, features the artwork of 20 artists who are incarcerated at the Oregon State Penitentiary and the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem, and from youth artists from Serbu Youth Detention Center in Eugene. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Visual Arts Team and the UO Prison Education Program, which provides for-credit UO courses and other academic programming at five adult and youth facilities in Oregon. A reception will be held Thursday, April 18 at 6 p.m. in the McMillan Gallery.


Guest artist Tim Higgins will perform a recital and trombone master class April 6 and 7 at Beall Concert Hall and Thelma Schnitzer Hall, respectively. Principal trombone of the San Francisco Symphony, Higgins has performed with the Chicago Symphony, the New York Philharmonic and led master classes around the world.

On April 12, Eugene Vocal Arts and pianist Camilla Carter will bring to Beall Concert Hall thoughtful reflections on Earth Day and our natural world through poetry and music. The Peace of Wild Things features the works of several contemporary composers, including Eric Whitacre’s “Cloudburst” and “Animal Crackers,” a compilation of poet e.e. cummings’ limericks and the poetry of Sara Teasdale expressed in Ēriks Ešenvalds’ “There Will Come Soft Rains.”

Head downtown to the Hult Center on April 27 for the swinging retrospective “American Style” and catch musical styles covering big bands to Broadway. The Eugene Concert Choir is joined by the Vicki Brabham Combo and UO alumna Evynne Hollens, a Broadway singer and co-founder of Divisi, UO’s award-winning female a cappella group on which the film “Pitch Perfect” was based.


New Voices poster Each year, the theater arts program seeks student submissions of previously unpublished, never produced play scripts to encourage student play and playwright development. Those selected for production are entered in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Taking the stage for 2018–19 New Voices is “Smudge” by Meg Schenk and “Just a Shack in the Woods” by Connor French, both directed by Tricia Rodley. The show opens April 19 and runs through May 4.


Strap on your dancing shoes and sashay across campus to Room 123, Global Scholars Hall, where the Oregon Ballroom Dance Club offers free weekly beginning dance lessons to students and community members alike. Try the dance of love, also known as the Argentine tango on April 5, or give the Polka a whirl on April 12. Lessons are from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., followed by social dancing until 10:30 p.m. No experience or partner necessary.

If you’d prefer to watch other people dance instead, plan to attend the Northwest Dance Festival on April 6 at the Hult Center. This eighth annual master dance series event hosted by the Eugene Ballet Youth features more than 150 dancers, choreographers, teachers and artistic directors from the UO and around the state for workshops, master classes and performances. Experience new and original pieces by emerging choreographers and aspiring dancers from nine Northwest dance companies.


April is shaping up to be an interesting month for cinematic events. On April 8, drop by the William W. Knight Law Center for a film screening of “Shash Jaa’: ‘Bears Ears,’” a moving documentary short film directed by Angelo Baco with comments from Anna Elza Brady, a 2018 UO law school grad and former policy and communications strategist for Utah Diné Bikéyah. Told through an indigenous lens, the film highlights the efforts of the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition to protect this unspoiled ecological area from natural resource extraction, development, artifact looting and environmental destruction.

Kent Jones poster

Coming up April 9 is a free and open to the public talk and reception at Gerlinger Lounge with award-winning filmmaker, film critic and festival programmer Kent Jones, who Variety named one of 10 directors to watch in 2019. Jones will be on hand April 11 at the Bijou Art Cinemas to answer questions following a screening of his 2015 documentary “Hitchcock/Truffaut” and again on April 17 for a showing of his debut fiction film “Diane” in the EMU’s Redwood Auditorium. “Diane,” which follows a self-sacrificing woman’s attempt to bond with her drug-addicted son, won best narrative feature and screenplay at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Local musicians and filmmakers will compete to produce the best music video within 72 hours in the Eugene Film Society’s fifth annual 72-Hour Music Video competition, co-supported by the UO Department of Cinema Studies. On April 28, join the jury at Ragozzino Performance Hall at Lane Community College and cast your vote for the audience award winner.


A noteworthy selection of individuals will be presenting lectures on campus this month on topics ranging from photography and Latinx album art to Basquiat and multidisciplinary artists of color.

Learn more about the incredibly talented Oregon artists behind the Visual Magic: An Oregon Invitational exhibition from Danielle Knapp, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art McCosh Curator, who will present a curator’s lecture on Visual Magic: The Oregon Connection.

Zoot Suit poster On April 11, the art museum will present another curator’s lecture from Pablo Yglesias and Phil Scher, co-organizers of the fantastic Visual Clave: The Expression of the Latino/a Experience through Album Cover Art: 1940-1990 exhibition that runs through April 21. Yglesias and Scher will discuss how the album art played an important role as a creative outlet for the Latin American and Caribbean immigrant communities in the U.S. Stick around afterward for live music inspired by the exhibition.

Author and former gallerist Fred Hoffman will speak April 17 on “Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Masonic Lodge: Anatomy of the Soul.” Hoffman worked closely with Basquiat from 1982 to 1984 during the artist's residency in Venice, California, produced most of the artist's limited-edition silkscreen prints, organized major exhibitions for Basquiat and other artists, and is the author of “Jean-Michel Basquiat Drawing,” “The Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat” and other artist-themed publications.

On April 18 at the art museum, Jorge Coronado, author and professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Northwestern University, will discuss his book “Portraits in the Andes: Photography and Agency 1900–1950.” Coronado's study examines Andean photographic archives from the early- to mid-20th century depicting lower- and middle-class subjects, a counterpoint to the often-slanted view of the intellectual elite.

Join Tabia Yapp, founder and director of Beotis Creative, a boutique agency in Los Angeles that represents a roster of contemporary speakers, poets, writers and multidisciplinary artists. She will be on campus April 23 for BE Agent, a BEseries Q&A session at the EMU.

The goals for his work, according to visual artist and educator Pope.L, are several: joy, money and uncertainty, not necessarily in that order. On April 25, the Department of Art’s Visiting Artist Lecture Series will host “Until Now” featuring a discussion on Pope.L’s career of enacting provocative and absurdist performances and interventions in public spaces in various formats such as writing, painting performance, installation, video and sculpture.

Ideas on Tap

In the spirit of Earth Day, join UO law professor Mary Wood and Kelsey Juliana, lead plaintiff in the Eugene-based Our Children’s Trust climate change lawsuit to explore the case and its implications for the future for Ideas on Tap: Climate Action: Taking on the Government at the Viking Braggot Co. Southtown Pub on April 3.

—By Sharleen Nelson, University Communications