The curtain is rising on the autumn arts scene on campus

Scene from 'Raya and the Last Dragon

Autumn is upon us, and the campus arts scene is in full swing with many opportunities for both in-person and remote events.

Explore comics journalism, magic and art nouveau style at exhibitions currently on display at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and UO Libraries, respectively. All month long, Ducks After Dark welcomes students back with weekly film screenings in the Erb Memorial Union’s Redwood Room. Find out what’s happening to celebrate LGBTQIA History Month and National Hispanic Heritage Month, which continues through mid-October. 


The first major retrospective devoted to an influential genre of visual narrative “The Art of the News: Comics Journalism,” on display at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, spotlights original artwork and artifacts representing more than 30 years of reportage by New York Times best-selling author-artist Joe Sacco, a foundational figure in the field and a graduate of the UO.

Don’t miss “Salvador Dalí: Illustrator, Printmaker, Storyteller,” an exhibition at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art of selected works by the central figure of the Paris surrealist movement of the early 1930s. View works from the artist’s series “The Divine Comedy” and “The Twelve Tribes of Israel” in the John and Ethel MacKinnon Gallery.


Love to sing in a group? Come out Oct. 2 and audition to be part of the UO’s gender-inclusive a cappella group Mind the Gap.

Internationally acclaimed concert organist Wolfgang Rubsam, along with his former student, recording artist Julia Brown, will be in residency at the UO School of Music and Dance for the 2021 John D. Hamilton Organ and Harpsichord Visiting Artist Series, Oct. 11-15.


Sunflower embroideryFreebie Friday is back! Jump into fall crafting Oct. 1 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Craft Center’s outdoor studio. The craft kit includes fabric with an image, a hoop, an embroidery needle, thread and instructions, everything you need to make a sunflower embroidery. Freebie Fridays continue all month long: Reduce stress through coloring, Oct. 8; create a collage, Oct. 15; make a macrame keychain, Oct. 22; and just in time for Halloween, origami jack-o-lanterns, Oct. 29.


The Museum of Natural and Cultural History opens its “Magic in Medieval Europe” exhibition Oct 23. Discover everything about magic through bewitching stories, objects and imagery. Learn about the roots of everyday superstitions and conjurings and delve into the phenomenon of magical thinking, past and present.

UO Libraries presents the digital exhibition “The Artistic Genius of Will H. Bradley.” Well-known for his art nouveau style, the illustrator was nicknamed the “Dean of American Designers” and was the highest-paid American artist of the early 20th century.

David Call self-portrait

David Call uses the recurring image of a birdhouse with wings and an eye in the palm of the hand to represent both the freedom of deafhood and its security for deaf people. His bent finger holds the linocut cutting tool. This gesture symbolizes deafness in Nepal, where the fingers of the hand represent the five senses.

View the Knight Library exhibit “Deaf Resistance and Affirmation Art: The Linocut Prints of Artist David Call” in the Knight Library’s Special Collections and University Archives. Call’s artwork chronicles the oppressive experiences in his own life as a deaf person, the truth about how deaf people experience the world, and reframes how deaf people are viewed by the dominant culture. 

UO Libraries presents “Our Impact through Images,” a new exhibit that celebrates the diverse communities that have enriched the history of the UO campus. The images from the library’s Special Collections and University Archives illustrate the lives of African American, Asian American, Native American, Arab American, LGBTQ and Latinx communities. The exhibition is located on the first floor of the Knight Library.

Special Collections and University Archives will open its doors to the public Oct. 26 for an open house from 2 to 5 p.m. Celebrate the renovation of the Reading Room and view staff-selected collections.

The Design Library in Lawrence Hall presents fall 2021 Pop-Up Exhibits, featuring curated selections of work. “Experiments: A Sampler of Artists’ Books + Zine” on Oct. 13 includes some unusual book designs as well as recent e-zine acquisitions. On Oct. 29, “UO Legacies: Books + Designs by Alum” features work from former UO courses, ranging from letterpress to advanced architectural design studio, in the College of Design.


University Theatre announced its 2021-22 season, which kicks off in November with the classic Dicken’s holiday drama “A Christmas Carol,” followed in January by “Personal History,” a drama about American life from the perspective of a Chicago African American couple. The Broadway hit “Once” will be presented in February and “God Said This,” a drama that busts the stereotypes about submissive Japanese American women, in April. The season wraps in May with the Noel Coward classic comedy “Hay Fever.”


Scene from 'Rocky Horror Picture Show'Grab the popcorn and head over to the EMU Redwood Room for a month of great free films hosted by Ducks After Dark. Starting Oct. 7, it’s “Raya and the Last Dragon,” an animated Disney film about a lone warrior tasked with tracking down the last dragon in existence to help save the world from monsters. On tap Oct. 14 is “Birds of Prey,” the superhero film based on the DC Comics team, featuring Margot Robbie as former Joker protégé Harley Quinn, who teams up with three deadly women against a narcissistic crime boss. Things turn dark, and silent, on Oct. 21 with “A Quiet Place Part II,” in which a family must navigate and survive in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by blind aliens with a heightened sense of hearing. Finally, let’s do the time warp again with Brad and Janet, Rocky, Dr. Frank-N-Furter and his ghoulish gang in the cult classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” arriving just in time for Halloween on Oct. 28. All events are free for UO students with a valid UO ID.


Join speaker Abigail Fine, UO musicology professor and 2020-21 Oregon Humanities Center faculty research fellow, for “Beethoven or Bust: How Do Canons Form and Why Do They Last.” Her focus will be German and Austrian music culture of the 19th century, which saw the rise of national figureheads, new middle-class habits of listening, newly heartfelt relationships with artists long-gone, and philosophies of the musical “work” as “timeless,” floating above the historical context of its creation.

Libby Wadsworth printOn Oct. 2, printmaker and photographer Libby Wadsworth will present a talk about her exhibition “Always InFormation,” currently on display at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

What comes out of witch bottles? Where does Halloween candy come from? Is that unicorn horn real? On Oct. 6, UO English professor and folklorist Martha Bayless will address these and other vexing questions in her presentation of “Medieval Magic—Then and Now.” Explore medieval magic and discover some modern-day examples in this popular monthly Ideas on Tap pub talk on Zoom and Facebook.

Lectures in the fall 2021 Visiting Artist Lecture Series include Amy Brener’s “Omni-Kits and Flexi-Shields” on Oct. 7; Catherine Haggarty “You Know More than you can Say” on Oct. 14; Dianna Frid: “It Takes Time” Oct. 21; and Lumi Tan: “Critical Conversations,” Oct. 28. 

Streaming resources

The internet is a great source for finding exhibits, collections, audio, video and images for online entertainment.

Hands forming heart shapeLearn, commemorate and discover resources to celebrate LGBTQIA History month.

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month online. View exhibits and collections, watch and listen to video and audio presentations on Hispanic history, culture and folklife, music, poetry and literature, politics and government, and sports from the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institute and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Explore the UO Channel for a variety of livestreamed events, Department of Art Visiting Artist Lecture Series videos, guest speakers and more.

—By Sharleen Nelson, University Communications