February arts events celebrate Black History month, and more

February is Black History Month, and many arts events are planned, including “Talking Black in America” and “Signing Black in America,” two films presented by the Department of Linguistics, as well as Ducks After Dark screenings of “Respect,” “Black Panther” and “King Richard.”

“Black Excellence,” a pop-up exhibit of works by Black artists from the Design Library’s “Artists’ Books” collection, is happening Feb. 9, and Dance Theatre of Harlem choreographer Claudia Schreier will give an in-person African American Workshop and Lecture Series talk Feb. 22.


Starting Feb. 1 “Playfully Cutout” collage work by artist Jack Buechler will be on display in Lawrence Hall’s Foyer Gallery.

View and handle works by Black artists from the Design Library’s “Artists’ Books” collection at the “Black Excellence” pop-up exhibit, a free drop-in event at Lawrence Hall on Feb. 9.

Still from 'Buckaroo' Cowboys made their mark on American culture, but not every cowboy is a buckaroo. Buckaroos represent a cowboy culture with roots in Spanish and Moorish, or Islamic, tradition. Explore the Oregon Folklore Network’s Buckaroo Traditions of Oregon virtual exhibition and learn about the Buckaroo traditions in rural Oregon.

Corresponding with the UO’s Common Reading program — this year’s selection is “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants” by Robin Wall Kimmerer — the “Common Seeing: Meeting Points” exhibition in the Focus Gallery at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art brings together the works of nine contemporary Native artists to visually expand on the issues of ecology, parenting, Indigenous land and water rights, sustainability, climate change, and the preservation of language in the book. The exhibition runs through Apr. 10.


Poster for 'Drag Me to Hell' Mark your calendar for Feb. 12; you don’t want to miss the fabulous LGBTQA3 Alliance’s annual drag show, “Drag Me to Hell,” in the Erb Memorial Union ballroom. Local performers showcase their artistic talent at this fun, all-ages show. Proceeds will be donated to TransPonder, a local nonprofit that provides support, resources and education for and about the trans/gender community. Mask up and bring tips for the performers!

Discover how music and art can bring people together for “C3: Connection/Beethoven’s Fifth,” a collaboration with the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art featuring four Oregon visual artists interpreting a movement of Paul Hindemith’s symphonic “Metamorphosis on Themes of Weber.” The performance debuts Feb. 17 at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts.


Ducks After Dark has your month covered with weekly Thursday night films presented in the EMU’s Redwood Auditorium. First up Feb. 3 is the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect.” Catch the Marvel Universe film “Black Panther” Feb. 10. 'Black Panther' poster On Feb. 17, don’t miss the tennis-themed film “King Richard,” and on Feb. 24, the Disney film “Encanto” will be screened. Free popcorn and soda and free entry for UO students with a valid UO ID.

On Feb. 8, the Department of Linguistics will present “Talking Black in America,” the first of two films about being Black in the U.S. as it relates to spoken and signed languages, exploring how language was shaped by the descendants of enslaved Africans brought to this country and the affect it had on the Black community. “Signing in America” will be screened Feb. 15.

Attention cinephiles! Le Club Cinema will host screenings of recent and classic French films in the Yamada Language Center. On Feb. 9, come out and enjoy “Portrait de la Jeune Fille en Feu,” “Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain” Feb. 23, and on Mar. 9, “Ratatouille.”


Coming to the Robinson Theatre Feb. 25 is the musical “Once,” based on the 2007 film by John Carney. Set in a Dublin pub, an Irish musician is inspired and challenged by a young Czech immigrant. The production runs through Mar. 12 and is free for UO students with ID.


Mini weaving project Show your valentine all the love at “Hubs and Kisses,” a crafting event sponsored by the UO Bike Program staff. Collaging items, used bicycle parts and other materials will be available at this free event at the Erb Memorial Union on Feb. 10.

Looking for something crafty to make and take home with you? Freebie Friday events at the EMU offer something new to make every week. On Feb. 4 create macrame keychains and coiled rope baskets. Show your love Feb. 11 with handcrafted watercolor gratitude cards and origami envelopes to give to friends and family. Celebrate winter with a snowflake embroidery on Feb. 18, and on Feb. 25 weave a mini rug for your mug. Do your crafting at the O Desk between noon and 2 p.m. or take home a prepackaged kit that includes everything you’ll need to create each craft.


Join paleontologist Samantha Hopkins live on Zoom and Facebook for “Ideas on Tap: Rodents of Unusual Size in the Fossil Record of Oregon,” the Museum of Natural and Cultural History’s monthly pub talk. Giant beaver Learn about a giant, bear-sized beaver that roamed eastern North America during the Pleistocene in this discussion of new fossils that show Oregon had its own rodent of unusual size 20,000 years ago.

Join associate professor in Japanese literature Glynne Walley for her lecture “Fit to Print: The Dawn of Journalism in Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Lavenberg and Michels Collections” on Feb. 4.

Mixed media artist Lezley Saar will present her lecture on “Surrealism, Symbolism and Significance” Feb 3. Part of the Visiting Artist Lecture Series, the virtual event, covering topics on race, gender, sanity, literature, heritage, escapism and marginalization, will be livestreamed on the UO IS Media Services YouTube channel.

Shih-shan Huang, associate professor at Rice University’s Department of Transnational Asian Studies will discuss “Cultural Middlemen of Buddhist Books” on Feb. 4. The talk will shed light on how Buddhist books and woodcuts were circulated during the 13th and 14th centuries.

Join associate professor of theater arts Michael Najjar on Feb. 11 for a books-in-print talk: “Middle Eastern American Theatre: A Polycultural Mosaic.” Najjar will explore the nascent Middle Eastern American theater movement with a focus on Arab American, Jewish American, Armenian American, Iranian American and Turkish American theaters, playwrights, directors and actors.

Portland artist and citizen of the Cherokee Nation Brenda Mallory will give an Artist Talk on “Partitioning,” an exhibit currently on display at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art through Apr. 10 that focuses on reclaimed materials such as cloth, fibers, beeswax and other found objects. A Q&A session will follow the presentation. The program also supports the UO Common Reading selection “Braiding Sweetgrass” and the art museum’s Common Seeing exhibition “Meeting Points.” 

Join choreographer Claudia Schreier for an in-person public lecture, “Creating Passage: Reflections on Choreographing for Dance Theatre of Harlem” on Feb. 22. Part of the 2021-22 African American Workshop and Lecture Series sponsored by the Office of the President and the Division of Equity and Inclusion. Schreier, who has choreographed, directed and produced for dance, opera and film across the U.S. and internationally, will discuss the creative process for her 2019 ballet “Passage.”

Michael Schreffler, an associate professor at Notre Dame specializing in 16th-17th century Spain and Latin America will lecture on “Images of the Virgin Mary” (polychromed wooden statues) in 17th-century Spanish America.


UO Wind Symphony and Singers Kicking off the month at Beall Concert Hall is a performance by the UO Wind Symphony conducted by Jason M. Silveira and the University Singers directed by Melissa Brunkan on Feb. 1. Catch the UO Symphony Orchestra, the university’s premiere orchestra on Feb. 3, and on Feb. 6 the eclectic piano trio Junction Trio will perform works from Zorn, Ives and Schumann, Feb. 6.

On Feb. 11, the UO Opera Ensemble will be at Beall Hall to present “Spanish Opera Imaginings,” two Spanish one-acts: a Baroque piece called “Los Elementos” (The Elements) about air, earth, water, fire, time and dawn and their anticipation of the arrival of the sun, and a comedy titled “El Poeta Calculista” which tells the story of a frustrated poet’s ideas on ridiculous business and love.

The UO Percussion Ensemble performs at Beall Hall Feb. 18, and the Black Oak Ensemble featuring the “fierce eloquence” of violinists Desirée Ruhstrat, Aurélien Fort Pederzoli and cellist David Cunliffe, who join forces with flutist Eugenia Molinare for selections of Bach’s Goldberg Variations and pieces from Kattenburg, Debussy and Villa-Lobos.

Students in Trombone Quartets perform at Beall Feb. 20, the Campus Band on Feb. 23, and Jazz Big Bands, featuring the Oregon Jazz Ensemble and the Jazz Lab bands, round out the month on Feb. 25.

Music events this month at Berwick Hall include performances by the Oregon Wind Quintet and Friends on Feb. 18 and Gearhart and Kreston, Feb. 24. Both are part of the Faculty Recital Series.

Streaming resources

Can’t get to an event in person? Learn about and celebrate Black History Month virtually at the Association for the Study of African American Life and History or view exhibits and collections on the African American History Month government web portal.

Google Arts & Culture is a great starting place for finding exhibits, collections, audio, video, images and more.

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