Museum of Art presents media series on avant-garde film

"The Deep Dark"
"The Deep Dark"

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art will launch into 2015 by continuing a cinema series focusing on American-based experimental media and avant-garde film.

The Schnitzer Cinema series is curated by Cinema Pacific director Richard Herskowitz, and it will run from Feb. 11 to June 7, culling from a number of avant-garde artists. All films will begin at 7 p.m. at the museum and will include free refreshments.

“We’re pleased to be introducing the JSMA audience to pioneering filmmakers, like Jonas Mekas and James Broughton and contemporary artists like Laura Heit, who have boldly experimented with cinematic language and drawn inspiration from visual art and poetry,” Herskowitz said.

The series will begin on Feb. 11 with “Animations” by Portland based artist Laura Heit. She will present three of her animated short films, “Collapse,” “Mary Anning” and “The Deep Dark,” along with Winsor McCay’s “The Sinking of the Lusitania,” a film that heavily influenced her work. Heit will also talk about the process behind her animated installation “Two Ways Down,” which will be on view from Jan. 24 to March 29.

On March 11 the documentary “Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton,” which centers on the life of the poet and filmmaker, will be shown along with a Skype conversation with guest artist Stephen Silha.

Moving into April, two programs based around the work of avant-garde film maker Jonas Mekas will be shown on April 15 and 29. Both events are in conjunction with the installation “Frozen Film Frames: Portraits of Filmmakers,” on view in the JSMA’s artist project space from April 1 to June 7.

The series will close with the Black Maria Film and Video Festival on May 13. For more information, contact the JSMA at 541-346-3027 or go to their website at

—By Nathan Stevens, Public Affairs Communications intern