Museum to stream performance that dives into 'Sanctuary'

Promotional photo

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art will livestream the premiere of “Sanctuary: A Performance,” an artist collaboration exploring the collective experience of women and queer people of color seeking refuge from persecution under the ongoing violence of colonization.

The livestream performance will be held Wednesday, May 19, and features national award-winning artists, including lead artist Ana-Maurine Lara, who will be performing live at University of Oregon. Other virtual performances will come from collaborating artists Akiko Hatakeyama, Rosamond King and Courtney Desiree Morris.

D’Lo, a queer/transgender Tamil-Sri Lankan-American actor, writer and comic, is the director of “Sanctuary: A Performance.”

"It is such a luxury to work with nationally award-winning artists across multiple genres,” Lara said. “We are all people capable and willing to create in the mediums available to us, to adapt to our changing circumstances, and to find new meaning in our processes.”

Over the past year, the concept of sanctuary has taken on new meanings for each of the participants.

"In this time of so much despair, anger and pain, we as artists were able to find sanctuary with each other,” Lara said. “Over the past two years, our creative process and collaboration became a sanctuary that provided so much joy and love to each of us: as artists, as women and as queer people of color.”

D’Lo adds, “Sharing space with these artists has aided in my own healing while navigating this tumultuous time of deep injustices on the lives of Black, Brown, Indigenous, immigrant and queer communities, and the ongoing police brutality and murders of Black and Brown folks. Learning from and with the artists, being witness to ideas evolving throughout the course of a pandemic year, has allowed me a deeper understanding of ‘Sanctuary’ as both a word and concept.”

For the livestream premiere, artists Lara, Hatakeyama, King and Morris embody sanctuary and community through live performance and prerecorded multimedia components.

“This hybrid event is unique, and through its presentation we hope to inspire others to be sources of solace and power and beauty, all of what we are capable of giving each other,” Lara said. “The live performance is an invitation to find sanctuary in place, and in each other.”

At 6 p.m. the day of the premiere, in a Conversation with the Artists, Jillian Hernandez will moderate a live conversation with Lara, Hatakeyama, King, Morris and D’Lo.

”Sanctuary: A Performance” is co-sponsored by the UO’s College of Arts and Sciences, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Black Lives Matter artist grant program, Black Studies Program, Center for the Study of Women in Society, School of Art + Design, Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Department of Theatre Arts, Department of English, Department of Cinema Studies, Department of Indigenous, Race & Ethnic Studies, and the Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center.

“Sanctuary: A Performance” is funded by a Black Lives Matter Artist Project grant from a new grant program established by Jordan Schnitzer in partnership with the UO's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and the Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center. Documentation of the performance will be included in the  museum’s Black Lives Matter exhibition featuring the work of artist grantees opening July 3.